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Euro-Arab Neighbourhood
Student magazines in the Arab States & Europe



Contact details

Dr. Barbara Malina
Head of the Section for Education & Communication/Information
German Commission for UNESCO
Colmantstraße 15
D-53115 Bonn
Tel: +49-228-60497-17
Fax: +49-228-60497-30
E-Mail: malina@unesco.de
Internet: www.unesco.de

Bettina Zeidler
kommweit - kommunikation und weiterbildung
Rheinallee 15
D-53173 Bonn
Tel: +49-228-915 68 43
Mobil: + 49-177-799 07 97
E-Mail: bzeidler@kommweit.de
Internet: www.kommweit.de


Location

Europe & Arab countries

Background

The dialogue between European and Arab citizens is a prerequisite for a peaceful multicultural and multi-religious living together. In order to reduce prejudices as early as possible and to promote better understanding, the exchange between young people of European and Arab states is of utmost importance.
The German Commission for UNESCO has launched the project “Euro-Arab Neighbourhood: Students build Bridges” within the scope of the programme “Dialogue with the Islamic World“ that was initiated by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany. The National Commissions for UNESCO of the European and Arab regions developed this project within the context of their strategy “Learning to live together”.
The project started in December 2003: During a workshop in Germany, experts from education ministries, public organisations, publishing houses and schools from Denmark, Egypt, Germany, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Ukraine established the basis for a vivid and long-lasting school magazine network. The project is open for any other schools and partners from all European and Arab countries.
Further information on the project, targets and results on the homepage of the German Commission for UNESCO at: www.unesco.de/c_aktuelles/bridges.htm
Further information about the topic Dialogue with the Islamic World is available at: www.unesco-heute.de/1003/themen.htm


Aims of the project

The target of the project "Euro-Arab Neighbourhood: Students build Bridges" is to promote the Euro-Arab dialogue among young people by co-operation of school magazines. All types of schools and young people of any age who are interested in a journalistic co-operation are welcome to take part in this project. Thus, the German Commission for UNESCO supports the following important social and educational targets defined in the Delors report Learning: The Treasure Within:

• to develop a better understanding for each other
• to reduce prejudices as early as possible
• to promote intercultural exchange, respect and tolerance
• to encourage a conscious and professional use of information and media, and finally, a journalistic approach and thinking
• to integrate foreign languages and new media into school life

Target audience & Involvement of children

• The project is open to every type of school (UNESCO associated or non-associated schools).
• The common project work between staff of different school magazines may be organised in form of common online magazines or print productions. The aim should be to write about similar topics, to exchange knowledge and to discuss certain subjects.
• A continuous school partnership should lead to lasting personal contacts between the pupils.
• The choice of topics and the individual organisation are up to the students.
• Each group of editorial staff may be assisted and coached by a teacher who supports the team and acts as a facilitator.


Results achieved so far...

The workshop in December 2003 and subsequent activities starting in May 2004 have led to the following results:
• First Arab-German school partnerships have started their work: Beirut (Lebanon) - Lüneburg (Germany), Djerba (Tunisia) - Bonn (Germany), Amman (Jordan) - Cologne (Germany), Amman (Jordan) - Göttingen (Germany). The spectrum of collaboration ranges from the production of common articles to the production of complete print versions and online school magazines.
• The Lebanese-German school partnership organised a student exchange in May/June 2004 in order to plan and co-ordinate their first common print magazine.
• Students and teachers from Lebanon, Jordan and Tunisia meet with German students and teachers in Frankfurt in October 2004. During their stay, they present their first results within the “Spiegel-Bildungsforum” (a forum for discussion organised by the German magazine Der Spiegel) at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
• Contacts to interested European and Arab schools and partners, National Commissions for UNESCO and education ministries are being further developed. With their aid, the German Commission for UNESCO arranges partnerships between
schools and promotes the project in public. Currently, schools from Norway and Germany are being linked to schools in Jordan and Egypt. Other countries, as for example Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Syria and Yemen have pronounced their serious interest in this project.
• The German Commission for UNESCO and the “Deutsche Welle” (international broadcaster) have developed a concept for an open internet platform. This website will be ready by the end of 2004.

Future plans
The network should soon be able to operate independently. The reactions of schools and partners show that this project has a great potential for further development of the cooperation between young people from Arab and European countries.
The German Commission for UNESCO leads this project as a motivator and mediator. We bring interested schools and partners together and give schools assistance to help themselves. The German Commission for UNESCO is open for further ideas. You are welcome to contact us for further information (contact info see above).


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