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Attalaki’s participates in the United Nations 16th session of the Forum on Minority Issues

The strategy of the Attalaki Organization is built on being both a national and international actor in order to protect the rights of religious minorities and uphold the right to religious freedom. It is therefore crucial to consistently participate in international, regional, and national meetings where our voice can be heard and influential. Based on this principle, our organization has been actively participating since 2020 in the United Nations Forum on Minorities in Geneva and in preliminary regional meetings, overseen by the Special Rapporteur on Minorities.

In this context, Attalaki Organization participated upon the invitation of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief in consultative workshops on freedom of thought. Specifically, the focus was on the topic of religious and belief minorities to contribute to the annual report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief for the years 2021 and 2023.

Statement of the Attalaki Organization

The president of the Attalaki Organization delivered his statement at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues on December 1th, in the presence of diplomatic mission representatives, including the Tunisian delegation, and a significant number of international organizations and institutions concerned with the rights of religious, ethnic, and linguistic minorities. Additionally, there were representatives from two Tunisian organizations working on the rights of ethnic, national, and migrant minorities.

The statement of the Attalaki Organization was included in the agenda of the fourth session of the forum, titled « Positive Examples, Good Practices and Approaches, and Space for More. » The following is an excerpt from the statement.

We remain steadfast in our goals, continuing to work towards a more open, tolerant, and peaceful Tunisia. We are here to advocate for cooperation and commitment to supporting the rights of religious minorities, promoting the foundations of citizenship and coexistence. Therefore, we would like to present the following recommendations:

Call for further efforts to promote a citizenship culture that embraces diversity, achieved through educational reforms that prepare young people to accept the right to differences.


Work more towards achieving complete equality between males and females citizens, in line with the provisions of the 2022 Tunisian Constitution, by ensuring the rights of Evangelical Christians and Baha’is in Tunisia to have places of worship and burial sites.» See the full statement here

Friendly conversations

The presence of the head of the Attalaki Organization was significant, as it provided him with the opportunity to meet several individuals prior to delivering his statement at the forum. Within this context, he engaged with Former Special Rapporteur on minority issues, Mr. Fernand de Varennes. Additionally, the organization’s president held an extensive meeting with Mr. Ramzi Louati, Counsellor Permanent Mission of The Republic of Tunisia to the United Nations, and other activists in the field of minorities and religious freedom.

The discussions, particularly with the representative of the Tunisian mission in Geneva, revolved around the work of the Attalaki organization and the status of religious minorities on legal and social levels.

The mission representative affirmed that the Tunisian state is open to dialogue to enhance the rights of these minorities, emphasizing, however, that such efforts should not rely on Western support. Nevertheless, the organization’s head requested the Tunisian representative to convey our recommendations to the government, urging the realization of fair equality among citizens as outlined in the Tunisian constitution.

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Attalaki’s participation in the “Global Consultation on the role of Traditional Leaders and Actors” in Muscat, Oman.

Attalaki’s participation in the “Global Consultation on the role of Traditional Leaders and Actors” in Muscat, Oman.

Attalaki was honored to participate in the “Global Consultation on the Role of Traditional Leaders and Actors, » in Oman Muscat. A significant gathering that brought together numerous religious and traditional leaders from around the globe. The primary objective of this gathering was to address the pressing issues of hate speech, with a focus on fostering peaceful and just societies.

The event, organized in collaboration with the Omani Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs, showcased a strong partnership with the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers and the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect. By hosting such an influential gathering, Oman demonstrated its commitment to countering hate speech and promoting global peace through collaborative efforts between traditional leaders and international organizations.

This initiative highlights Oman’s proactive stance in cultivating peace and coexistence, transcending societal differences. It underscores the nation’s dedication to showcasing the positive attributes of a diverse society, emphasizing the importance of unity and understanding in creating harmonious and inclusive communities. The event serves as a testament to Oman’s role as a leader in fostering dialogue and collaboration among diverse religious and traditional leaders to address global challenges and promote enduring peace.

In addition to the aforementioned event, Attalaki played a pivotal role as the representative of Tunisia in a dynamic and transformative program titled « Youth, Religion, and Mediation. » This unique course brought together youth participants from 20 different countries, fostering a collaborative environment for learning, exploration, and networking.

Distinguishing itself from conventional courses, this program offered a distinctive approach by incorporating an enriching four-day tour of Oman. This immersive experience went beyond traditional classroom settings, encouraging participants to engage in various physical activities that facilitated experiential learning. The group, comprising youth from diverse backgrounds, worked collectively as a team to promote mutual understanding, coexistence, and peace.

