Living Library The Hague

Living Library The Hague

The Living Library Event

We Organisation and its team in the Netherlands organized two living library events in the city of The Hague. 

On the 2nd and the 3rd of May 2019, The Hague Peace Projects, the Freedom book Fair Festival and WE Organization co-hosted two days living library in the city of the Hague. 

The first day (02 May) took place in collaboration with the Vrijheid-express (the freedom bus) in the heart of the Hague city center.

The location being in the heart of the Hague city center helped to reach people with diverse backgrounds. This location supported the goal to reach people who would potentially benefit the most from the experience of communicating with the books in the living library. 

On the 3rd of May, the event took place in the Migration Museum in the city of the Hague. The location helped to promote “living library” as an effective tool to support the inclusion of migrants.

In the Netherlands, Liberation Day is celebrated each year on May the 5th to mark the end of the occupation by Nazi Germany during World War II, and to honor the great value of freedom, democracy and human rights.

Impact

On the first day of the living libraries, four living books were invited to present and to share their stories with the citizens of the Hague. The event was a collaboration of three organizations, the Hague Peace Projects, WE Organization and the Freedom Bus. One hour prior to the event, a meeting was held between the books, volunteers and the facilitators. The purpose of the meeting was to make sure that everything is going well with everyone and that especially the books understand the process.

This meeting allowed the books to ask questions that they still had. For two and a half hours, 12 interested people read the books, half of the readers were Dutch citizens while the rest came from different countries, like Czech Republic, Canada, Libya, Spain and Morocco

After the event, there was a meeting between the facilittors, volunteers and the living books, in order to evaluate the outcome of the day and to see whether 

On the 3rd of May, 10 living books were presented in the Freedom book fair festival. The Living library had a diverse collection of living books who came from 7 different nationalities. The event took place in the Migration Museum in the city of the Hague. The living books shared their stories from 14:00 until 17:00 with 25 readers with 4 facilitators overseeing the event. 

One hour prior to the event, a meeting was held between the books, volunteers and the facilitators. The purpose of the meeting was to make sure that everything is going well with everyone and that especially the books understand the process. This meeting allowed the books to ask questions that they still had. At 14.00 the event started. For the first hour, a small number of readers joined, but around 15.00 more readers started to join and then all the living books were busy with readers. 

At the end of the event, an evaluation meeting was held between the facilitators, books and volunteers in order to evaluate the event and to thank everyone who was involved in the event.

The Catalogue

Syrian Refugee... AND Entrepreneur

Why is he not staying in neighboring countries? How did he arrive in The Netherlands? What is he doing in The Netherlands? 

Kurdish Asylum Seeker

Seeking asylum in The Netherlands; being oppressed in his homeland for coming from an ethnic-minority background

What is your religion?

A girl born in Russia to a Muslim father and Hindu mother lived in Bangladesh, India and finally in The Netherlands. Being interested in promoting interfaith harmony was no coincidence for her, but rather a journey of making peace with her own conflicting past and identities.

Syrian Refugee + Innovator

Aiming at making elderly’s life better!

Immigratie en Vrouwenkwestie

I would like to enrich my life story with your vision on: Pregnancy and child education, Love and cultural differences. Dealing daily with language barriers. Come and talk to me! 

Flying High with Broken Wings

At age 20, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and had chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, my doctors told me 3 times that I don’t have long to live but I’m still living and kicking. Despite everything I finished college and traveled around!

Nicaraguans Political Asylum-Seeker Language

My mother’s father fought against the Somoza dictatorship in 1979, he was later kidnapped and killed by “La Contra”; our family never found his body. This incident made politics very important for my mom, when I was a child, she would leave home during presidential elections to supervise the ballot boxes and made sure that the votes going to the FSLN and Daniel Ortega were not stolen by other parties. The same party and governor that is now kicking me and hundreds of Nicaraguans out of our country for standing against his regime 

Femme fatale! How my mom made me scared of women

After two years of therapy, my depression is gone and I’m doing well at university. Yet, a larger problem surfaced- my relationship with the other sex is troublesome at best and damaging at worst 

Syrian Refugee... AND Entrepreneur

Why do not staying in neighboring countries? How did he arrive in The Netherlands? What is he doing in The Netherlands? 

Kurdish Asylum Seeker

Seeking asylum in The Netherlands; being oppressed in his homeland for coming from an ethnic-minority background

Child Abuse & Mental Health Activist

Can anything good come out of a childhood filled with neglect, abuse, failed foster care placements and repeated failure of child protective services to truly help a child? And how is it possible that in a country as prosperous as the Netherlands, the system keeps failing to protect the children who need it the most? 

