Community Members Promised to Protect Haramaya University

 

Haramaya University has made an awareness building conference on October 2, 2019 with local community members on peace matters and on how to ensure the stability and growth of the university.

The conference participants are from the surrounding administrative localities of the rural community. Religious leaders, gada practitioners, women, youth, and members of public and community police were among the participants. The consultative conference was arranged based on the view that collective and inclusive peace is ensured by creating public spaces for interactive and co-constructive engagement.

Haramaya University Acting President Dr Jemal Yousuf in his opening speech explained that the consultative platform created the opportunity to openly discuss on what should be done to promote and establish a state of peaceful co-existence where all members of the society, irrespective of their religion, ethnicity and political orientations, can exist together based on principles of mutuality, reciprocity and interactivity.

The participants exchanges their views and insights that peaceful co-existence is ensured in a society where all members work to access one another’s perspectives and exert their efforts to attain collective resiliency. The community elders as well as religious leaders emphasized that peace prevails when we speak good words to one another and when we try to drive off darkness with light instead of facing darkness with darkness.

The community members emphasized that our peace can continue to exist if we reconcile with our past, make our present one full of resilience and work to create the future that is meaningful for all of us. In relation to this, they iterated the fact that good and respectful words are resilient and impactful voices that have the capacity to reverberate for generations. They accentuated also that a stronger state of peaceful co-existence can be maintained by nurturing mutual care and respect, and by building common mutual understanding on one another’s competing political and social narratives, when all of us fulfill our moral, institutional and civic obligations to the rest of society and when we do things that yield social justice and bring about peace and harmony. The consultative meeting generally created awareness that only a society that listens to itself can resiliently respond to irregularities and mishaps.

In relation to supporting and protecting Haramaya University, the participants emphasized the importance of closer and cooperative interaction between all stakeholders. They stated that the university and its surrounding people can get reliable peace if all of the concerned stakeholders organize their agency around the principles of mutuality and interdependence. The community members promised to protect the university from becoming a victim of caustic agenda and destructive agents. They voiced the view that they would not allow their university and the surrounding community to become the breeding grounds of individuals that want to sow the seed of divisiveness and disintegration. They pledged that in the event that any divisive discourses enter the community, they would assume fuller responsibility to beat back through positive counter-discourses that reinforce norms of tolerance, and mutual respect.

 

According to the Vice President for Administrative and Student Affairs Prof. Jeylan Weliyi, HU is working with the surrounding community and other stake holders to ensure the stability and growth of the university.

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