The interactive nature of the course allowed participants to explore Oman’s rich cultural heritage, forging connections not only through formal education but also through shared experiences and activities. By blending theoretical knowledge with hands-on experiences, the program aimed to equip youth with practical skills and a deeper appreciation for the role of religion and mediation in fostering dialogue and peaceful coexistence.

Every participant in the course brought with them a wealth of personal experiences related to wars, conflicts, discrimination, and persecution in their respective countries and contexts. This program provided a platform and an invaluable opportunity for these young individuals to not only voice their own experiences but also to engage with and gain insights from other youth leaders who were confronting similar challenges.

This innovative course served as a platform for cultivating a global network of young leaders committed to promoting harmony and understanding across different cultures and faiths. Attalaki’s participation in this course exemplifies our dedication to empowering its youth to play an active role in shaping a more interconnected and peaceful world.

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The Attalaki President visits to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and takes part in the 15th annual Advisory Group meeting of the Peacemakers Network.

The Attalaki President visits to the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and takes part in the 15th annual Advisory Group meeting of the Peacemakers Network.

The President of the Attalaki Organization, along with a group of representatives from organizations and institutions working in the field of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, joined a meeting with representatives of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the first day of his visit to the Republic of Finland, which took place on Wednesday, October 25th, at the Ministry’s headquarters in the capital, Helsinki.

This meeting provided an opportunity for the President of the organization to shed light on the work of Attalaki and highlight the significant achievements in Tunisia in the context of addressing religious diversity issues and advocating for religious freedom. During the meeting, Mr. Hafnaoui also engaged in side discussions with the Ambassador for Human Rights, Mrs. Tiina Jortikka-Laitinen, and Mr. Timo Heino, Ambassador for Cultural & Religious Dialogue. These discussions focused on the state of religious freedom in Tunisia and the positive steps taken by Attalaki, including the signing of The National Charter for Peaceful Coexistence among religious components in Tunisia, in addition to sharing reports issued by the organization, including the recent report on religious freedom in Tunisia and the field study on religious freedom in Tunisia. Following the interaction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs representatives, Mr. Hafnawi participated in observing the steering team meeting of the Peacebuilders Network, alongside representatives from the governments of Oman and Finland, the United Nations, international governmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations. During this meeting, regional directors and thematic experts provided updates on the network’s activities throughout 2023.

This visit took place during the 15th annual Advisory Group meeting of th Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers  in Helsinki on October 25th, 26th, and 27th. Simultaneously, the network marked its growth over the past decade, evolving into a prominent player in religious-based peace mediation. In this assembly, participants will review the Network’s 2020-2025 strategy, analyze emerging trends in peacebuilding, dialogue, and mediation, and engage in discussions about collaborative efforts in 2024 to further implement the strategy.

The network comprises more than a hundred active entities from all continents. Among them are international and national non-governmental organizations, governmental entities, international and regional organizations, and research institutes. The network was established in 2013 upon the recommendation of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his 2012 report on peace mediation, recognizing the crucial role of religious and traditional leaders in peacebuilding as a dimension of development. As a result, the Finnish Church Aid was requested by the United Nations Secretariat to establish the network in 2013. Over the past ten years, the network has grown significantly and now operates on all continents. Its secretariat continues to function as part of the Finnish Church Aid, and its work is guided by a strategy covering the years 2020-2025.

Today, the network encompasses over a hundred active entities from all continents, including international and national non-governmental organizations, governmental entities, international and regional organizations, and research institutes. Attalaki Organization has been a member of the network since two years following its acceptance by the network’s steering committee in 2021.

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Attalaki’s Participation in the Euro-MENA Dialogue on Inclusive Citizenship and Freedom of Religion

Attalaki's Participation in the Euro-MENA Dialogue on Inclusive Citizenship and Freedom of Religion

Attalaki firmly believes that the absence of Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) and Inclusive Citizenship constitutes a pressing regional and global challenge affecting millions of individuals from diverse countries, ethnicities, religions, and cultures. This void acts as a catalyst for socioeconomic discrimination and segregation, leading to heightened inequality, resentment, and social unrest. Consequently, there is an urgent imperative to advocate for both FoRB and Inclusive Citizenship as pivotal elements in achieving peace and coexistence. This pertains not only to nurturing harmony within increasingly diverse societies but also to fostering amicable relations between them.

