Wien, 16. November 2012 Press release

Kyrle: “Contributions of the Islamic Community in Austria Deserve to Be Honoured”

Secretary General of the Foreign Office attends graduation ceremony for Women’s Representatives and Dialogue Facilitators

Vienna, 16 November 2012 – “The fundamental goal of the training course for Women’s Representatives and Dialogue Facilitators is to promote the dialogue both within the Islamic community and society at large, thus also contributing to the wider integration process”, said the Secretary General of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Ambassador Johannes Kyrle in his address at the graduation ceremony for attendees of the respective training courses.

For the second time, the project “Dialogue and Integration Training for Imams, Pastoral Care Workers and Mosque Associations”, co-funded by the Austrian and European Integration Fund, was held to prepare Women’s Representatives and Dialogue Facilitators of the Islamic community in Vienna.

The training events lasted a week each and touched upon a number of Austria-specific themes, among them the country’s educational, political and legal systems, by offering participants the possibility of attending training modules to acquire and deepen their competences in areas such as intercultural conflict management, communication and PR as well as project development through practice-related approaches. 

The training for Women’s Representatives discussed the special relevance of female members of the Islamic community for providing support, advice and assistance to other women within their community, thus emphasising the great potential for multiplying effects that the participants harbour. The training for Dialogue Facilitators concentrated on strengthening the position of the media spokespersons of the Islamic religious community, thus emphasising the central bridging function they have as mediators between the Islamic community and Austrian society at large.

As part of the award ceremony, the Secretary General emphasised the importance of this and similar initiatives and thanked the participants for their commitment and motivation, as well as expressing his thanks to President Sanac for the lasting, constructive cooperation with the Islamic community in Austria. “Today’s award ceremony serves to honour the contribution of the Women’s Representatives and Dialogue Facilitators of the Islamic community in Austria”, concluded General Secretary Kyrle. Further training initiatives are planned for the autumn of 2013.

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