Intercultural Dialogue Association continued its tradition of arranging iftar dinners in the homes of Muslim families in Ljubljana. An iftar is a fast-breaking dinner that takes place every night during the Islamic month of Ramadan.
Being an Islamic practice; iftars have often been Muslim-only events that hosts take pride in arranging. It is customary to invite whoever is fasting; whether the person is a close friend or a distant relative. There’s a strong tradition of hospitality during the month of Ramadan as iftars are eaten in the company of other Muslims.

Recently MKD has taken this tradition one step further and opened it up for those who are not Muslim. These home Iftars have been organized by MKD for many years; Iftar dinners bring together people of various faith and ethnocultural backgrounds and serve as a means of fostering dialogue and cross-cultural awareness in our multicultural society. They address various topics related to common teachings and values of different faith traditions and cultures. The feedback has indicated that these dinners not only facilitate a better understanding of the Islamic faith but also enhance the Muslim community’s sense of belonging in Slovenian society.

Each of these dinners has received many attendees from all walks of life. Last year; we arranged 20 iftars and had more than 100 guests from 10 different countries in the homes of Muslim families who were excited about the opportunity to host an iftar and warmly welcomed guests into their homes. Muslim families had the pleasure to host journalists; members of the media; academics; community leaders, and ex-pats from different countries.

MKD would like to thank all of the friends and guests who attended last year and will be attending this year’s home iftar and give a special thanks to the Muslim families who opened their homes to host a home iftar dinner.

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𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝒊𝒔 𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒂𝒏𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒅 𝒂𝒏𝒅 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒃𝒆 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒅𝒖𝒄𝒕𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝑰𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒓𝒄𝒖𝒍𝒕𝒖𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝑫𝒊𝒂𝒍𝒐𝒈𝒖𝒆 𝑨𝒔𝒔𝒐𝒄𝒊𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏

On January 16, World Religion Day, and January 27, World Remembrance Day for the Victims of Genocide, we made a series of visits as an Intercultural Dialogue Association.

Our aim in these visits was primarily to strengthen the ties between the 3 major religions of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Of course, we also wanted to examine the Orthodox and Catholic ways of worship and take a closer look at the genocide of the Jews, and share their feelings.

First of all, we visited the Orthodox church “Cyril and Methodius” and met Mr. Borislav, the priest who invited us. He welcomed us very well. Then we talked about dialogue, inter-religious dialogue, how little we actually meet among ourselves as people of different religions, and how we should meet more often.

Then we visited the famous Pink Church in the center of Ljubljana, the “Franciscan Church” and joined the prayer choir performed by young Catholics/students every Wednesday evening at 19:00. Afterwards, we met with Mr. Pavla Jakop, one of the priests of the Church who invited us and talked about the “World Religion Day”, the importance of dialogue and Mr. Pavla’s visits to Turkey.

Last but not least, with the invitation of Robert Waltl, the president of the Jewish Cultural Center of Ljubljana, we attended the commemoration event on “World Holocaust Victims Remembrance” day. We remembered these inhuman massacres that took place in these lands 78 years ago and said “We remember” together.

We realized the importance of dialogue between people of different religions, nationalities, and races in order to prevent the repetition of these and similar events anywhere in the world.

We would like to express our sincere thanks to Mr. Borislav Livopoljac, Mr. Pater Pavla Jakop, and Mr. Robert Waltl for receiving us at their places during these visits.

We are already very excited about the intercultural and interreligious dialogues we can have in the future.

Yesterday and today we attended the Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps information days at EU House.

We are very impressed by the time, resources, and financial support the European Union is giving to raising awareness and mobilizing young people.

In order to make this beautiful continent much more developed, socially diverse, and in solidarity, we, as the Intercultural Dialogue Association, will keep our young members informed about these projects and will do our best to participate in these beautiful projects this year and in the years to come.

Our “Let’s Burst Bubbles” project, which we have been running for the last two years for active citizenship, social inclusion, and intercultural dialogue, has already started to show some effects.

Last weekend, on the initiative of our members, we organized an intercultural dance evening for ladies from Slovenia and Turkey.
This was also an intergenerational event. New faces of all ages came.

We had a great time dancing and listening to music in Turkish, Slovenian, and many other languages.

Of course, we also brought some snacks and refreshments and at the end, we had a small banquet.

We will meet again soon.

Thank you to all the participants who made this evening a good one.

CNVOS

Socialna akademija

Zavod sv. Jurija

𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕 “𝑷𝒐č𝒊𝒎𝒐 𝑴𝒆𝒉𝒖𝒓č𝒌𝒆/𝑳𝒆𝒕’𝒔 𝑷𝒐𝒑 𝑼𝒑 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑩𝒖𝒃𝒃𝒍𝒆𝒔” 𝒊𝒔 𝒇𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝑪𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝑭𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝑺𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒂 𝒃𝒆𝒕𝒘𝒆𝒆𝒏 𝑵𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎 – 𝑫𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐.

