Germany: International Cafe
By UPF Germany
True to its name, the meeting started off with coffee and cake (September 25, 2016) which always comes as a welcome introduction. Then the program began with a short introduction to UPF and its goals.
Next, Ali Can, a young ambassador for peace, introduced the two prizes (COM.MIT AWARD) which he had won from RTL (German television channel).
He warmly thanked UPF for its support for his work. Ali, who himself came as a refugee to Germany is very engaged in work to help others in a similar situation to integrate and find their feet in this country. His desire is to build bridges and defuse prejudice. He recently established a ‘hotline for concerned citizens’ which he wishes to use as a tool to address people’s concerns about integration. On 2 November he will appear on the talkshow ‘Maischberger’ on the ARD- German first television channel.
Then the topic ‘Principles of Peace as a Foundation for Improving International Understanding and Integration-what UPF can contribute to a Peaceful Solution’ was introduced by an explanation from Claus Dubisz about the five basic principles of UPF:
- God- the parents of mankind
- Man- a spirit with a body
- Living for the sake of others
- The family- the foundation for society and the school of love
- Social competence
These principles can be applied on a small or larger level. The international and interreligious work which is based on these principles, is laborious but worthwhile and makes a decisive contribution to world peace. Thomas Fletcher, a former British Ambassador to Lebanon, once expressed it thus: ‘the real dividing line is not between Christianity and Islam, Sunni and Shia, East and West. It is between people who believe in coexistence and those who do not.’ In this context, the ‘World Scripture’ was mentioned, an anthology of texts from different religions on various topics-a real masterpiece. Already during the presentation as well as afterwards, a lively exchange of ideas and discussion developed.
Following this informative presentation, mention was made of two upcoming UPF events: on 8 October in Frankfurt on the topic of ‘near-death experience’, and on 16 October in Gießen on ‘Africa’.