Message from the Board President
The Forum for Development, Culture and Dialogue (FDCD) was founded in 2004 to respond to the needs of poor and marginalized people in the Middle East. In the years since it was founded, as a people’s movement with the Urban Mission program URM (1985), FDCD has achieved a great deal in community development, training new leaders, and establishing bridges of understanding both within our region and between the Middle East and western countries.
As the challenges facing the Middle East region change, so must FDCD. Through a process of organizational assessment, reflection, and analysis, FDCD has adopted a new three year strategic plan that will position FDCD to build on its past successes and address new issues. Despite efforts by global and Middle East leaders to end conflict in our region of the world, peace remains elusive. Moreover, many people find themselves marginalized from public life, without the human rights provisions that are accorded to every human being. Where our political leaders have failed, ordinary women, men and youth can succeed. Our new strategic plan focuses our resources in several areas:
developing grassroots leaders, especially women and youth, who will mobilize their communities and civil society organizations to play an active role in building a culture of peace and dialogue
promoting equal citizenship and human rights for marginalized people in the Middle East, particularly women and youth, the impoverished, and other vulnerable groups
creating spaces of dialogue and understanding for people of different faiths, ethnicities and nationalities to break down barriers of mistrust and create bonds of peace
FDCD is ready to enter a new phase of work, one that is moving us from a project to a program approach, that will focus our resources for deeper impact, and that will create new alliances and networks as the power of civil society grows in the Middle East.
For many people, the Middle East has been synonymous with conflict, fear and suffering. We have a vision at FDCD that the diversity of this region can be a model for peaceful co-existence in the world. Our strategic plan will help make that happen. We invite our volunteers, partners, and other supporters to join us in this work of peace and dialogue, to create a just society in every country of the Middle East, where no one is violated or discriminated against because of their gender, faith, ethnicity, nationality or other identity.
Rev. Dr. Riad Jarjour