In 2015, when I moved to Geneva, visiting the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum was on top of my agenda. When I visited, I was impressed, moved, and inspired. It is a wonderfully curated museum, with stories, insights, and causes powerfully told and presented.
I left the museum thinking about and reflecting on the notions of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and universality. But I also left the museum feeling the need for a hug to help me process and digest what I had just seen and the experience I had gone through.
I did not receive the latter [the hug]. However, over the years, I kept thinking of and problematising the former [the notions mentioned above], and their relevance and applicability to, and manifestation in, the Middle East and particularly in Occupied Palestine, where I originally come from.
Fast forward to 2022, and as part of the Graduate Institute’s Executive Education Programme in Development Policies and Practices (DPP), I was fortunate to accompany 80 participants coming from 40 countries in their learning journey in my capacity as the regional academic coordinator for Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region. As part of the learning module in Geneva, we visited the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum. We toured the museum with its passionate and thoughtful Executive Director, Pascal Hufschmid.
This time I experienced the museum differently, not only due to the presence of Pascal, but also because I looked at the museum through the eyes of our DPP programme’s participants, many of them coming from conflict-affected countries and regions.