In line with this perspective, Attalaki actively participated in the Euro-MENA Dialogue on Inclusive Citizenship and Freedom of Religion and Belief: Bridging and Advancing the two agendas was held at Wilton Park in Wiston, UK from 20-22 September, 2023. The conference was the second in a proposed three-part cycle of dialogues aiming to explore the relationship between Inclusive Citizenship and Freedom of Religion and Belief and chart a common Euro-MENA agenda based on them. The conference was jointly sponsored by the British and Italian Governments, the Adyan Foundation and Globethics, and Wilton Park.

The first meeting in March 2023 convened 40 faith leaders and policy experts in Frascati, Italy, setting the stage for the initiative’s overarching goal: to view FoRB and Inclusive Citizenship not as isolated pursuits but as interlinked dynamics with shared objectives. Acknowledging that FoRB and Inclusive Citizenship represent complementary facets, it became clear that progress in one realm is intricately tied to progress in the other. Moreover, common challenges faced by both agendas were identified, strengthening the case for collaborative and collective action.

The second dialogue in Wiston House engaged 40 faith leaders from Europe and the MENA region to craft an inter-religious Common Document. This document will articulate a shared understanding of and religious engagement with FoRB and Inclusive Citizenship, offering recommendations that factor in the nuanced local realities and challenges of the Euro-MENA context.

In the two sessions representatives of different religious communities and organizations sought to define the vision and goals of the conference. “Peace” was often invoked in this context as a way to name and connect the various aspirations of the group. As one of the participants put it, “There is only one goal. It is peace.” For a start, and towards a common agenda, “peace” was used to express the desire to build a society where diverse peoples could live together well, in flourishing coexistence. “Peace” was also used to signify that which the group sought to mobilize against, including violence and armed conflict, especially violence in the name of religion.

The group also sought to bring recommendations to policy-makers on how to strengthen rights and freedom and political and economic development for those who did not have them. Various motivations of the group were named in this regard. Thus, the group sought to ease the conditions of the marginalized and those without rights; to be a force for justice; to build more opportunities for youth and women; to work against the discrimination of religious communities and diverse religious others; to generate social cohesion and equality. “Peace,” therefore, represented a response to the violence present in global and regional conflicts; to internal disorder and social disintegration; to the plights of migrants; to the oppression of women and the exclusion of youth; to the relentless destruction of the environment; and to the structural conditions of poverty.

“Peace” might also indicate a prevalent religious sentiment which identified the sacred responsibility of religious communities and traditions to build more inclusive, flourishing societies. That religious communities and traditions held specific resources, energies and impulses to “carry forward hope for reconciliation, peace and justice,” as one participant put it. Others spoke about the role of religious communities and leaders as a moral voice or conscience and as holding a responsibility to model an ideal society for others.

In this vein, “Spiritual Solidarity” and “Social Cohesion” were also the central focus of multiple reflections, as representing ideals and values that religious leaders were especially well-placed to (re)generate within society and politics. Here many participants made reference to the Document on Human Fraternity signed by Sheikh Ahmed al Tayeb of al Azhar and Pope Francis. As one participant remembered, the full title of that document read “Human Fraternity for Peace and living Together,” and proposed this as the common task of the group, that is to say, to mobilize solidarity and action that made living together in peace more probable.

Number of participants read the global crises of the world as reflecting religious crises of some kind. Religious leaders, it was argued, were called to be custodians of a message built on love of God and love of neighbor. As such, they should offer society a vision of spiritual renewal grounded in social and individual commitments to live together in “God-willed diversity.”

In conclusion, Attalaki’s involvement in the Euro-MENA Dialogue on Freedom of Religion and Inclusive Citizenship signifies a collective commitment to bridge the gap between these two critical agendas. It recognizes that they are not separate pursuits but interconnected facets of a shared vision for a harmonious society. As this dialogue series progresses, it holds the promise of translating discussions into concrete actions that will bring positive change to the Euro-MENA region, fostering a future where peace and coexistence flourish.

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Attalaki and other organizations are participating in co-designing a learning workshop with USAID

Attalaki and other organizations are participating in co-designing a learning workshop with USAID

Attalaki had the privilege of both participating as well as co-designing a learning workshop with USAID here in Tunisia. A number of participants were gathered from across the civil society sector from around the world, such as Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, the United States as well as Tunisia. The aim of the workshop was to “Build resilient communities” through fostering collaboration, capacity strengthening and monitoring, evaluation, and learning techniques.

