Last Friday, the peaceful coexistence team at URDA under the Protection Sector concluded URDA’s football tournament in Bekaa (known to host the highest number of refugees in Lebanon) which aimed at promoting social cohesion among different nationalities.
The tournament was organized under the auspices of the Embassy of Finland in Beirut, represented by Anna Savolainen, in addition to PARCIC represented by Yuhki Ohnogi, in addition to Maravilha which was represented by Junko Hoki.
Sports is one of the few things that transcends socio-economic status and brings people together. In its very nature, it is about participation, inclusion, and citizenship where it brings individuals and communities together, highlighting commonalities and bridging cultural divides. Sports provides a forum to learn skills such as discipline, confidence, and leadership and it teaches core principles such as tolerance, co-operation, and respect. It can cut through barriers that divide societies, making it a powerful tool to support conflict transformation and peacebuilding efforts and promote social integration.
Lebanon suffers from high social tension rates due to many factors and the main factor being the increased number of refugees. It is home to refugees of different nationalities, be it Syrian, Palestinian, Syrian Palestinian and several more.
- The team must include 8 members only
- Team members' age must range between 18 and 35
- 50% of members should be of different nationalities in case the team comprises only 2 nationalities.
- Upon request, team leader will have to provide a copy of the members' IDs in addition to a team photo.
- The team will be expected to maintain good sportsmanship throughout the tournament.
- All team members are expected to attend the final game whether they qualified for the finals or not.
The tournament started on September 17.
“Olympico” Stadium, Taanayel
So, who won?
The winning team “Shabab Bet’hib Al Kheir” was awarded a 500 USD check, t-shirts, footballs, gold medals, gold trophy, while the 2nd prize winning team “Alaa Saleh” received a silver trophy, silver medals, and footballs. Two additional trophies were awarded to the top scorer in the tournament and the best sportsmanship!