The Association for Historical Dialogue and Research (AHDR) in collaboration with the science education initiative GalileoMobile successfully ran the “Columba-Hypatia: Astronomy for Peace” intercommunal project in schools and at the Home for Cooperation with the support of the International Astronomical Union's Office of Astronomy for Development, the European Southern Observatory's Education and Public Outreach Department, Meade Instruments and Universe Awareness.
The Project takes its name from the "Columba" constellation, meaning "dove" in Latin, the well-known symbol for peace. Its second name commemorates "Hypatia of Alexandria" the famous mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher, who lived in Egypt in the early days of the Byzantine Empire, who despite being a woman became head of the Neoplatonist School in Alexandria.
The goal of the “Astronomy for Peace” project was to both inspire an interest in science and the cosmos, and to also promote interaction, understanding and eventually a Culture of Peace. Understanding our planet’s place in the wider universe through the lens of modern astrophysics provides us with a worldview in which we can appreciate our similarities rather than focus on our differences.
Schools from both communities attended this workshop. The fun and educational astronomy activities enabled the children to communicate meaningfully with one another, thereby helping to perpetuate a culture of peace, understanding and non-violence in Cyprus.
In the context of the project the team also carried out astronomy activities for youth as well as a series of talks on state-of-the-art astronomy research for the public.
Watch a short documentary about the "Columba-Hypatia Project: Astronomy for Peace" by Stephen Nugent, Nomad films.