On 29 November 2019, UNESCO Beirut, in collaboration with the Institute of Social Sciences at the Lebanese University (LU), organized a seminar on “Social inclusion and social cohesion” at the premise of the Lebanese University. The seminar aimed to share the findings of a field research on “Marginalized Women: the case of the Syrian elderly at times of war and forced displacement” conducted by Prof. Maha Kayal and Prof. Lubna Tarabey, as well as the findings of a field research on peace building in cooperation with Fighters for Peace (FFP) represented by the president of the NGO, Mr Ziad Saab, and Ms Christina Foerch.
In the opening, Prof. Marlene Haidar, the dean of Institute for Social Sciences introduced the topic of the field research and expressed her gratitude for the continuous partnership with UNESCO. Prof. Haidar stated that the Institute for Social Sciences looks forward to addressing more topics that are important and relevant for the Lebanese society with the aim of producing solutions and building a better community.
For her part, Dr. Seiko Sugita, UNESCO Beirut’s Programme Specialist for Social and Human Sciences, stated that social science research is embedded in a human rights framework. She highlighted the role of social science research in addressing the human face of migration, and examining the human implications of the movements of people from a human rights perspective. Dr Sugita also stated that in order to achieve SDGs, in particular SDGs 5, 10 and 16 specifically dedicated to inclusive societies and the reduction of inequalities, policies and solutions should be multi-pronged in order to be feasible, effective, and sustainable.
Dr. Lubna Tarabey shared the research methodology and findings. During the research, 20 Syrian elderly and rural refugee women were interviewed with the aim to look in depth into an intersection of elements of vulnerabilities: refugee status, gender, aging and rural life. Proposed recommendations for actions were further discussed with the experts from UN WOMEN, UNHCR and Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA). The report is now published at LU website.
As to Ms Christina Foerch from Fighters for Peace she spoke of the renewed relevance and importance of collecting stories of ex-fighters in order to promote sustainable peace in the current context of Lebanon.