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Stories: the bridge between the voiceless and the

​​Capacity Building Workshop
Stories: The Bridge Between The Voiceless and The Oblivious
May 2014



In This Issue

The older generation no longer tells, and the young no longer listens
Jeeras April tour 
Education in Mobility. Experience, Creativity and Intercultural Knowledge!
Guide to mobility funding opportunities ​

More flexible visa rules to boost growth and job creation

This project is funded by
the European Union

Istikshaf News


Reflections: Mujawara with Munir Fasheh

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6 Fares AlKhouri street- Shmesani
P.O Box 940286 11194 Amman Jordan
Tel: +96265687557


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Tel: +9722961829 or +972599127223

 About AEF

The Arab Education Forum is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization active in the Arab World in the field of community and youth work . The mission of AEF is to contribute to an Arab cultural regeneration project that springs out of the inherent knowledge and experiences within the Arab societies


 The older generation no longer tells, and the young no longer listens

Launch of the Hakawati project in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Sweden
On 1 January 2014 the Swedish Foundation, Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB), started the project - al- Hakawati the Storyteller, with support from the Swedish Postcode Lottery. The project is based on collaboration between CHwB and Hakaya network represented by the Arab Education Forum (Jordan), The Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts AL-JANA (Lebanon), and Al Balad theatre (Jordan), and in association with Fabula for storytelling (Sweden). Hakaya is a network of 13 organizations and groups with a long and solid experience of working with storytelling in the MENA region.
The foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) is a Swedish NGO, operating in areas to protect cultural property both material and immaterial nature threatened by war, natural disasters, abuse, poverty or political and social conflicts. The Foundation conducts heritage initiatives with special emphasis on dialogue and interaction as means to promote democratic values and practices. 
The aim of this project is to contribute to the preservation of one of Syrias intangible cultural heritages, the tradition of oral storytelling as a common denominator for solidarity across ethnic, geographic, and religious boundaries. The basic idea of the project is to capture traditional stories and publish them in a bilingual (Arabic -English) anthology that will be distributed as widely as possible in Sweden and in the MENA region. Furthermore, and in cooperation with Fabula storytelling association in Sweden and the Hakaya festival in Jordan, the stories will be turned into repertoires for storytellers to ensure that they continue to live on in the minds and hearts and traditions of Syrians in particular and the host populations in the region. These repertoires will become performances accompanying an exhibition that will tour the region as well as in Sweden.
To read more


  Jeeras April tour took a different theme this time

Jeeras April tour took a different theme this time, as Buthaina Juwainat from the Cultural Programs Department - Greater Amman Municipality has arranged this tour to cover the most important institutes that are concerned with Womens Rights in Amman.

1.2 Organizations/ Institutes covered in the tour
- The Jordanian National Commission for Women
- Center for Womens Studies The University of Jordan
- The National Center for Human Rights
- The Society for Development and Rehabilitation of the Rural Woman 

To read more


 Education in Mobility. Experience, Creativity and Intercultural Knowledge! 

A paper by Dr. Herman Bahiron Mendolicchio

In the era of globalization it becomes necessary to rethink education, consider the growing need to establish an international dimension and analyze different ways, systems and methodologies regarding the relationship between learning, mobility and the intercultural production of knowledge.

Apart from the Academy (Universities, Research centers, Colleges, Fine Arts Institutes), which has always played a key role in the creation of a transversal space of exchange and dialogue, nowadays we can observe and experience the development of new educational systems based on mobility, internationalization and residency programs.

Beyond the different ambitions, worries and obstacles that constitute the basis of any internationalization process, it is evident that mobility-related practices are changing education, learning and the dynamics and production of knowledge.

The development of mobility and exchange programs, the increase of international research projects, the promotion of mutual enrichment, the cooperation strategies and the creation of regional networks, etc., are becoming the main goals in the academic language.

To improve the demands of an education in mobility implies to welcome new learning models based on exchange and sharing; to facilitate tools and resources in order to develop a sustainable mobility experience; to recognize the multiple impacts of mobility both at academic and extra-academic level.

Click here to Read the full paper and find some successful examples for programs that took big steps in Education through Mobility!

 Guide to mobility funding opportunities 

Focus on 13 Arab countries - new OTM-AEF-KAMS publication!​

On the Move and the Arab Education Forum launch the online Guide to funding opportunities for the international mobility of artists and culture professionals - Focus on 13 Arab countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
This guide is supported by KAMS - Korea Arts Management Service,and was carried out in cooperation with the Jordanian Hashemite Fund For Human Development and the Queed Zein Al- Sharaf Institute for Development.
The main objective of this Mobility Funding Guide is to provide an overview of the funding that support international mobility of artists and cultural operators between the thirteen countries mentioned above. Subsequently it aims to provide inputs for funders and policy makers on how to fill the existing gaps in funding for international cultural exchange.
In this guide you can find funding opportunities related to most artistic and cultural disciplines, classified by types of funding organisations. The list includes only regular funding opportunities accessible online that cover travel costs - partially or completely. The guide mostly lists regional and international sources of funding - be they public or private - and includes a few national funding organisations.
As this research focuses on 13 Arab countries, nationals from other countries in the region or interested in the Arab / MENA region may find the resources in this guide relevant as well.
Download the guide for free!

