Meet Our Alumni: Renee Hattar
My name is Renee Hattar. I am the Head of International Studies, Programs and Projects at the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS). I am passionate about spreading a culture of peace and dialogue among youth, especially through music. I hold a PhD in Peace Studies from the University of Granada-Spain (specialty: Music and Peace) and a BA in French and German languages from the University of Jordan. I worked as Coordinator of the Middle East Department at the International Center for the Study of Christian Orient in Granada-Spain and taught Arabic Language and Culture at the Institute of Theology “Lumen Gentium”, affiliated to the Faculty of Theology at the San Damaso Ecclesiastical University/Spain 2006-2016. I also served as consultant of interfaith relations (Christianity-Islam) for the Spanish Episcopal Conference, 2012 to 2016. Through my work at RIIFS, I have participated in, designed and supervised many conferences, workshops, research projects and studies.
I attended the training course “Religious Fundamentalism as a Joint Challenge-Concepts and Measures required in Europe and the Middle East”, which Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom organized in both Germany and Brussels in September 2016. I joined a group of colleagues from different NGOs whose work is related to peacebuilding, dialogue, culture and CVE coming from different countries of the Middle East. The course we attended included cultural visits, expert meetings, presentations and debates about different aspects of integration and causes of radicalization and religious fundamentalism in the European Union, with case studies from Germany and Belgium. The German experience regarding receiving Syrian refugees back then and the policies taken on a national level to adapt with the crisis was very impressive. I learned a lot and met many interesting people whose experiences were enriching and some of them became my friends.