Monday, March 25, 2013

Tanya: A Little Story of Hope

by Miki Kashtan

When an email was forwarded to me a few months ago about a woman who has been sharing Nonviolent Communication in the Middle East, I really didn’t imagine what it would lead to within weeks. I only knew that I was touched deeply and wanted to do something to support this woman.

Tanya Awad Ghorra lives in Lebanon. She studied Nonviolent Communication (NVC) for ten days in 2009 at Lebanon's Academic University for Non-Violence and Human Rights in the Arab World (AUNOHR) when doing a masters in nonviolent education and conflict resolution, with teacher François Bazier from Belgium’s Université de la Paix. 

Tanya caught fire and took it upon herself to spread the message of hope she received to people who she knew needed it. She has trained hundreds of people in a number of countries: including Egyptian and Lebanese NGOs; Ministry of Interior affairs employees in Kurdistan (after they signed a law protecting women from abuse, in order to help them understand nonviolence); students, parents and teachers in several schools; and the leading bank in Lebanon. As a coordinator on the national campaign to abolish the death penalty in Lebanon, she has introduced NVC to death row inmates. In addition to many media appearances and a talk about empathy with TedX Youth (video here), she has presented a weekly fifteen-minute segment for the last six months introducing NVC to the public on a TV station broadcasting to the Arab world, Europe and the USA. She is single-handedly continuing her efforts to respond with empathy, love, and determination to the plight of so many people in the region.