The Awakening Euromed Consciousness

Satellite caption of the Mediterranean Sea.
Image via Wikipedia

As protests inspired by Tunisia move across the Middle East, with protests in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen, its hard to imagine that a few years ago these protests would not have been tolerated, let alone successful as we have seen in Tunisia.

Since getting involved in the Anna Lindh Foundation I have met many people from these countries bordering the Mediterranean. Some of these people, while proud of their countries and their heritage, were not happy with their Governments. Whether it be lack of Women’s Rights or controls on internet access, these people wanted more. They wanted freedom and they wanted a say in how their lives were run.

This is what is amazing about these protests in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan and Yemen. The people have seen what can be done. They have seen that change can be brought about with revolution.

This is a hard lesson for the ruling elites in these countries who are quite used to not being challenged. They are now facing the challenge that will cement their memory in the national consciousness of these countries. Either a memory of a Government that will not listen to its people and put down the protests, or of a Government willing to change, it meet the protester’s demands, either in part or full.

In the title I made use of the phrase “Euromed Consciousness”. I used this because while these countries share a common Arab and Muslim Heritage, it is through their contacts across the Mediterranean that these people have realised that more is possible. That freedom is available. These people do not want to leave their countries. They want them to be modern societies with the rights, freedoms and technology available to those across that small sea.

Whether or not the European mindset have contributed to these protests, these protests prove the effectiveness of modern technology in organising people against their governments. Facebook, twitter, mobile phones and the internet in general has galvanised people and have ensured mass turn outs in Liberty Square in Cairo and other cities across Egypt, Tunisia and the Middle East.

As these protests become successful, expect more to happen in other sates where the Government have left their people behind.

Sea of Words Literary Contest

I received this today which may be of interest to some readers.

The European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) and the Anna Lindh Foundation (ALF) have the pleasure to announce the launch of the Third Edition of the Sea of Words Literary Competition.

We encourage the production of short stories that portray the different realities of the Euro-Mediterranean region from the point of view of the young people who live there, through the organisation of a Euro-Med short story competition.

This year, the theme is justice, equality and inclusion in the Mediterranean and in Europe in line with the objectives of the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.

Applicants must be under 30 years of age and residents in one of the forty three countries of the Union for the Mediterranean, and write in one of the languages of the countries of the Union for the Mediterranean.

The short-stories should be submitted by e-mail before midnight (Spain Local Time) 15 September 2010.

For more information, please visit the competition website. For further queries, please write to: concurso@iemed.org

Join Now and Become the Next Winner of the Sea of Words Competition.

Thank you for your involvement.

Kind regards,

European Institute of the Mediterranean

Anna Lindh Foundation

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Hello from Barcelona!!!

Political Map of the Mediterranean Basin
Image via Wikipedia

Good afternoon from a warm Barcelona. I have reached my destination (unlike my luggage) and I am ensconced in my hotel room waiting for things to start across the road at the CCIB.

I may have neglected to inform you why I’m actually here. Well apart from blogging over on Conference Blog (shhh its not live yet! 😉 ) I will be giving my thoughts on the blogger trainer i did last year.

From the Programme

Intercultural Dialogue 2.0.
Xavier Baro (ALF Bloggers Network)
Room (127) – 5 March at 18:00
The session will focus on the presentation of the new Intercultural Dialogue Tool Kit developed by the ALF for training bloggers. The main aim of the Tool Kit is to engage social media as innovative tool to promote Intercultural dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean area. The workshop will
introduce the manual, have a short practical phase and
present some results of the first training course. Other four
bloggers who participated in the pilot training course will
attend the workshop and give a vision from their side:
Carmel Vaisman (Israel), Ahmed Youssry (Egypt), Stephen
Spillane (Ireland), Majd Beltaji (Palestine).

It should be fun.

Its now time to head for the Opening Ceremony which will be happening in half an hour!

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