The Story & the Glory: Reducing Youth Radicalism & Violence in the Middle East

Questscope founder Dr. Curt Rhodes talks to Creative Associates about reducing youth radicalism and violence in the Middle East:

In a world gone awry in war and conflict, with few economic opportunities and degradation of social networks, youth are radicalized and sustained in their radicalization through their relationships: the way into radicalization is through relationships.

But so is the way out.

Every person has a story. Taking time to listen and elicit someone’s story is perhaps one of the most empowering ways to build up an individual and foster narratives that can lead to a positive metanarrative. This responds to the needs of youth for respect, honor and social status.

Questscope cultivates positive adult-youth relationships and empowers youth with personal agency, creating a critical path towards restoration and hope instead of violence. 
Programs to counter youth radicalism in the Middle East should support youth personal agency, keeping in mind that they are motivated by extreme sacrifice, danger and thrills. Out of personal agency, we can create new narratives of heroism and positive role models. And we must value and establish for youth significant “growing” relationships with peers and adults.

In all of our program designs and efforts, we must constantly ask ourselves: “Who benefits? How do they benefit? And how do we know?”

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