Founding statement

Arab Network for Tolerance

The Arab Network for Tolerance is an independent, non-profit organization founded in September 2008 by Ramallah Center for Human Rights Studies. It is comprised of a number of civil society organizations and activists in the field of human rights and democracy in the Arab countries.

The Arab Network for Tolerance is a regional organization managed by a board of trustees from various Arab countries. It is aimed at restoring the culture of tolerance, defending democratic values and attempts to incorporate these qualities into the community culture.

The Network’s intellectual and legal standpoint is based on the International Law of Human Rights, putting at its forefront the UNESCO Declaration on Principles of Tolerance issued in 1996, as well as the progressive humanitarian thought in the Arab and global heritage.

Objectives of the Arab Network For Tolerance

First: to prevent all manifestations of violence and intolerance on both official and non-official levels in the Arab region, while promoting a culture of community peace, tolerance and true democratic traditions.

Second: to emphasize that the essence of tolerance is based on the right to be different. Therefore, this right must be respected and applied in practice. Its continuation must be defended and the culture of difference must be nurtured by supporting its positive aspects. 

 Third: to call for the expansion of public liberties (an essential factor for the installation of fundamental rights), which are based on tolerance values; being at its forefront the right to belief (whether religious or non-religious), the right to freedom of opinion and freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly and political pluralism. 

Fourth: to study the laws and legislations in the Arab countries, while also testing their conformity with values of tolerance, equality and non-discrimination. 

Fifth:  work to direct religious discourse in order for it to become a key tributary to disseminate the culture and values of tolerance, and to call for renouncement of all forms of incitement against the different “other” and to renounce all forms of militancy, ideological extremism and doctrinism.   

Sixth: to emphasize the necessity of justice for women and abolishing all forms of discrimination against them, while facilitating a way for them (women) to be granted all rights of citizenship. This is an inherent right for all human beings and a major goal that the culture of tolerance strives to achieve. In order for women to contribute to the dissemination of a more tolerant culture, we must first enable her rights.

Seventh: to invest in various media tools in order to develop a public awareness against extremist orientation through the promotion of a culture of dialogue and acceptance of the different “other”. 

Eight: to work for the elimination of all forms of political fanaticism and political incitement against the different “other”, by re-evaluating the doctrines of the political parties which participated in the generation of political intolerance.     

Ninth: to call on civil society organizations in the Arab countries to increase its involvement in the promotion of the culture of tolerance and its values, to fight against all manifestations of intolerance and discrimination, and to criticize and direct the efforts of the authorities towards preserving human rights for all.

Tenth: to encourage a reconsideration of the socialization process and to call for the adoption of programs to develop a culture of tolerance; first in families and secondly in schools and universities. This will not be done without substantial modifications in the educational system, particularly in its basic stages, with emphasis on the development of a culture of tolerance among university students, and the development of curricula and teaching methods corresponding with, and achieving, these mentioned goals.  

Activities of the Arab Network For Tolerance

Training courses: in collaboration with members of the Arab Network for Tolerance, the Network holds training courses aimed to prepare teachers in the field of tolerance. Also, these courses are intended to promote a culture of tolerance and to oppose violence, hatred and intolerance in the Arab communities in line with international laws on human rights.  

Annual conference for the Network: So far the Arab Network for Tolerance has held four annual conferences (three in Beirut and one in Casablanca). These conferences dealt with important topics such as the cultural relations between Mashriq and Maghreb, tolerance in the school curricula, the events of the Arab Spring and its impact on the state of tolerance in addition to the topic of transitional justice in light of the Arab Spring.

Arab Tolerance Award: the Arab Tolerance Award is granted every year during the yearly conference for the Network. The award is granted to people or institutions with a distinct role in promoting a culture of tolerance and opposition to fanaticism. 

-          In 2009, the first award was granted to the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Salim al-Hoss.

-          In 2010, the second award was granted to the Moroccan academic senior, Dr. Muhammad Muftah.

-          In 2011, the third award was granted to two youth representatives in Tunisia and Egypt.

-          In 2012, the fourth award was granted to the talented Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki.

International Day for Tolerance: the Arab Network for Tolerance and its members in their various countries celebrates International Tolerance Day which falls on November 16th each year.

Arab Day for Tolerance: the Arab Network for Tolerance and its members celebrate the annual Arab Tolerance Day, which was launched by the Network in 2008 and falls on September 2nd each year.

Publications: the Arab Network for Tolerance publishes a number of studies introducing the concept of tolerance and its historical development to the public. It also publishes reports and studies related to the state of tolerance in the Arab countries.


Projects & Activities

Ongoing Projects

Finalized Projects

Other Activities

 Latest Video 

6th Art Exhibition on Tolerance More..


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