Zaman CEO and Founder Najah Bazzy attended the “Welcoming the Stranger: Shaping the Future” international conference in Geneva, Switzerland on June 20-21 as part of World Refugee Day. The invite-only event brought together more than 50 local and national practitioners of faith-sensitive response from at least 37 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and North America.
The world is facing an unprecedented displacement crisis, according to HIAS, as more people have been forced from their homes than ever before, with over 100 million people – 1% of the entire global population – now seeking sanctuary from war, violence, and persecution.
“We are talking about all the barriers and pain points and complexities that people are seeing at every single level imaginable,” said Najah, noting attendees included government officials, faith-based leaders and NGOs who are working together to create recommendations to the world’s refugee crises.
Zaman’s origins as an organization date back to helping Iraqi refugees displaced by war in the 1990s and continues today as it aids resettled refugees from multiple countries, including Afghanistan.
“The gathering taught us that working in the trenches for the betterment of our humanity and advocating for policy improvements helps our nations cope with the growing number of displaced people -- the highest percentage which are women and children,” said Najah.
The event was hosted by HIAS, Islamic Relief Worldwide, and Lutheran World Federation with the support of the UNHCR. The conference improves partnerships between grassroots faith actors and the international humanitarian system to better include them in responses. It fosters collaboration to provide better protection and an improved welcome to displaced people around the world.
“I was so proud of Zaman’s work to help share best practices and mentor next-generation leaders at the event,” Najah said. “We thank IRUSA for thinking of us and IRWorldwide for sponsoring us. A great big thank you to all the organizers and new friends as we work together to help bring relief to refugees around the world.”