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"Rescue, Recovery, and Religion: Humanitarian Aid and Spiritual Care in Times of Crises

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Title: "Rescue, Recovery, and Religion: Humanitarian Aid and Spiritual Care in Times of Crises


1
"Rescue, Recovery, and Religion Humanitarian Aid
and Spiritual Care in Times of Crises
Spiritual Care in Times of Crises The Case
of the Lebanese Society in Time of Wars and in
the After Wars 28 February 2009 - 1115-1245
Lecture 5 www.ziadfahed.com ziadfahed_at_nd
u.edu.lb Notre Dame University Lebanon
2
Introduction
  • The Lebanese war (1975-1990-2006) was a
    multifaceted war
  • More than 150 000 civilians were killed and
    injured in those fifteen years of war
  • In such context of wars a series of humanitarian
    aid and spiritual care was needed to support the
    civilians all the way on.

3
Confessionalism
  • 18 religious community
  • Moral pact which is based on confessional
    (denominational) power-sharing
  • Establishing a consensual confessional
    (denominational ) democracy (dimocratia
    tawafoukia) of a permanent and final Lebanese
    nation-state (watan niha i) with a special
    mission the inter-confessional living
    (co-existence- convivialite - al-aysh al
    mushtarak).

4
I - The impacts of the wars Facing the
sufferance as a common ground and common cause.
  • 1.1 A country ruled by lord wars
  • 1.2 The Emigration and its negative impacts on
    the country demographic structure
  • 1.3 Radical groups attempt to rule the country
    and establish their own political system

5
  • The Lebanese coexistence through the years
  • Negative coexistence
  • Passive coexistence
  • Positive coexistence a positive recognition of
    religious diversity, sharing the responsibility
    of promoting and consolidating coexistence, while
    actively preserving cultural differences and
    securing equal opportunities

6
1.1 A country ruled by lord wars
  • Nobody was exempted from the consequences of the
    war.
  • The Lebanese war, similar to any other war, has
    no religion, no social boundaries and no
    differences.
  • The Lebanese government has entered a deep comma
    and was unable to avoid the clash during those
    years.
  • Citizens were left to the lord wars have
    kidnapped their own people in the ghettos of
    fear, ghettos of hate and the ghettos of
    ignorance.
  • the continual brain washing of all the citizens
    replaced the moderation

7
1.2 The Emigration and its negative impacts on
the country demographic structure
  • 10.8 of those who emigrate left Lebanon
    considered their emigration related to political
    or security problems, 8.5 willing to live
    abroad, 4.7 unavailability of education for
    children, etc.
  • Economic advantage but religious minorities are
    demographically affected and we are witnessing a
    modification in the religious distribution of
    Lebanon and also the ME.

8
  • The wars leading to a significant Emigration.
  • Christians and Sunnis mostly city dwellers- had
    a low average children per family.

9
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10
1.3 Radical groups attempt to rule the country
and establish their own political system
  • The case of Hizbullah is a case to study in this
    field.
  • Based on Joseph Alagha, in his book The Shifts in
    Hizbullahs Ideology (2006) this party has
    transferred from "extremism" to "moderation.
  • Alagha in his optimism shows that Hizbullah drew
    notably on the following two maxims of Islamic
    jurisprudence to justify compromises the notion
    that "necessities permit what is forbidden"
    (al-darurat tubih almahdhurat) and that "what
    cannot be accomplished in its whole, cannot be
    left entirely" (ma la yudraku kuluhu, la yutraku
    kulluhu)

11
  • Guardianship of the Jurisconsult (wilayat faqih)
    as elaborated by Imam Khomeyni. The guardian must
    be obeyed.
  • According to Prof. Richard Bulliet the
    Guardianship of Juriconsult has not make
    unanimity within the different shiaa leaders.