Although the training covered a wealth of valuable content, such as Storytelling, branding, M&E, and the use of USAID-related tools, the most profound impact came from Networking and engaging in field visits. These experiences allowed our organization to connect with other civil society actors from around the world who are working on similar issues related to FORB (Freedom of Religion and Belief). We encountered diverse stories, challenges, failures, successes, and breakthroughs, providing us with valuable insights and lessons to apply in our own context.

Recognizing Tunisia’s rich history of faith and diversity, the workshop thoughtfully arranged field trips for all attendees to various religious landmarks. These included visits to el Zitouna Mosque, Bet Mordechai Synagogue, and St. George’s Anglican Church, offering participants a chance to honor and explore the country’s religious heritage.

This workshop fostered a strong bond among participants by addressing shared challenges. It served as a powerful reminder to our team that we are not alone in facing the different hardships and obstacles. The experience highlighted the significance of collaboration as the key to driving impactful and positive change.


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A high-level American delegation is visiting the office of the Attalaki Organization.

A high-level American delegation is visiting the office of the Attalaki Organization.

On June 26, 2023, Mr. Adam Phillips, Director of the Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation’s Local, Faith and Transformative Partnerships, along with Ms. Gretchen Birkle, responsible for the USAID’s Middle East and North Africa office, and Ms. Jillian Provost, visited the office of the Attalaki Organization in the Tunisian capital.

The president of the Attalaki Organization and the manager of relations and partnerships welcomed a high-level American delegation on a working visit to Tunisia and Morocco. An overview of Attalaki’s work and its pivotal role in promoting peaceful coexistence and defending the right to religious freedom and the representation of religious minorities was presented. The meeting provided an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and discussions on the results of the « Let’s Talk About Religious Freedom » project and the next steps to be taken. Both delegations expressed their strong admiration for Attalaki’s work, its success in project implementation, and their commitment to continuing to support the organization’s work.

It is worth noting that Attalaki is the first local organization in Tunisia to receive direct funding from the U.S. government through the USAID under the New Partnerships Initiative (NPI)

The advocacy campaign launched by the « Let’s Talk About Religious Freedom » project achieved significant success, reaching over 700,000 individuals through social media publications. Additionally, the project resulted in a qualitative and quantitative research study, the first of its kind in Tunisia, examining the state of religious freedom in Tunisia, including sociological and constitutional legal aspects. Moreover, more than 240 individuals from diverse religious, intellectual, and cultural backgrounds were trained with the aim of educating and raising awareness about the importance of the right to religious freedom or belief.

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Attalaki’s releases its annual report on religious freedom in Tunisia 2022.

Attalaki's releases its annual report on religious freedom in Tunisia 2022

The Attalaki Organization has unveiled its second annual report concerning discrimination against religious minority groups in Tunisia. This comprehensive report, meticulously assembled by the Religious Freedom Committee, builds upon the groundbreaking initial Religious Freedom Report published in 2021. The inaugural report shed light on the overall landscape of religious freedom and illuminated instances of discrimination faced by members belonging to religious minority communities within Tunisia.

The initial report’s significance was profound, as it marked a pioneering effort within both Tunisia and the wider region. Its scope encompassed a thorough documentation of violations and prejudiced acts directed at religious minorities. It brought into focus the systematic discrimination these groups experience, underscoring the marginalization of their rights from both a legal and societal perspective.

The most recent report delves even deeper, specifically scrutinizing cases of discrimination that have been directed at religious minority groups during 2022. Additionally, it investigates incidents of hate speech and discrimination disseminated through diverse channels, including religious leaders, associations, and media platforms. These instances were meticulously documented by the Observation and Follow-up Unit of the Religious Freedom Committee, with valuable input from local contacts distributed throughout Tunisia.

This report strives to cultivate a more inclusive societyand assumes a role in advocating for transformative change. It accentuates the imperative for heightened awareness, systemic transformation, and the establishment of dependable mechanisms to monitor and redress discrimination against religious minority groups.

«The Religious Freedom Committee, acting within Attalaki organization, prepared this report in the framework of the Project entitled “For a Tunisia without Discrimination”. This Project is implemented by Attalaki organization, Mnemty Association, and Minority Rights Group International.»

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A Delegation from “Attalaki” Organization Visits MECC in Beirut

A Delegation from “Attalaki” Organization Visits MECC in Beirut

With the aim of enhancing cooperation and joint work, Mr. Massoud Hafnaoui, President and Co-Founder of “Attalaki” organization in Tunisia, and Ms. Roua Tlili, Assistant Program Coordinator at the organization, visited the offices of the Middle East Council of Churches’ General Secretariat in Beirut, on Thursday 11 May 2023. They were received by the MECC Secretary General Dr. Michel Abs.

