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Beyond Disputed and Fragmented Borders: Facilitating Co-operation between Kashmiri and Palestinian Youth Activists

Workshop outline, 30th November – 3 December 2017

By the end of these four days, participants will have deepened their understanding of their own contexts and journeys of others living under occupation and oppression, in order to learn from each other and to explore the possibilities for a joint platform to work together towards social and political change.

We will do this by:

• Hearing each person’s stories and aspirations
• Exploring how our experiences and aspirations relate to the research findings
• Identifying the needs that could be served through a joint platform.
• Agree on next steps

Day one: Getting to know each other

9:00-9:30 – Welcome and introductions.
9:30-10:30 – Objectives, expectations and concerns. Contract
10:30-10:50 – Break
10:50-13:00 – The story of the journey to get here. Trust walk? What helped me to feel safe/trusted?
13:00-14:00 – Lunch
14:00-15:30 – The story of the object that I brought
15:30-15:50 – Break
15:50-16:30 – The themes emerged from this activity
16:30-17:00 – Closure, reflection and next day plan

Day two: Setting the agenda

9:00-9:15 – Reflection on the day
9:15-13:00 – Re-visit the questions used for the interviews. Time line for the conflict
13:00-14:00 – Lunch
14:00-14:20 – Knot exercise
14:20-15:15 – Mapping exercise of the conflict
15:15-15:30 – Break
15:30-17:00 – Presentation of mapping and issues. Closure

Day three: Visioning

9:00-9:15 – Refection on the day. Objective of the day
9:15-13:00 – Crossing borders. Travel in a boat across the ‘border’ between Europe and Asia on the Bosphorus Strait
13:00-14:00 – Back to the hotel for lunch
14:00-15:30 – Reflect on the experience taking the boat and crossing. Visioning for people under occupation or oppression
15:30-15:50 – Break
15:50-17:00 – Boarders, transnational movements, and transnational solidarity

Day four

9:00-9:30 – Reflection and looking ahead
10:00-13:00 – What is platform for solidarity? What is the aim? Forces that hinder and drive such a platform? Next steps
13:00-14:00 – Lunch
14:00-15:00 – Ideas to develop this project for larger bid. Feedback and evaluation
15:00 – End

Palestine and Kashmir Transnational Solidarity Workshop Feedback Form

Q1. What did you find most useful during the workshop?

Response 1.
The knowledge exchange and the search for the common ground.
Understanding the reality better and trying to create a shared actual platform for starting on the real ground.
The tools used helped in understanding different opinions respectfully.
And the most important part is the unity that can be created among people who are oppressed.

Response 2.
What I found most useful was the conflict analysis tools which are very useful in understanding the individual components of a conflict.

Response 3.
Learning about the J&K, socially and politically.
The map of J&K was very useful and helped me during all the workshop.

Response 4.
Using conflict analysis tools to understand conflict thoroughly, in a better and comprehensive manner.

Response 5.
I got to better understand the historical and religious and political context in Kashmir. I got to see the similarities as well as the differences between both situations. Having a platform of solidarity.

Response 6.
I found the mapping exercise and conflict trees as one of the most useful learning during the exercise as it helped me to understand and learn the analysis of conflict in Kashmir and Palestine as well as the future that we can envision.

Response 7.
Well, it was really an informative workshop. I never thought about conflict and its resolution to such an extent. But the tools and methods used during the workshop has really helped me to think more inclusively in matters of conflict resolution.

Q2. What did you find least useful during the workshop?

Response 1.
The focus on differences should have been given more space.
To come clearer “not only differences between the two countries but also differences among the one group”.

Response 2.
There was no such thing.

Response 3.
To be honest, everything was useful.

Response 4.
Nothing. Every activity was relevant, and informative.

Response 5.
Some participants at some points tended to focus on differences and profiling which does not help. I think the situation in Kashmir should be treated as unified cause of Kashmiris not as conflict between Pakistan, India and China.

Response 6.
I think about the object that brought as I had understanding of the most of the thoughts and all of them were almost expected by me.

Response 7.
Everything was significant and I learned a lot from the workshop. The only problem was the group formation, not always, few times only.

Q3. Tell us something specific you learned about the groups

Response 1.
I have changed my whole perspective about the situation in J&K.
It’s not a fight between two countries, there are people who are seeking freedom from both sides I also have learnt that “colonialism” and its for resources is turning every heaven to hell not only in Palestine.

Response 2.
Living in Pakistani side which is an Islamic country I learned that we were not told about the problems Palestinian had to face because of the surrounding Muslim countries.

Response 3.
The political and social challenges within the J&K people, the different visions and point of views on the solution

Response 4.
Previously, I had another view of the Palestinian conflict, based on religion, but this workshop helped me understand the real context.

Response 5.
The historical, ethnic, political and economic complexity of the siatuion in Kashmir.

Response 6.
I learned and clarified my understanding about Palestine and Kashmir. I learned group diversity and diversity in perspectives.

Response 7.
I am from J&K and I learned many new things about Palesitnians. We used to think, it has something to do with Islam only, which isn’t the case.

Q4. Has the workshop added anything to your experience and understanding about working with both i) people from your own group and ii) other groups?

Response 1.
It added a lot to my experience: it actually raised the hope in me for accomplishing something great and the coming generation who is living under oppression have more in common than differences.
In Palestine the harmony in the group gives a great chance to work together and start a join action.
In Kashmir great work can be done and must be done.

Response 2.
I did realize that people of Palestine and people of J&K were subjugated in a similar way but having a same culture in Palestine keep them under some sort of unity no matter what your ideology. However people at Kashmir have many different cultures and many different religions and it is very hard to explain the audience their problem.

Response 3.
i) Yes it was really great working with Palestinians, in this context do these especially in a busy daily life that you don’t get to meetings.
ii) Absolutely! It added a lot, in every aspect.

Response 4.
This workshop as useful to understand a different narrative of members of my own group, and obviously, it was very fruitful and informative to work with other group, to comprehend their conflict in their language, not just media language.

Response 5.
Yes, in my group. I got to better understand the situation in geographic areas I don’t have access to and in the other group, I become more aware of the sitatuion that is different from the mainstream coverage of it.

Response 6.
Yes, it, indeed, helped a lot and made me more clear about my perspectives, the gaps in my thinking, the experiences of others through their lenses, the future and yes, a friendship among us forever. Indeed, this is one of the research activities that I enjoyed and would like to express that such practices should be expanded among the oppressed communities.

Response 7.
Within my group, I got to know the different perspectives about Kashmir more thoroughly.
About other group, I learned they had very limited understanding about Kashmir conflict.

Additional

Response 3.
I would like to thank you, Serena, Marwan and anybody who helped making this meeting happen. I have learned a lot. And I would like to thank each one of the participants I enjoyed every second, the workshops, the breaks, the tours… so, thank you and see you soon.

Response 5.
Thank you for your time and effort to make it happen I learnt a lot and I enjoyed every bit of it.

See also “Kashmiris and Palestinians Meet to Discuss Their Mutual Nakbas” in the Palestine Chronicle, where Yousef M. Aljamal discusses the workshop (an Arabic version is available here).

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