12
  • Imam Mohamad Mehdi Shamssedin who object the
    theory of guardianship of the Juriconsult has
    launched the the human guardianship over itself
    (wilayat el insan 3ala nafssihi)

13
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14
Some of the different faces of suffering in time
of crises in the Lebanese context the Suffering
as a common ground
  • The deformed and incomplete image from other
    religious groups.
  • Being absorbed by a majority. Majority/minority
    issues.
  • Radicalist politico-religious movements
    (Guardianship of the Jurisconsult wilayat al
    faqih)
  • Poverty, lack of job opportunities.
  • The kidnapping of the lord wars to their own
    community in the ghettos of fear and the ghettos
    of ignorance.
  • Injustice and deprivations of human needs in a
    system based on Clientelism (zabayiniyat) as the
    only way to get rights.
  • More than 700 Lebanese detainee in Syrian jails
    since more than 10 to 20 years and Syrian
    authority continue denying their presence despite
    many proves (Cf. SOLIDA).
  • Thousands of Lebanese went to Israel (running
    away from the revenge of Hezbollah) and they
    cant return back to Lebanon.
  • National identity or religious identity

15
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16
  • II. How university students evaluate the
    Spiritual and Humanitarian Aid in Times of
    Crises?

17
  • A study that I have conducted with a population
    of 600 university students we have asked them the
    following questions

18
Overall what is the general percentage of those
who are satisfied and those who are not satisfied
with the spiritual support?
Percent
19
Overall what is the general percentage of those
who are satisfied and those who are not satisfied
with the humanitarian support?
Percent
20
Among those who practice their religion, what is
the percentage of those who are satisfied and
those who are not with the spiritual and
humanitarian support?
Percent
21
Among those who do not practice their religion,
what is the percentage of those who are satisfied
and those who are not with the spiritual and
humanitarian support?
Percent
22
Are you satisfied by the Spiritual support
offered by your religious group in times of
conflict and wars?
Percent
23
Are you satisfied by the humanitarian support
offered by your religious group in times of
conflict and wars?
Percent
24
Among the students who practice their beliefs
what is the percentage of those who are satisfied
by the spiritual and humanitarian care offered by
their religion?
Percent
25
Among the students who practice their beliefs
what is the percentage of those who are satisfied
by the spiritual and humanitarian care offered by
their religion?
Percent
26
  • An important percentage of young persons who are
    not satisfied from the spiritual and humanitarian
    support. And this is due to
  • The negative role conducted by some religious
    leaders and their relation with some lord wars.
  • The corruption in the field of Humanitarian
    support.
  • The disappointment of the young generations
  • Discovering that the religious leaders dont have
    the solution for all kind of problems.
  • A very complicated political situation in the
    country
  • Another point might be added as a summary to
    this presentation is the fact that the level of
    satisfaction of the humanitarian support is very
    close to the level of satisfaction from the
    spiritual support (49.5 and 51.7 ). Which
    means that through the humanitarian support the
    civilians are judging their own religious groups.
    And this is the reason why different sects are
    using this approach to establish their groups in
    different locations especially in the poor areas.

27
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28
III- The requirements for the recovering process
in the after war
  • 3.1 Culture of peace counters acting the culture
    of fear
  • 3.2 Dialogue of life
  • 3.3 Promotion of moral values
  • 3.4 Truth telling and Reconciliation two
    conditions for sustainable peace
  • 3.5 Purification of memory

29
3.1 Culture of peace counter acting the culture
of fear
  • Promote greater understanding, mutual respect,
    and cooperative action aiming at serving members
    of different communities. Promoting a sustainable
    peace as a common value to all religious
    cultures, and promoting communal living as the
    prime mission.

30
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31
  • We encounter God in the face of a stranger God
    creates difference therefore it is in one
    who-is-different that we meet God... God makes
    every person in the same image His image- and
    each is different. The supreme religious
    challenge is to see Gods image in one who is not
    in our image. (J. Sacks, the Dignity of
    Difference, 2002)

32
  • Counter acting the culture of fear
  • Through common projects joining different members
    from different religious groups
  • By facilitating the work of different groups (NGO
    or others)
  • Through investing with youth generations in
    schools and universities etc. (summer camps,
    Music, Sports, etc.)
  • Creating alternatives.

33
3.2 Dialogue of life
  • Day-to-day basis dialogue of life goes on in all
    situations of religious diversity.
  • Leonard Swidler talked about such dialogue
    describing it as dialogue of the Head, dialogue
    of the Heart and the dialogue of the Hands
    (which will lead to the dialogue of the whole).
  • Such dialogue allows us to understand through our
    lives what we cant understand theoretically
    (Paul Knitter, One earth many religions, 1995).
  • Dialogue of life is fragile
  • One of the limit of such dialogue the
    Imperialism or colonialism of any language.

