On 4 October 2021, Nextep Organization conducted a concentrated discussion session via Zoom application entitled “Employment Diversity to serve the Common Good “.
The session was attended by 11 people from different ethnic and religious components in the region. They exchanged views on many points that were addressed in the dialogue session, which began with an assessment of the historical and present day impact of diversity in the country. Commenting on this, the attendees emphasized that the Syrian government administrations have employed this diversity negatively through marginalization of some government administrations and preference of some over the other. This has led to the creation of rifts and gaps between communities of Syria, in addition to the absence of a culture of accepting others among the members of society themselves.
Discussing the challenges that stood in the way of investing this diversity to serve the common good, different opinions arose. One such view is that governments stood as an obstacle to investing in diversity, in addition to the Syrian war, which widened the gap between Syrians of their different religious, ethnic and other diversities. Religious norms played a negative role that contributed to the distinction between religiously different people, according to those in attendance.
As for the parties that can play a role in positively investing in diversity, the majority of views were concentrated on the need to strengthen the role of civil society organizations, media outlets, media professionals, and community leaders, given their direct impact on all segments of society. Some have the idea that discriminatory discourse should be criminalized in order to encourage acceptance of diversity within communities, and promote diversity within the school curricula, in addition to considering inclusion of the concept of gender diversity as well.
A number of attendees suggested developing the ideas in the session in order to find practical solutions that would promote diversity, and invest it optimally as an important step towards building sustainable peace in the country.