FNF Lebanon and Syria Launches the Humans of Freedom Campaign
Beirut - The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) Lebanon and Syria gathered several activists, human rights defenders, civil society actors, academics, and representatives from political parties as well as local and international non-governmental organizations to celebrate the one year anniversary of their office in Beirut “Garage664” and to launch a new campaign introducing their community partners called “Humans of Freedom.”
The campaign aims to highlight the work of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation partners by documenting and sharing their stories, experiences, and efforts to support the Lebanese and Syrian communities alike. The Foundation seeks to tell their stories and missions for change through its official website as well as its social media outlets throughout the year. Inspired by the renowned Humans of New York blog, Humans of Freedom embodies a core value of the foundation – hence the campaign will share the human stories of all the individuals that FNF works for and with, in the region by sharing their experiences and freedom journeys around the world.
In this context, Project Manager Tala Itani commented “The Lebanon and Syria office reflects the spirit of freedom and welcomes individuals and groups from various walks of life and engages them in a variety of ways including training sessions, lectures and workshops.”
FNF Head of Office Dirk Kunze also welcomed the audience members by saying “A year ago, we invited you to explore this workspace with us and to partner with us on joint projects. We spoke of our dedication to freedom through ordinary tools.”
“This year we want to invite you once more to work with us under the framework of freedom, sustainable development, social entrepreneurship and education so that we can build open spaces to connect with everyone, to accept others and to instill a sense of tolerance and innovation,” he added.
The Garage664 team then gave a brief presentation of the projects implemented in partnership with Lebanese civil society organizations and universities during the past year, including a number of lectures and a series of discussions titled “Liberal Alphabet,” a qualitative research project launched with the Samir Kassir Center for Media and Cultural Freedom (SKeyes) focusing on the emerging Syrian media sector, and a publication in cooperation with the Notre Dame University (NDU) Louaizeh on freedom of expression on digital platforms and the surrounding risks.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom is an independent political-educational institution that promotes the principles of freedom of expression, human rights, education, training and political consultation since it was founded in 1958 by Professor Theodore Heuss. The Foundation currently operates in more than 60 countries around the world and throughout Germany and many countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, America and Asia.
It has been operating in Lebanon since 2011 and opened its new office last February which includes Lebanon and Syria. It has since then expanded its scope of work to include various partners from the political realm as well as civil society organizations. The team now works on a broad range of projects including human rights, conflict resolution, social market economies, education, freedom of the press and youth political participation.