Basic information and history
Established in 2012, the EuroArab project’s objective is to break down stereotypes and prejudices by bringing European and Arab young people together. AEGEE has worked for 27 years to do the same inside Europe; we believe that the time has come to go further- starting by European closest neighborhood In order to achieve that, we believe that the starting point must be- youth.
By facilitating exchange between us, we will be able to establish closer ties to narrow the distance. The idea is to create increasingly stronger relations between Arab and European cultures. This is the key to the further collaboration that we hope will come from this project, and this is also what has definitely proven successful until now.
- November 2010: “EuroArab goes Europe: understanding each other’s challenges”
This was a fourteen day case study trip to Europe. It took place from 1st to 14th November 2010 in Köln, Aachen, Brussels and Maastricht, gathering twelve Arab (Egyptians from the Cairo based NGO, Better World Foundation and Palestinians from the Bethlehem based Students’ Forum Institute), twelve European and four Turkish participants from AEGEE. The themes of the case study were immigration, integration, economic inequality and gender equality.
- November 2011: Case Study Trip to Alexandria, Egypt
The event took place between 10th-18th November 2011. SHIFT – Network (Euro-Arab Youth Initiative) hosted ten AEGEE members in Egypt. The event was part of the Media and Culture Project. The main themes were: the effect of social media on the Arab Revolutions; how we can use social media and networking to close the gap between Europe and the Arab world and the future of social media and its replacements.
- March 2012: Case Study Trip to Krakow, Poland
AEGEE-Krakow hosted the second phase of the Media and Culture Project between 2nd-18th March 2012. Ten members of SHIFT – Network and ten members of AEGEE participated.
- December 2012: „Two Cultures, One Goal – The Way To Democracy in Krakow“, Poland
EuroArab Case Study Trip on Democracy in Kraków took place from December 11- 18 and gathered over 30 young people from Poland and Egypt in order to work together to extract the analogies between both countries. However different both countries are, they happened to face a similar challenge of reshaping the whole political and social systems. Young people and non-governmental organizations play an essential role in creating an active civil society that may influence the whole country. Besides various workshops and activities the participants got to discover the beautiful city of Kraków (during Christmas time!), the precious mountains in Zakopane and learn the history of Nowa Huta communist district and Auschwitz. The EuroArab integration led to breaking stereotypes about each others cultures and better mutual understanding. The project received support from the Youth in Action program of the European Commission.
- September 2013:EuroArab Youth Exchange with AEGEE-München
The programme is a youth exchange between two different cultures, Arab and European. The programme included activities aimed at presenting the cultural background of each group in order to show both the differences and similarities of these cultures. Through this, we aimed to break down preconceptions and prejudice and build a relationship based on dialogue, better understanding and tolerance.
Having participants from North Africa, the Middle East and Europe – totally different societies – already means that they will come from different cultures. The dialogue between Arab and European young people and different NGOs is what will later become a dialogue between political organisations and bodies. Therefore, it is clear that we need to focus on a bottom–up approach, so that we can be the driving force, shaping views and opinions towards different cultures, and create tolerance and mutual understanding between them.
One of the main themes of our programme was understanding religious and political extremism, and also defining the fine line between a healthy religious or patriotic sentiment and extremism. We focused on the similarities of political and religious extremism and their negative effects on intra- and inter-cultural relationships.
- May 2014: EuroArab goes to Tunisia
From May 11- 18, 16 AEGEE members visited Tunisia in the framework of this project, to get to know country and culture, people and society – and to understand the region like no tourist can. It was a huge success, as main coordinator Mariem Ben Ltaifa told the Golden Times.
- September 2014: EuroArab goes to Algeria
Intercultural training September 1- 7, Algeria. More information to follow soon on the project’s website. The participants’ experience in their own words can be read at the project’s blog.
Phone, data sharing systems (Google docs, Dropbox, etc), regular team meetings (weekends, 3 or 4 days in a city, etc), Yammer