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Student magazines in the Arab States
Dr. Barbara Malina
Head of the Section for Education & Communication/Information
German Commission for UNESCO
kommweit - kommunikation und weiterbildung
Tel: +49-228-915 68 43
Mobil: + 49-177-799 07 97
Europe & Arab countries
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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