Today we were invited to the new year gathering of Nefiks which took place in the cultural house Lavrica.

There were more than 10 different organizations and associations from different ends of Central Slovenia

We participated in various workshops and tried some herbal products which we prepared ourselves with the participants.

We also met with the most interesting guest of the night “Kevin” the millipede.

It was the first time we touched this incredible animal.

After all of course we enjoyed the local Slovenian foods and homemade drinks.

It was a great atmosphere to get to know new faces from the NGO sector and enjoy the locality of Slovenia.

Thank you for the invitation Zavod Nefiks It’s always great to stay in touch with you.

As lovers of dialogue, we did not let New Year’s Eve pass by empty and spent this beautiful time productively in the name of friendship and dialogue.

As the Intercultural Dialogue Association, we launched a gift-giving campaign, and together with our members we gave gifts to more than 150 people.

Some of our talented members even created some handmade gifts for their friends.

We believe that if we expect friendship, we must first show friendship. What the world expects from us, we expect from the world. Today, they call it empathy.

To put ourselves in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective. In other words, the ability to take into account expectations, feelings and thoughts, enthusiasms, and values that we respect.

We believe that, to the extent that we address this issue locally, we can, over time, widen the circle and help to create similar beauties around the world.

Perhaps this will be an important step in saving the world from the disaster into which it has been plunged. It is our duty to be representatives of good and to be able to face up to any evil that may arise.

2022 was a very fruitful and active year for our Dialogue Association.

We hope to continue our activities in 2023 with full energy.

We wish you a prosperous year full of understanding, empathy, and sustainable dialogue with loved ones and others.

May your New Year also be full of health, joy, and happiness.

9. True story

‘Creating a quality Slovenian language teaching program is definitely the best way to support migrants and refugees to integrate well, find jobs and become more independent’ (Wafa from Palestine, 41 years old).

The BODE (#BrezOvirDoEnakosti) project, which we run together with ADRA Slovenia, is committed to empowering people with a migrant background in the field of advocacy, as they often don’t get the right opportunity to present their side of the story. This time, however, it is different – by sharing real stories, we are fighting against the prejudice that migrants are not educated or skilled enough to participate equally and qualitatively in the progress of society in Slovenia.

This is Wafa’s story…

Wafa has a Master’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and a professional diploma in project management and fundraising. She has been living in Slovenia for some time with her husband and two children, as they were looking for more security and a more stable life due to living in Gaza and the emergency situation in the city as well as the country.

”The military offensives that have destroyed the infrastructure in Gaza have affected all aspects of life and essential services, including access to food, drinking water, education, electricity, fuel, etc… There are many restrictions on movement in and out of the city. For the last few years, I have been working as a Community Programme Manager for a UK-based international organization in their Gaza/Palestine field office. The program supports Palestinian refugees and provides access to basic services and trauma relief.”

Wafa, after arriving in Slovenia, successfully integrated into the community in a short period of time, learned about the system and the laws and passed her first language exam. However, she feels that language is the biggest barrier to integration for immigrants.

”I always encourage my children to speak Slovenian regularly and to participate in school activities. They are hardworking and have friends, which is very important. But I think that creating a strong quality Slovenian language teaching program will definitely be the best way to support migrants and refugees to integrate well, find a job and become more independent. Raising the awareness of the local population in the area of migration, which would provide more support to new arrivals, would be very successful and effective in my opinion.”

We are fighting stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice. It is important to stand together for social justice, equal treatment, and opportunities for all members of our society. Let’s be tolerant, friendly, and open to new faces, new acquaintances, and opportunities for people to surprise us positively as great employees, talented individuals, or just loyal friends. Although different, we are all equal.

More about the stories and the project:

www.MKDIA.org

www.ADRA.si/BODE

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𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕 “𝑩𝑶𝑫𝑬/𝑩𝒓𝒆𝒛 𝑶𝒗𝒊𝒓 𝑫𝒐 𝑬𝒏𝒂𝒌𝒐𝒔𝒕𝒊” 𝒊𝒔 𝒇𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝑪𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝑭𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝑺𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒂 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝑴𝒂𝒓𝒄𝒉 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐 – 𝒕𝒐 𝑵𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐.

CNVOS

WE HAD A GREAT INTERCULTURAL EVENING together with Radio Študent 89,3 MHz and ADRA Slovenija

On the 28th of November, at the event called Active Citizens for Positive Change at ZRC SAZU, we presented two projects funded by the Active Citizens Fund Slovenia, namely:

BODE (Brez ovir do enakosti/ No barriers to equality), implemented by Intercultural Dialogue and ADRA Slovenia and

Migrant migrant voice, implemented by Radio Student, Slovenian Philanthropy, and Radio Nova (Norway).

For our part, the No Barriers to Equality/No Barriers to Equality project celebrated the last intercultural event within the activities planned to showcase one of the practical tools for achieving advocacy goals.

