Fighters for Peace is a unique Lebanese NGO, which brings together individuals who were actively involved in violent actions during the Lebanese Civil War (1975–1990). It was founded in the aftermath of the violent clashes taking place in Tripoli in 2013. Those events prompted a group of Lebanese and Palestinian ex-fighters to speak up in order to prevent the outbreak of violence. Fighters for Peace is the only organisation in Lebanon consisting of former fighters from different political, religious and social backgrounds. The organisation has 46 members, among them over 30 former combatants and an office in Beirut.
Mission and Activities
The mission of Fighters for Peace is to engage fellow ex-fighters as well as the youth and civil society activists to promote non-violence, reconciliation and foster lasting civil peace. The main approach of the organisation is to create a safe space for reflection and share war experiences and stories of personal transformation. Activities by Fighters for Peace include dialogue sessions at various institutions such as schools and universities. They also provide psychosocial support for former fighters and trainings on peace-building and conflict transformation. By reaching out to (former) combatants beyond Lebanon, they aim to support neighbouring countries affected by civil war and violence as well. Since 2017, Fighters for Peace has also been active in Europe, addressing Syrian refugees. The organisation uses a variety of creative methods for their work such as playback theatre where a group of actors enacts stories about the Civil War told by former fighters. It has also produced a number of documentary films such as Fighting for Peace. On the psychosocial level, Fighters for Peace applies biography work. They encourage former fighters to reflect on their life journey and build positive future perspectives. In addition, the organisation maintains a website, featuring testimonies by the former fighters.
Cooperation with forumZFD Lebanon
Fighters for Peace has been cooperating with forumZFD in the programme Dealing with the Past since 2014. Mutual support has been provided in trainings on the topic of Dealing with the Past. Fighters for Peace representatives have attended forumZFD trainings as both guest speakers and participants. Members of the organisations also use The Memory of War training manual and the methodology developed by forumZFD for their activities. In 2018, forumZFD and Fighters for Peace started to develop a strategic partnership to work in specific neighborhoods in Beirut.