UNIFIL-trained youth perform on the eve of International Youth Day

Mohammad Istanbouli, 6, captures his friends’ theatre performance with his professional camera. UNIFIL’s Deputy Head of Mission and Director of Political and Civil Affairs, Imran Riza, and Commander of UNIFIL’s Sector West Brig Gen Francesco Olla in the background enjoying the show. 

A group of youth from Tiro for Arts performs a short play about the effects of remnants of war on youth and children during the celebration of International Youth Day at UNIFIL HQ, Naqoura. 

A team of female Taekwondo players, from South Lebanon, exhibits their martial arts skills to the audience under the supervision of their Korean trainer from UNIFIL’s Korean Battalion.

A young female Taekwondo player from south Lebanon succeeds in breaking a wooden board held by her trainer from UNIFIL’s Korean Battalion during the International Youth Day celebration at UNIFIL HQ, Naqoura.

A young woman from the Center for Cultural Reading and Animation explains her artwork to UNIFIL’s Deputy Head of Mission, Mr. Riza, and Commander of UNIFIL’s sector West Brig Gen Francesco Olla at the art exhibition during the celebration of International Youth Day at UNIFIL HQ, Naqoura.

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11 Aug 2017

UNIFIL-trained youth perform on the eve of International Youth Day

A group of youth from south Lebanon, who trained for three months on theatre skills through a UNIFIL-funded project, performed at the UN Mission’s headquarters on Thursday, marking International Youth Day (12 August). 
At the ceremony held in Naqoura and attended by senior UNIFIL officials, the 75 youth displayed a set of newly acquired skills in theatre arts. 
Since April this year, UNIFIL partnered with Tiro Association for Arts in training the youth. Through this project, the Association conducted trainings and workshops on theatre skills, including self and body expressions and drama therapy. The project seeks to encourage the trained youth to organize theatre shows in their communities to promote the culture of peace and co-existence.
In his remarks at the UNIFIL event, UNIFIL Deputy Head of Mission, Imran Riza, highlighted the importance of arts and culture as a medium of communication in helping to bridge cultural, ethnic and diversity.
“Youth can play a very important role in getting other young people to understand and accept cultural and religious differences, to overcome alienation and create a sense of belonging and inclusion,” said Mr. Riza. “I hope that with these skills, trained youth feel empowered to go back to their communities and work for a positive change.”
UNIFIL’s Sector West Commander Brig. Gen. Francesco Olla highlighted four words – dream, tradition, education and acceptance – as a way to train youth. 
Kassem Istanbouli of the Tiro Association said, “By youth and by arts we can build the future and we can build peace.”
Since the adoption in 2015 of Security Council Resolution 2250, which defined youth as persons aged 18 through 29, there is growing recognition that as agents of change, young people are critical actors in conflict prevention and sustaining peace. The central theme of this year’s International Youth Day observance is “Youth Building Peace.”


Article: Tilak Pokharel
Video Camera: Suzane Badereddine
Video Editor: Suzane Badereddine
Stills: Ghifar Charafeddine