Grasping a Vision of Peace: WYA Middle East Welcomes New RDO

 “The values advocated by WYA are my own personal values,” shares Dima Khalifeh, WYA Middle East’s new Regional Director of Operations.

Hailing from Ghazieh, South Lebanon, Dima studied law at the Lebanese University. She has a post-graduate diploma in Business Law and has worked as a lawyer for two years before going into the Humanitarian field. There, she worked as a legal assistant in domestic violence, child abuse, and family law for Syrian Refugees. She has also previously worked under the Juvenile Justice Research Project as a Program Manager Assistant-Researcher.

Dima recalls encountering WYA through a friend who took the Certified Training Program (CTP) in 2014. “My friend told me about it because she knew that my values were in line with WYA’s. I came to WYA with a bit of skepticism thinking that it is just another organization that fights for modern Human Rights. I was taken away by the curriculum of the CTP; and ever since I read it, I was determined that this is the curriculum I wanted to include in the formal education system.” Since then, Dima had taken her WYA involvement to the next level by finishing the CTP and participating in a WYA National Committee.

     

Now as WYA Middle East’s Regional Director of Operations, she is excited to spread the CTP in schools and universities until there will be chapters that will advocate for the CTP to become part of the curriculum at a government level. “I am passionate about education and about creating a revolution in the current education system. Our system today indoctrinates, standardizes thought and chains self-expression. I want to help create a system that encourages individuality, creativity and honest self-expression. I believe children are born geniuses with unlimited potential and imagination. With the right approach, the education system can help children become the best version of themselves,” shares Dima when asked about her interests.

Looking forward, Dima hopes to consolidate WYA chapters in the Middle East region into an annual forum and support the theoretical learning from the CTP with experiential learning projects. “I (would) like to start a research project on Human Dignity, Peace and Human Rights in Islam and Christianity in coordination with religious schools in the Middle East; as religious diversity is both, a richness and a challenge to peace in the region. After starting with the CTP, I (would) like to pilot the use of the Human Dignity Curriculum (HDC) in schools in order to, eventually, adopt it as part of the school curriculum.”

As Dima steps into the directorship for the WYA Middle East region, she details the role of education in the grand project of peace building as part of her advocacy, “In order to achieve peace in the world, it needs to be reached inside the mind first. Through awareness, personal development and proper education that gives insight about the human person and human dignity, this vision can be grasped.” WYA warmly welcomes Dima into the family!