Anna Lindh Exchange Forum

This week the Anna Lindh Exchange will take place in Tunis, Tunisia between the 23rd and 26th June. This will be a region-wide meeting of civil society players acting for democracy and freedoms with an intercultural perspective.

Gathering between 150 and 200 participants from all over the Euro-Med region who work in the fields of Artistic creation, Media and Social Networks, Civil society development and Resources for Citizenship, the event will be a great opportunity for participants to learn from each other, exchange experiences, best practices and project ideas as well as to build partnerships.

I shall be attending the Exchange and I will be part of the team covering the event through twitter, facebook and blogs. As part of that I have posted a blog post on the conference up on the official blog just on the background!

Do check out the website tunisforum.org for all the ways to follow the Forum. On twitter follow the #tunisforum tag! Or follow the list I created on twitter which will be updated over the course of the exchange. On Facebook like the Anna Lindh Foundation Page and the Believe in Dialogue Page to get updates there! There will be some live coverage and videos on the website so do keep an eye on it!

Im really looking forward to it now!

ALF statement on Terror Attack in Alexandria

The Anna Lindh Foundation have issued the following declaration in response to the terror attack a Christian Church in Alexandria, Egypt.

The Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures, which has its international headquarters in Alexandria (Egypt), expresses its deep sadness and pain about the terror attack which affected this city on the night of 31st December. The President of the Foundation, André Azoulay, and all of his team, wish to express their solidarity with the victims, their families and the Egyptian people.

In response to this act of violence, the Anna Lindh Foundation will intensify its efforts in favour of dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region by involving and engaging in this mission all those who share the need to eradicate the culture of hatred, and to build societies based on mutual respect between people of different origins, traditions and beliefs. Committed against a Coptic church in Alexandria, the attack aimed to provoke sectarian tension between the different religious communities that have lived together in peace in Egypt for centuries. This crime, carried out against civilians who were practising their faith together, demands the mobilisation of all those who promote the right to practise freely religious beliefs. The Anna Lindh Foundation condemns any pretention to exploit religions and take religions hostage for the sake of fuelling violent behaviour and terrorism, whilst they carry a message of peace and fraternity for the immense majority of believers.

The Anna Lindh Foundation has had the opportunity to consistently observe in Alexandria how the coexistence between Muslims and Christians, which is part of the daily life in Egypt, is a major asset for peaceful relations between the different religious communities that exist in Middle Eastern societies, from where they originated. In view of the brutal attack that the Alexandrian people suffered, the Anna Lindh Foundation feels closer than ever to the Egyptian people and its institutions, and sets out to preserve the diverse heritage which is essential to building a Euro-Mediterranean space of peace and freedom.

Now more then ever the work of the Anna Lindh Foundation is important across the Mediterranean.

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Anna Lindh Forum: What I made of it

President Nasheed receives the Anna Lindh Priz...
Image by Presidency Maldives via Flickr

So its been over a week since I arrived home from the Anna Lindh Forum and I have spent most of the time since I came home cathcing up with college and work. It dose not feel like I got home over a week ago!

I really enjoyed the experience of the Forum. I learned lots and made lots of connections. I got to know the other members of the Irish Network of Anna Lindh, of which I am now a member! So expect blog posts about the Irish Network.

I did have some criticisms about how the forum operated. Especially in the Agora sessions, but I was delighted in the closing ceremony to hear so many recommendations from the various sessions.

The Forum did change my outlook on art and music bringing people together, well the music bit anyway! (See the video from the concert)

The Forum in my mind was a success. It was great to work with the web and press team of the Anna Lindh Foundation in running the blog and there was a great sense of solidarity.

I learned loads from the other particpants and those who presented at the Forum. Hopefully contacts made at the Forum will lead to more projects, more changes, and more inprovements for people and society across the Euromed!

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Blogger Training?

Until this week I didn’t know there was such a thing as blogger training (that wasn’t aimed at companies and such) but a friend send me information about the Hyperlink Project from The Euromed Anna Lindh Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures. Part of this project is “the ALF Euromed Bloggers Training on Intercultural Dialogue”. This will take place on the sidelines of the campaign Restore Trust – Rebuild Bridges which was launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Alliance of Civilizations to encourage a culture of peace and coexistence in the Euro-Mediterranean Region.

Only 20 bloggers from the Euromed region (which is 43 countries) and today I received my invitation to Phase one of the project today! It takes place in July , in Luxembourg.

What is involved in the training?

The training will be delivered by two highly professional trainers, one from the north and one from the south of the region. The methodology of the training will try to combine  between plenary informative presentations, tools and games used in non-formal education on intercultural dialogue, and working groups to design the online campaign. The training will also include a Cultural Night where the participants will have the opportunity to discover each others cultures more closely. There will be also a Blog Souk where the participants can present there blogs and there blogging experiences and how intercultural dialogue is treated in their local blogs.

It looks like its going to be really fun and interesting.

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