During the meeting, the attendees talked about the general situation in the Arab region and the most prominent challenges of its people. They also discussed ways of cooperation, especially in the fields of dialogue and civil peace, in addition to some issues related to interaction between civilizations, cultures and religions within the framework of developing dialogue, solidarity and social cohesion.

Moreover, the attendees agreed to hold future meetings in order to evolve ways of cooperation and coordination through new activities and programs.

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Attalaki’s participation in the Wilton Park Mediterranean initiative for a multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Inclusive Citizenship and FoRB

Attalaki's participation in the Wilton Park Mediterranean initiative for a multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Inclusive Citizenship and FoRB

The Wilton Park Mediterranean initiative for a multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Inclusive Citizenship and Freedom of Religion and Belief was held in Frascati, Italy, between the 6th and 8th of March. Co-organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian and British Embassies to the Holy See, and the Adyan Foundation, the conference brought together religious actors, experts, and policymakers to explore the link between FoRB and Inclusive Citizenship in the Middle East.

The event’s focus on FoRB highlighted its critical role in promoting social cohesion and reducing inequality, resentment, and unrest in the region. The conference recognized that the lack of FoRB is not only a pressing global issue affecting millions but also a source of socioeconomic discrimination and segregation that increases inequality, resentment, and unrest.

Attalaki participated as the leading voice in promoting FoRB in Tunisia. The organization’s focus on FoRB is based on its commitment to the principles of human rights and democracy. Attalaki’s efforts have been critical in building a cohesive and inclusive society in Tunisia and have been actively advocating for legal and societal reforms to protect the rights of religious minorities.

The conference recognized the need to bring the agendas of FoRB and Inclusive Citizenship together to ensure shared progress. Participants identified the areas of concern and the remaining challenges and obstacles on the legal and societal levels for the concrete implementation of this agenda and recommended ways to overcome them. The conference fostered and promoted social cohesion through a shared interreligious agenda for FoRB and Inclusive Citizenship, especially in the MENA and Mediterranean areas. It also proposed creative new forms of multireligious engagement for human dignity, fraternity, and living together.

Mr. Ghassen Ayari, the head of Attalaki’s public relations and partnership office, had the privilege of attending an audience granted by His Holiness Pope Francis, as well as participating in numerous discussions with decision-makers. During these interactions, he emphasized the importance of Attalaki’s work on FoRB and promoting interfaith understanding.

In conclusion, the Wilton Park Mediterranean initiative for a multi-stakeholder Dialogue on Inclusive Citizenship and Freedom of Religion and Belief was a significant event that highlighted the critical role of FoRB in promoting social cohesion and reducing inequality, resentment, and unrest in the Middle East. The conference provided valuable insights into promoting FoRB and building inclusive societies in the Middle East, and its policy recommendations will help advance this critical agenda. The involvement of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Italian and British Embassies to the Holy See, and the Adyan Foundation, as well as the participation of Attalaki, underscores the importance of this issue at a global level.

By: Ghassen Ayari

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Attalaki and the Tunisian Ministry of Education sign a partnership and cooperation agreement.

Attalaki and the Tunisian Ministry of Education sign a partnership and cooperation agreement.

Tunisia, March 8, 2023 – Attalaki, the leading anti-hate organization in Tunisia that defends the values of citizenship and diversity, has announced a new partnership with the Tunisian Ministry of Education. This collaboration aims to educate students and teachers about the importance of coexistence, citizenship, and diversity in the country.

The agreement between the ministry and Attalaki organization seeks to foster cooperation and strengthen the partnership by implementing mutually agreed-upon work programs that align with the organization’s goals and the ministry’s initiatives. Through this partnership, we aim to promote a culture of tolerance, acceptance of differences, and effective management of diversity. Additionally, the agreement seeks to achieve the following objectives:

Cultivating a culture of cooperation, citizenship, and coexistence within the educational environment.

Enhancing the role of educational institutions in instilling citizenship values in children and youth.

Providing increased support and guidance to young people through cultural, recreational, and social activities within educational spaces.

This new and important partnership embodies the shared desire between the Ministry of Education and the Attalaki Organization to work on enhancing educational, informative, and intellectual activities aimed at benefiting young people.