At the event, participants were treated to interesting round table discussions on migration, where speakers shared their personal experiences and challenges of living in Slovenia.

We listened to wonderful music by the LIVE Ljubljana International Vocal Ensemble, Eka Yokodo, and amazing TEND Bend.

As well as the musicians and all the speakers, special thanks go to the volunteers from the Intercultural Dialogue Association for preparing the delicious snacks we shared at the end.🙏

Find out more about the projects:

Migrant migrantu glas/ Migrants Giving voice to Migrants, implemented by Radio Študent, Slovenian Philanthropy, and Radio Nova (Norway): https://acfslovenia.si/podprti…/migrant-migrantu-glas/

You can listen to the radio program Enolončnica, which was produced within the project: https://enoloncnica.radiostudent.si/

The BODE / No Barriers to Equality project is implemented by Intercultural Dialogue and ADRA Slovenia:

www.MKDIA.org

www.ADRA.si/BODE

Thank you to all the musicians who took part in our non-profit event.

Thank you Valentina Rajaković and Radio Študent 89,3 MHz for your cooperation.

Thank you Katja Kotnik and ADRA Slovenija for your cooperation.

Thank you also:

Furkan Güner for facilitating the event and participating in the round table

Kulturno društvo Gmajna and Aigul Hakimova for participation in the roundtable

Oleg Rogoza for his participation in the roundtable

Klevis Shkembi for his participation in the round table

– Gal Krizmanič for moderating the round table.

8. The Real Story

‘I came here as a professional volleyball player for the Slovenian national team. However, I have witnessed many very unkind comments. Ever since I can remember, people have asked me if I work in a nightclub and if I am a dancer’ (Svetlana from Ukraine, 50 years old).

The BODE project (#BreakOutOfDoEquality), which we run together with ADRA Slovenia, is committed to empowering people with a migrant background in the field of advocacy, as they often do not get the right opportunity to present their side of the story. This time, however, it is different – by sharing real stories, we are fighting against the prejudice that migrants are not educated or skilled enough to participate equally and qualitatively in the progress of society in Slovenia.

This is Svetlana’s story…

Svetlana from Ukraine is a professional trainer, teacher, author of two autobiographical books, and also a court interpreter. Since living in Slovenia, she has experienced great successes, but she has also witnessed many prejudices.

‘I came to Slovenia in 1994, when Ukraine became independent and the borders were opened. As a young professional volleyball player, I joined the Slovenian national team and played volleyball until I was 36 years old. I have been a primary school sports teacher for 22 years. I am proud to have been the first in my school to be awarded the title of councilor, which has encouraged other teachers to want to progress in this direction. At the same time, I consider it a great success that I managed to write two books in Slovenian, which was not easy, but despite the challenges, I managed to do it.’

Svetlana was elected as a municipal councilor in Ljutomer this year and was offered the opportunity to run for a parliamentary seat, which she did not accept due to family commitments and a desire to care more closely for her 5 children.

On the system and procedure for obtaining citizenship and integration itself, Svetlana believes it would be a very good idea to consider changing the law to make it easier for immigrants to obtain residence and work rights more quickly. She also thinks that it would be a good idea to improve housing policy procedures and the allocation of municipal housing to families in need.

‘During my life in Slovenia, I have witnessed many prejudices and some very unkind comments. I live in a small village where historically people have not had much contact with immigrants from other countries and cultures. I am a tall blonde from Ukraine and, for as long as I can remember, people have asked me whether I work in a nightclub and whether I am a dancer. I always had to explain that I don’t know how to pole dance, but that I play professionally for the Slovenian national volleyball team,’ Svetlana said about her challenges in Slovenia.

We fight stereotypes, discrimination, and prejudice. It is important to stand together for social justice, equal treatment, and opportunities for all members of our society. Let’s be tolerant, friendly, and open to new faces, new acquaintances, and opportunities for people to surprise us positively as great employees, talented individuals, or just loyal friends. Although different, we are all equal.

More about the stories and the project:

www.MKDIA.org

www.ADRA.si/BODE

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𝑻𝒉𝒆 𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕 “𝑩𝑶𝑫𝑬/𝑩𝒓𝒆𝒛 𝑶𝒗𝒊𝒓 𝑫𝒐 𝑬𝒏𝒂𝒌𝒐𝒔𝒕𝒊” 𝒊𝒔 𝒇𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒅 𝒃𝒚 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑨𝒄𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒆 𝑪𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒛𝒆𝒏𝒔 𝑭𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒊𝒏 𝑺𝒍𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒏𝒊𝒂 𝒇𝒓𝒐𝒎 𝑴𝒂𝒓𝒄𝒉 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐 – 𝒕𝒐 𝑵𝒐𝒗𝒆𝒎𝒃𝒆𝒓 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟐.

CNVOS

ADRA Slovenija

Ministrstvo za notranje zadeve