by C:F Team on 3rd May, 2016 at 8:01 PM CEST
Last week, C:F delegation comprised by Stefan Alijevikj, C:F President, and Ilija Najdov, C:F Local Representative from Macedonia, travelled to France, to attend the FATE 2016 Summit, which took place in Paris on 28th and 29th of April, 2016.
FATE stands for Families Against Terrorism and Extremism, and, it's a network working to prevent radicalisation and counter violent extremism across Europe. The FATE 2016 Summit was an initial event where different organizations, NGOs, think-tanks, activists, were able to network, get to know each others work, and possibly arrange activities that will tackle exactly the issues of radicalisation, thus confront violent extremism by building counter-narratives. The Summit marked 6th months after the Paris Attack that took place in November, 2015.
"At the summit we were able to hear not only some eminent speakers who are really knowledgable on the situation of how extremist groups operate across the world, but also to hear the personal stories and experiences of mothers, fathers, brothers whose closed ones were vicitms one way or another to violent extremism. By hearing their personal stories, we were able to connect really emotionally with them, and once again, to realize how serious this issue is for the world as a whole. These persons already run successful educational and engaging initiatives which need further support and growth in the combat of extremism and terrorism," shares C:F President Stefan Alijevikj.
C:F Team representatives
"I was most touched by the Mothers whose sons have been converted in radicalists, and have joined the Islamic State. Most often, these persons have paid the cost to this experience with their own life, leaving their families heart-broken. Hearing these stories directly enabled me to share the pain that they showed on the stage. It is in these moments that you realize that the figure of the Mother is the ultimate power of the universe - the Mother as a person, the Mother as our very own Planet Earth. It is in this figuire where both 'creation' and 'destruction' are consisted. Maybe we are still not aware how serious the problem of extremism is - forms which abuse religions and ideologies. This could be only the beginning of what we see, and we really need to work really hard to prevent further radicalisation," shares Ilija Najdov, C:F Local Representative from Macedonia who was also part of the C:F delegation on the summit in Paris.
"Given all the world events in the past years, from the bombings and attacks in Istanbul, Ankara, Lahore, Brussels, Paris, to which many of our C:F community members also shared personal experiences - events that only grow in intensity and numbers as the years go by - I think this type of summit was very much needed. I am really looking forward that we now connect as a community more to these networks and start creating a strong counter-narrative to extremism together," adds Stefan.
Sharing stories: A father whose daughter has been victim of the Paris Attacks
Sharing stories: The experience of the Mothers