Let it go

I was born in Iraq. I lived there until I was 24 years old. In 2006 I came to the Netherlands independently, and had to let go of my family and my work (carrier). In my life I have experienced many radical situations in which I was taken out of my comfort zone, I was forced to let go. Only later did I realize that the release process is liberating.

Stakeholders

The project at local level in The Hague involved several stakeholders:

The Hague Peace Project: Supported the participation to the Freedom Book Fair, providing the location (freedom bus) for the first day of the library. and providing financial support (as for example: travel costs reimbursement of the books 7 volunteers, “Thank you” simple presents given to the books as a token of appreciation for their participations.)

The Migration Museum: Providing the place for the second day of the living library.

Organisation Description

WE organization is on a mission to be both a Resource and an Advocate for the value of Diversity and Inclusion.

Initiated in 2016 by Adel AlBaghdadi, WE organization is a youth-led, impact-oriented non-profit organization dedicated to promoting open Dialogue as a fundamental base for Social Cohesion and Peacebuilding processes. We fulfil our purpose through our: Educational/Training and Consulting/Advisory work. Our ultimate goal is to serve as a catalyst in enabling society to understand that Inclusion of All is a Value for All. 

At the heart of WE organization is the basic idea that one must engage with “The Other”. To date, we have designed and implemented several projects & programs aiming at fusing the Dutch local communities around the concept of ‘Understanding Through Interaction’; addressing the rise of Xenophobia & Populism through the Power of Conversation.

WE organization has been part in more than 6 Human Library editions across the Netherlands. 

VYRE – Voices of Young Refugees in Europe – is a European network organisation created by, with and for young refugees. Its role is indispensable as many young people with refugee background in Europe face discrimination and very often exclusion when it comes to possibilities for participation in the society.

A strong network, in which members can share experiences and raise common concerns, acquire new skills and strengthen their capacities, can contribute to Europe with greater knowledge of the reasons for being a refugee and with greater capacity for building social cohesion with intercultural learning as a base. 

Since its creation in 2008, VYRE has been focusing on the social inclusion of young refugees and on ensuring that they are given a voice to participate actively in society. Since the beginning of 2013, VYRE is registered as a legal international network, with over 200 members all over Europe and beyond. The organization brings together young refugees, professionals/volunteers and organizations working with them.

VYRE is a member of the Advisory Council on Youth – a statuary body of the Council of Europe on youth policies – where it raises the issues of young refugees, their social inclusion and participation, as well as the transition of unaccompanied minors into adulthood.

VYRE has extensive experience in living library with a number of its members taking part in such activity in the past.

WeOrganisation and ArteWeda are both members of VYRE.

The Coordination team

The local Living Library in The Hague was possible thaks to the engagement of the Coordinators Team,
the Librarians, Facilitators, Interpreters and specially to every and each Human Books with their live stories.

Razan Damlakh

Activist

From Syria (Aleppo), based in The Netherlands since Oct 2011. Razan is committed to promoting dialogue and advancing social innovation
for a more inclusive, resilient and thriving society. She is actively involved in exploring perceptions, practices, and policies that empower refugees (i.e. newcomers) to lead a life of dignity, community, and opportunity.
Migration & Integration, Facilitation & Intercultural Communication, Active Citizenship & Civic Engagement, Transformative Learning & Non-Formal Education, Storytelling & Social Well-being are topics Razan is keenly interested in. Currently, Xavier is working on the Council of Europe Programme: Youth Together that seeks to reduce the risks of social exclusion and violence that young refugees, especially minors in transition to adulthood, are exposed to. It supports the social inclusion of young refugees and their access to education, self-development and autonomy through youth work and non-formal education activities.

Mohammed Taha

Activist

A global citizen with a refugee background. Eager to contribute to equal and just chances for all people and motivated to support dialogue and peace building.
Mohammed has more than six years of development experience working on the strengthening of internally displaced persons (IDs) and refugee empowerment in Syria, Lebanon and the Netherlands. Demonstrated skills in developing, implementing, and evaluating action plans for projects, especially in conflict settings and fragile state contexts.

Adel AlBaghdadi

Founder of We organitzation

Born & raised in Syria (Damascus). Adel went to Law School to pursue his dream of becoming a diplomat and working in an international humanitarian organizations contributing to Peace Building. After a long, risky, physically & emotionally tough journey, Adel arrived in 2015 to the Netherlands where he is fortunately enjoying safety and freedom.
``Social Changemaker``, that's how Adel boldly calls himself; he makes the daily conscious decision to be a part of the solution and not the problem. Adel is a firm believer in possibilities, he is a passionate social entrepreneur, and the founder of Weorganization.nl

Cihan Kilic

VYRE

As a human rights educator and an activist trained in multidisciplinary programs he had a field experience in human rights related projects in Western Africa, in Turkey and in France. He has been mainly working on projects focusing on the social inclusion of the disadvantaged youth.