Muslim Council of Elders Graduates Second Azadi Fellowship Cohort

The Muslim Council of Elders (MCE) successfully concluded the second edition of its Azadi Fellowship Programme in Islamabad, Pakistan. The initiative aimed to empower young men and women from diverse religious backgrounds to become agents of peace and understanding.

The two-week program brought together 25 fellows, representing various sects and faiths within Pakistan. Through a series of discussions and workshops led by a distinguished international faculty, participants honed their skills in interfaith dialogue, peacebuilding, and countering extremism. Speakers included prominent figures from the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Indonesia, and Pakistan itself.

The curriculum focused on equipping fellows with the tools and knowledge to promote tolerance and human fraternity within their communities. Sessions addressed the challenges of global peacebuilding, emphasizing the importance of communication and mutual respect across religious and cultural divides. Fellows also participated in workshops aimed at tackling hate speech and discrimination.

The Azadi Fellowship Programme wasn't limited to the core participants. The MCE, in collaboration with Pakistani institutions like the International Research Institute and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Centre of Excellence on Countering Violent Extremism, brought together over 100 religious leaders, intellectuals, and peacebuilding experts from across the country. Representing various religions and speaking five different languages, this diverse group engaged with the fellows, fostering a spirit of understanding and collaboration.

The closing ceremony of the program was marked by a sense of optimism and commitment. Fellows expressed their gratitude to the MCE for its pioneering efforts in promoting interfaith dialogue and social harmony. They pledged to act as "ambassadors of coexistence and peace, " carrying the message of tolerance and understanding back to their communities.

The MCE's Azadi Fellowship Programme serves as a significant initiative in fostering peace and understanding within Pakistan's diverse society. By equipping young leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge, the program empowers them to become agents of positive change, promoting coexistence and countering extremism at the grassroots level.

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