Ateneo de Davao University

Ateneo de Davao

Bityala sa Maguindanao (Maguindanao Conversation Series)

Published on , by Admin02.

Bityala Kanu Mapyan (Conversation for the Common Good)

Al Qalam Institute in partnership with Forum Civil Peace Service (forumZFD)-Philippines initiated a conversation that aims to provide a space for dialogue among stakeholders, civil society organizations (CSOs) and other sectors to connect, collaborate, and hopefully to work together as initial steps for an inclusive development in Maguindanao. This program is dubbed as Bityala sa Maguindanao. This is a series of five (5) focus group discussions that was conducted in the

Image 1.1 Together with the Al Qalam's Executive Director and Participants

Image 1.1 Together with the Al Qalam’s Executive Director and Participants

province of Maguindanao primarily because Maguindanao is the regional center of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. The program ran from October 2015 – March 2016.

The series aimed to initiate discussion among key young Maguindanao Muslim and non-Muslim professionals to further enhance and strengthen the culture of dialogue and cultural discourse among middle class of the society. Moreover, the series focused on a small group of targeted individuals and organizations. Specifically, the series aimed to:

  • Open up ways of communication towards the traditional leading structures among representatives of traditional clans and societal structures, who are not the traditional and political leaders, but young persons who have been exposed to new ideas (intellectuals) and between these representatives and CSOs.
    • ‘Soften up’ the traditional structures of society, make them more inclusive, open for new ideas, make traditional structures more participatory; and
    • Win young intellectuals for support for dialogue needed for continuing the peace process.

The topics of discussion in the series were as follows:

  1. Defining the Bangsamoro Identity (Date: October 21, 2015/Lead Discussant: Prof. Alih Aiyub, Bangsamoro Transition Commission-JICA)
  2. Defining the Roles of Traditional Leadership in Governance and in the Bangsamoro Peace Process (Date: November 11, 2015/Lead Discussant: Bai Sahara Salazar, MSU-Maguindanao)
  3. The Concept of Maslaha and Ungaya (Date: January 11, 2016/Lead Discussant: Yusuf Roque Morales, Ateneo de Zamboanga University)
  4. The Role of Islam in Peace Building (Date: February 9, 2016/Lead Discussant: Aleem Abu Huraira Udasan, Grand Mufti of the Bangsamoro)
  5. Ways Forward towards Transitional Justice and Reconciliation of the Bangsamoro (Date: March 30, 2016/Lead Discussant: Ishak V. Mastura, Transitional Justice & Reconciliation Commission)

All of these discussions were actively participated by young Muslim intellectuals, traditional leaders and CSO leaders (Muslim & non-Muslim) around Maguindanao with the help of our local partner organization Action for Advancement and Development of Mindanao (AFADMIN).

The organizer hopes that the snowball effect would produce concrete programs and activities in the different sectors, institutions, and communities in Maguindanao.