Young Muslim leaders to talk about peace in De Oro gathering

Seeming frustrated by the never ending peace talks, these Muslim yuppies cannot wait for the fruits of the peace negotiations for development to begin.

Some have forsaken jobs in Manila's air-conditioned high-rise buildings and instead returned to their hometowns to make a difference.

Conscious of a rich history in their ancestral lands, young Mindanawans, including Muslims and Lumads, will talk about their future in the 5th Young Moro Leader’s Forum to be held at Lauremar Beach Resort, Opol, Misamis Oriental on Feb. 28-March 3. Speakers include UNESCO Commissioner Taha Basman, MILF panelist Atty. Michael Mastura, businessman Datu Ibrahim Toto Paglas and GRP panelist Prof. Rudy Rodil.

Supported by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and organized by the Young Moro Professionals Network and Community Action for Lake Lanao, the series called “The Bangsamoro Future: Prospects and Challenges” is a continuing discussion among young Moro leaders. This series aims to facilitate the candid exchange of ideas among young Moro leaders on critical issues that impinge on the Bangsamoro future, strengthen the operational network of young Moro leaders and encourage their present and future efforts to improve Moro welfare, and solicit ideas for future collaborative activities that may help strengthen the potential for a lasting peace in Muslim Mindanao.

The first forum took place at Eden Resort in Davao in January 2006. The second in Manila, the third in Marawi City, and the fourth in Zamboanga City.

Some 20 to 30 young Moro leaders from diverse professions, ethno-linguistic backgrounds, and political persuasions attended the previous forums. Discussions focused on defining the Bangsamoro nation, advocating the right to self-determination and on elucidating the role of religion, women, civil society, and entrepreneurship in the construction of the Moro future.

USIP’s partner, the Young Moro Professionals Network, is a global network of Muslims that aims to bridge the information and communication divide.