Hussaini, Reyhaneh Gulsoom, Class of 2015 – (Afghanistan)

Practicum Summary:

Cultural Dialogue: An approach to social cohesion in Kabul City, Afghanistan

Reyhaneh’s research practicum focuses on the challenges and opportunities of intergroup dialogue between the Sikh and Muslim populations in Kabul City, and seeks to identify what impact this dialogue has on promoting social cohesion and mutual understanding. In order to collect data on the learning processes of and outcomes for youth of different ethnical backgrounds, Reyhaneh created a program dedicated to the promotion of peace and social cohesion through cultural dialogue. Using surveys, observations, and interviews, the study revealed that community members believe that cultural exchange through conversations and involving women as leader’s discussions have a great impact on improving intercultural relations between the Sikh and Muslim communities. In order to strengthen social cohesion between the two ethnic groups, Reyhaneh recommends implementing national policy with both parties involved, raising awareness about cultural exchange, addressing issues of prejudice and bias in communities, and including intercultural dialogue in public school curriculum.