Middle East

PAX has been working in the Middle East since the 1990s. Since 2000, its focus has been on local civil society and individual activists who can play a role in social and political changes in the region.
We concentrate on augmenting trust and normalising relations. We work on society's structure and build peace within and between societies to create a new political climate.

Flickr user Rod Waddington Sana Yemen CC BY-SA 2.0

The Strengthening Civic Courage programme in Yemen

In the aftermath of the 2011 popular uprising to bring down the Saleh regime, Yemen has faced immense pain and conflict. Various conflict actors have committed war crimes and grave human rights violations and have caused a severe humanitarian crisis. The civic space in Yemen is considered almost closed. Grassroot organizations lack protection, capacity, and opportunities to access international networks. Supporting the civil society in Yemen contributes to efforts towards sustainable peace. This is what PAX, and its partners are working on through the Strengthening Civic Courage programme.  

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Energizing Reform_Programme_Iraq.png

Energizing Reform: Engaging citizens in national legislative processes in Iraq

Energizing Reform is a project implemented by IIHLR, Ceasefire, PAX and PFO to make citizens voices heard in Baghdad and Erbil. Project runtime: 2020 – 2021

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Photo Albin Hillert/WCC

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) guarantees the protective presence of international observers in fragile communities on the West Bank including East Jerusalem. Monitoring developments in the occupied territories and reporting human rights violations brings extra protection. Key principles of the programme are: nonviolence, monitoring of human rights violations, protective presence, standing with local peace and human rights groups, advocacy, and principled impartiality.


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Musawat-Iraq participants at a capacity building workshop, 2021

Musawat: Engaging Youth from Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon on Freedom of Religion and Belief

Musawat, meaning equality in Arabic, is a regional project implemented by PAX and partners running since 2019 in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine. 

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Israel and Palestine

PAX has worked in Israel and Palestine since the late 1990s. Therefore, PAX has a strong network among Israeli and Palestinian activists and organisations that share the same goals: the protection of human rights, an end to the occupation of the territories that Israel has held since 1967, and a viable and just peace in the region grounded in International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL). PAX supports local partners in building resilient communities, promoting human security and equality in the political, cultural and social domain, and in fighting the injustices resulting from the protracted occupation.
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The PAX programme in Iraq aims to address root causes and patterns of conflict, with a particular focus on the lack of inclusive governance, the lack of inclusive transitional justice and the lack of inclusive human security. Cooperating closely with local civil society and peace-activists, PAX implements projects that seek to build trust between and within communities, facilitate dialogue between policy makers and citizens, promote inclusive citizenship, and enhance gender-sensitivity in the security sector.
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In Lebanon, peace organisation PAX works with local partners on projects focussed on human rights and conflict resolution and on initiatives to mobilize young people for peace and direct peaceful action. Our partners lobby the Lebanese government to change laws and to respect human rights and activate young people for culture and peaceful activism. For instance, they call on the government to repeal legislation on different religious groups and to give Palestinian refugees more rights. On a grassroots level we work on building capacities of local young people from different backgrounds to use culture as a means to deal with violence, war and hatred.
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Peace organisation PAX supports the struggle of peaceful activists in Syria to create a democratic Syria in which Syrians of all religious and ethnic backgrounds can live in peace and equality.
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Training Human Security Survey in Iraq

Human Security Survey Iraq

The Human Security Survey (HSS) is a survey methodology developed by PAX which includes a series of complementary activities, including population-based research, community engagement, and advocacy.
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A woman filming as part of the Empowering women and challenging gender norms programme in Palestine

Empowering women and challenging gender norms in Palestine

An important (and challenging) part of peacebuilding work - alongside conflict resolution, political dialogue, inclusive participation and so forth – is behavioural change. Influencing harmful and entrenched ideas, beliefs and attitudes takes time and requires innovative approaches. Engaging in the cultural sector, particularly film, can be an effective tool to do so.
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Addressing Gender Roles in South Lebanon using Mobile Cinema

Arts and culture can be an effective means to bring people together across sectarian divides. Establishing independent creative spaces in conflict or post-conflict settings is not an easy quest; it can be a highly political endeavour, and is often not prioritised in peacebuilding efforts. PAX has been working with Lebanese organisation Tiro Association for Arts in the south of Lebanon since 2015, supporting them to break through existing social divisions by bringing (young) people together from different backgrounds to re-activate culture and connect with one another.
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