34
  • Pierre Claverie wrote Learning to live together
    and to go out beyond oneself allows those who
    share intensive experiences, to give the weight
    of flesh, the weight of their experience, to the
    words they use. In order that the words may
    express the same things, it is necessary to live
    together, to share an experience, the experience
    of human life with birth, living, suffering, love
    and death. Giving words the weight of flesh, for
    me, that's dialogue. (Pierre Claverie, 1997).

35
  • The challenge that the post-conflicts generations
    are facing is to rediscover the value and the
    importance of the dialogue of life in all
    situations and to cross the psychological or
    sociological and political boundaries.

36
3.3 Promotion of the moral values
  • Joining the different opportunities to Promote
    the moral values and working for justice, peace,
    human dignity and developing a national (global)
    ethic. The common struggle against unemployment,
    poverty, radicalism and terrorism is a priority
    in this regard.

37
3.4 Truth telling and Reconciliation conditions
for sustainable peace
  • The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (The e.g.
    of South Africa)
  • The process of truth telling allows to find words
    and explore all what happened. It is the way of
    healing, and no reconciliation without healing.
    The truth telling has the power to identify and
    acknowledge what happened not in a way to forget
    (nobody can forget), neither judge or condemn
    (nobody is perfect) but to define and recognize
    (and limit) the responsibilities.
  • Truth-telling is the condition for peace.
    Without truth, no peace. Without truth-telling,
    no peacemakingWhen we lie, we die (W.
    Brueggemann, 1998).
  • Truth-telling is dangerous and costly.

38
Conditions to process toward a truth telling
process as can bee leaded by a National community
to progress in the healing process
  • Conditions to process toward a truth telling
    process as can bee leaded by a National community
    to progress in the healing process
  • Create proper and adequate committees that can
    facilitate and inspire trust.
  • Sit the rules and the right process to reach the
    healing and liberate while taking into
    consideration the limits and difficulties of such
    process.
  • Honor the stories of everyone and allow everyone
    to say them and say them again and again if
    needed.

39
  • Allow non-destructive expressions of anger toward
    the others.
  • Provide reassurance. As issues arise, inform the
    candidate of the consequences of his/her acts.
  • Assist in crossing the pain and offer option for
    solutions.
  • Help every one in his way to find his own answers
    and way of understanding.
  • Work for finding basic needs for everyones
    family.

40
3.5 Purification of memory
  • The purification of memory is a dynamic process
    through which a person or a group identifies
    determine the acts and responsibilities should
    lead to a firm decision to not repeating such
    errors in the future. The purification of memory
    in the Lebanese context aims at liberating the
    personal and collective conscience.

41
  • Forgiveness breaks the chain It represents a
    decision not to do what instinct and passion urge
    us to do. It answers hate with a refusal to hate,
    animosity with generosity Forgiveness means that
    we are not destined endlessly to replay the
    grievances of yesterday. It is the ability to
    live with the past without being held captive by
    the past at the heart of the concept of
    forgiveness is the idea of love Love
    distinguishes between the person and the deed I
    honor the past not by repeating it but by
    learning from it by refusing to add pain to
    pain. (Sacks J., 2002)

42
Conclusion
  • The Lebanese new public is marked by the years of
    wars. This is why it is important to see how can
    the purification of memory have an effective
    role.
  • The Lebanese new public is marked by (the new
    reality which is) the radical modification of the
    percentages and the size of the most
    representative religious groups. Those who were
    majority yesterday are minority today and vice
    versa. And the increasing number of emigrants
    confirm this reality.
  • The Lebanese new public is also marked by the
    radicalism of some religious-political movements
    this is why it is important to readopt (rebuild)
    the social contract which is based on the
    preservation of a country of common power
    sharing, offering guarantees and prosperity to
    all the groups including the minorities.

43
Conclusion
  • Moving from a division of power among the
    different sects to a real power sharing in a
    spirit of building one nation.
  • Could the civil society group start gaining power
    and mobilize the population or at least the young
    generations to create a national sense of
    identity instead of the current secterianism?
  • Reconciliation, forgiveness and Purification of
    memory are conditions for achieving the desired
    peace not only in Lebanon.
  • The post-wars Lebanese national suffering could
    be a possibility to call for national and
    courageous responsibilities.
  • To move forward in building a sustainable peace
    instead of the actual pacification (and cease
    fire).

44
  • Improving the level of satisfaction and of
    assistance in times of crises.

45
  • http//fr.youtube.com/watch?vTYIxBRA5qjA
  • Guy Nattive and Erez Tadmor
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