A new apolitical private foundation to facilitate the exchange of ideas and values leading to reconciliation and social unity was launched at the Kempinski Grand Hotel. Named the Bahrain Foundation for Reconciliation and Civil Discourse (BFRCD), the foundation is chaired by its founder Suhail Ghazi Al Gosaibi – who also heads the BFRCD Board of Trustees. He told the Bahrain News Agency, that the first initiative would be discourse by Peter Sheridan – drawing his experience from the Northern Ireland experience. The discourse is expected to be on conflict resolution, said Al Gosaibi. “This is the beginning of the move by a private non-governmental organization for reconciliation in Bahrain,” said Al Gosaibi. Asked about the plans of the foundation to bring about reconciliatory moves at the grassroots – among the youth, the underprivileged in society – he said, the plan was to target the middle layer of population and then move towards the youth and other categories. Addressing the media at the launch of the BFRCD, the founder said, the foundation aims to help bring the people of Bahrain closer together into a cohesive and unified whole. One of the challenges Bahrain faces is the lack of direct and respectful, face-to-face communication between those with opposing yet very passionate views. “The foundation aims here to facilitate communication between these sides,” said Al Gosaibi. Elaborating the vision of the group, he said, it believes that tolerance, understanding and mutual respect are vital for betterment of Bahraini society. It is important to give a patient ear to all shades of opinion. Achieving the vision, according to Al Gosaibi, is possible with organizing public conferences and other events, exchange of ideas and values across the various segments of community – including race, religion, nationality, socioeconomic status and other divides. The concept behind the logo of the organization, he said, lies in the belief that Bahrain has a multi-cultural yet tolerant nature, where people of different backgrounds live together.