Summer Academy of Intercultural Dialogue

The Summer Academy aims to create opportunities for dialogue among young propagators of freedom, tolerance and reconciliation and to open up new avenues into the conflicts where they come from. Israel and the Occupied Territories remain deadlocked in a decades-long conflict over land. The cumulative effect of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship, the Iraq War that started in 2003 and now ISIS terror, has been that people in Iraq and the Kurdish Region can hardly remember times of peace anymore. Within Bosnia and Herzegovina, thinking in ethnic categories has become entrenched, and life is dominated by a lack of prospects and the search for identity. The group from Germany works on various social and political issues that are of relevance to the situations in the other countries.

The 2017 edition of the Summer Academy for Intercultural Dialogue tookplace from 14 to 28 August 2017. As in years past, the organizers are working with local partners to put together the next set of groups. This year the academy focusesd on memory culture – with the motto: "Glimpses of the future, lie in the images of the past"

2016 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Wings of Hope Foundation's Summer Academy for Intercultural Dialogue. Every year since 2006, the academy has been cultivating in young adults the skills to propogate freedom, tolerance and reconciliation. It transcends regional ethnic and religious conflicts and, irrespective of their country of origin, provides participants a framework for finding ways out of violent situations and dealing with the trauma they leave behind . For the tenth year running, five groups of five young adults from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Palestine, Israel, Iraqi Kurdistan and Germany gathered at Labenbachhof in Ruhpolding, Germany, for the Summer Academy for Intercultural Dialogue from 22 August to 05 September 2016 under the motto: “The seeds of the moment are the trees of the future”. During those two once-in-a-lifetime weeks, the 25 young women and men between the ages of 18 and 26 engaged in dialogue and grew through new encounters. Whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim, they looked beyond ethnic and political differences and came together in seeking strategies to vanquish hate, intolerance and violence. In workshops and seminars, they explored the effects individual and collective traumas have on their societies, delved into their own and other cultures and overcame challenges together. They experienced cultural diversity in day-to-day cohabitation and forged friendships across borders and other geopolitical lines.