 More flexible visa rules to boost growth and job creation

Press release By: European Commission

Brussels, 1 April 2014

Many non-EU nationals wishing to travel to the EU are often faced with cumbersome, lengthy and costly visa procedures. The proposals presented today will seriously shorten and simplify the procedures for those wanting to come to the EU for short stays, and induce more cost savings and less bureaucracy, whilst maintaining the level of security. Making the access to the Schengen area easier for legitimate travellers will facilitate visiting friends and relatives and doing business. It will boost economic activity and job creation in, for instance, the tourism sector as well as in related activities such as restaurant and transport industries. A recent study shows that in 2012 a total number of 6.6 million potential travellers from six of the countries with the most travellers were 'lost' due to cumbersome visa procedures.i It also showed that more flexible and accessible visa rules could lead to an increase in trips to the Schengen area of between 30% and up to 60%, only from these six countries.ii This could mean as much as 130 billion in total direct spending over five years (in accommodation, food and drink, transports, entertainment, shopping, etc.), and could translateinto some 1.3 million jobs in tourism and related sectors.

"Europe needs a smarter visa policy. We need to attract more tourists, business people, researchers, students, artists and culture professionals to our shores. Now, we want to boost our economy and create new jobs by underlining the economic dimension in our visa policy, while keeping a high level of security at our borders.Today's proposals will greatly facilitate the procedures for short stay visitors. Thanks to these proposals we expect a serious increase of travellers in the years to come," said Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner for Home Affairs.
Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice President responsible for industry and entrepreneurship, added: "Our proposal will help European tourism industry at a time when international competition is becoming increasingly fierce with a growing number of countries relying on tourism as a factor for growth. The new visa rules are the answer to this challenge. These changes will help the tourism industry to deal with the expected considerable increase of the flows of tourists visiting Europe. Tourism is Europes growth engine and has been the most important stronghold of European economy during the recent crisis."
In order to stimulate the European economy and to facilitate the lives of travellers towards the EU, the European Commission is proposing today important changes in the visa rules. Main elements of this package are:
(1) Reducing the deadline from 15 to 10 days for processing and taking a decision; (2) Making it possible to lodge visa applications in other EU countries consulates if the Member State competent for processing the visa application is neither present nor represented;(3) Substantial facilitations for regular travellers including mandatory issuing of multiple entry visas valid for three years;(4) Simplified application form and allowing for online applications (5) Possibility for Member States to devise special schemes granting visas at the borders for up to 15 days in one Schengen State; (6) Possibility for Member States to facilitate the issuing of visa for visitors attending major events; (7) A new type of visa (Touring-visa) allowing legitimate travellers to circulate in the Schengen area for up to 1 year (without staying in one Member State for more than 90 days in any 180-day period).
- Simplifying short-stay visa applications to meet growing demand. A lot has already been achieved under the existing visa rules, which has contributed to a 68 % increase in the number of visa applications, from 10.2 million in 2009 to 17.2 million in 2013. Yet more can be done towards enhancing the mobility of legitimate travellers. For new 2013 visa statistics, see infographic.
 Too often, problems obtaining visas limit access and as a result reduce the potential economic benefits of tourist attractions. For instance, the Milan World Expo in 2015 may be an opportunity for millions of new visitors to Europe.
Concretely, the Commission now proposes:
- Establishing a clearer set of procedural rules and speeding up the process. It is proposed to reduce the deadline for processing and making a decision on a visa application is reduced from 15 to 10 days. The maximum deadline for lodging an application has been increased from three to six months before the intended trip, to allow travellers to plan ahead and avoid peak seasons.
Furthermore, the list of supporting documents will be simplified and become exhaustive and the enhanced harmonisation of these requirements at local level will ensure equal treatment of visa applicants. The often costly obligatory travel medical insurance will be abolished.
- Boosting consular cooperation. According to the proposal, if the Member State competent for processing the visa application is neither present nor represented in a given third country, the applicant is entitled to apply at any of the consulates present ('mandatory representation').
- Repeated visits will be much easier with the introduction of mandatory criteria for obtaining a multiple entry visa (MEV) valid for three years and subsequently for five years for 'VIS registered regular' travellers.Applicants whose data are registered in the Visa Information System (VIS) and who have previously lawfully used at least two visas within the past 12 month period will benefit from these facilitations. This change of rules is also possible thanks to the roll out of the Visa Information System (VIS), which is expected to be completed in 2015, enabling Member States' consulates to access the visa applicants' 'history'.
As they would be able to travel more spontaneously, travellers in possession of longer validity Multi-Entry Visas are likely to make more trips to the Schengen area than they otherwise would. An increasing number of trips would spur economic growth within the Schengen zone.
- To establish a Touring Visa. This new type of Visa will allow legitimate non-EU nationals entering the Schengen area to circulate for up to 1 year in this zone (without staying in one Member State for more than 90 days in any 180-day period), with the possibility of an extension for up to two years (provided that the applicant does not stay for more than 90 days in any 180-day period in the same Member State). This would for instance, apply to live-performing artists who tour the Schengen area for a prolonged period, but also to individual travellers, such as tourists, researchers and students who wish to spend more time in Europe.

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