XIV International inter-religious youth seminar “Ark-2019”, which lasted from July 18-26, is over. Representatives of Ukrainian, Jewish, Polish, Crimean Tatar youth traditionally became its participants.

The main purpose of the seminar is to promote inter-religious dialogue and closer cultural cooperation between young people, who represent different national communities of Ukraine. The main part of the program was held in the monastery of the Roman Catholic Church of the Franciscan charter in Bilshivtsi village (Ivano-Frankivsk region). From the very beginning, integration training waited for the participants, who united young people and gave them an opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere.

By the “Ark” tradition, all the classes were held in an interactive format, communication with the lecturers was not limited to the teaching only – it continued in an informal setting: with a cup of coffee, by the fire, in monastery cells. Scientists and public figures from Ukraine and Poland joined to participation in this year's seminar program. National and cultural presentations gave a special brightness to the seminar. Each group had a day to represent the culture of their people: national costumes, traditional dishes, songs, dances, religious ceremonies.

After the grand opening of the seminar and welcoming speeches of the national communities’ representatives, the national days were opened. The Polish national day was the first, where Michal Klimecki, head of the Internal and international security department, at the Political science and international studies faculty at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, made a lecture on “The North Atlantic treaty for the security service international environment. Poland's place in the Alliance”, and Mr. Krzysztof Stanowski, director of the Lublin Center for international cooperation read a lecture and opened “From the Union of Lublin to the European Union” exhibition. Mrs. Anna Manzhura continued this day with a master class on national Polish palace dancing. The day was ended with singing and playing by the fire.

During the Jewish day Dr. Igor Shchupak held a lecture on “National, religious, and stereotypical perceptions about it”, Vitaliy Nakhmanovich, historian and ethno-political scientist, leading researcher at Kyiv Museum of History (Kyiv), read a lecture on “The Holocaust in Jewish history and consciousness”. Dr. Yehor Vradii, deputy director for research work of “Tkuma” Ukrainian Institute for Holocaust Studies, Museum “Jewish Memory and Holocaust in Ukraine” (Dnipro) held a lesson on “The Guide from Hell: Yan Khodorovskyi, Righteous among the nation”. After lectures, a new film “Righteous” by Evhen Titarenko and Natalia Khazan was presented. Also, participants of the event were happy to meet Victor Gukailo, famous artist, who organized a creative workshop with young people on “Symbols and charms in Jewish culture”, and Vladyslava Nosenko, who conducted an interactive class on Jewish traditions.

Ukrainian day had a very rich program. Both the folklore and the historical and philosophical parts were powerful. Dr. Igor Skochilyas, vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University, read a lecture on “Sacrifice of martyrs and witnesses of the faith as the spiritual treasure of today: brothers Metropolitan Andrey and Klymentiy Sheptytsky, Patriarch Josyf Slipyi and Оmelyan Kovch”; Myroslav Marynovych, vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University made a lecture on “Security imperatives against value imperatives: major cultural faults of today”, which aroused many sensible questions and heated comments among young people.

Crimean Tatar national day opened Sevhil Musayeva, editor-in-chief of the online edition “Ukrainska Pravda”, a graduate of the Nieman foundation's journalism program at Harvard University with Skype conference on “How the world is changing and where is Ukraine's place in it?”. Rustem Skybin, artist-ceramist told about how the Crimean Tatar ornament changed over time and demonstrated how it looks on the painted plates. Maville Halil, who represented Crimeantatars.club, made a lecture on “Europe and Islam: The mental code of the Crimean Tatars”, where she drew attention, in particular, to the current situation of women in the Crimean Tatar environment. Very popular was lecture by Alim Aliev, program director of the Crimean House on “National identity. How to save it?”, where the author presented several recent print publications. The entertaining program began with cooking a traditional rice with meat on a fire by Gulnara Alieva receipt, and ended with a master class on Crimean Tatar dances.

Traditionally, the seminar contained a rich excursion program. This year, participants of the “Ark” visited Lublin – Polish city, where they got acquainted with the history of the Catholic University and met with Krzysztof Stanowski, director of the Lublin Center for International Cooperation. The next day participants had a guided tour to the State Memorial Museum “Majdanek”. The guide paid participants attention to Оmelyan Kovch – Majdanek gunpowder biography.

On July 26, during XIV International inter-religious youth seminar “Ark-2019” closing which was held at Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky center at the Ukrainian Catholic University, participants had an opportunity to view a film about their stay at the seminar, shared their impressions and expressed their desire to continue communication out of the “Ark”.