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The Wonders of Travel

Capacity Building Workshop
The Wonders of Travel
 December 2013



In This Issue

Qais Alhinti Wandering Arabia to Create a New Kind of Travel Guide
Reviving Confidence Between Arab Governments and Youth

Safar/ Istikshaf Grants

Safar celebrates culture
  • Safar awarded travel grants to Islam Seirafi and Haneen Tarabeih from Palestine, Hebah Khameis from Egypt, and Abduallah Mohammed from Sudan to participate in a number or workshops held during the Hakaya Festival. The workshops discussed topics ranging from how to write biographies and personal histories to narrating and storytelling techniques.
    Hebah Khameis, an Egyptian story writer and an editor of Boswtol website, recently issued a book titled From a Window Over a Square.      
    Islam Seirafi is a Palestinian theater director, dance choreographer, and trainer. He also directs animated dramas and is the manager of the theater at the Heritage and Arts Center (Dar Al-fonon).
    Haneen Tarabeih is a Palestinian actress and trainer at the Theatre of the Oppressed and the Playback Theater. She holds a masters degree in theater studies.  
    Abduallah Mohammed, a Sudanese media student, directed a short film titled Behind the Memory in November 2012. He writes both screenplays and novels.
  • Ibrahim Wald Sameer is a Mauritanian theater director and a poet, and is a cultural activist and a member of several youth communities. Safar awarded Wald Sameer a travel grant to visit the Moroccan - Mediterranean Society for Development and Cooperation in Rabat in order to participate in a forum for artists from different cultures all over the world. This forum, titled Morocco: One Home for Many Cultures, included theater and musical performances.

This project is funded by
the European Union

Istikshaf News

Istikshaf: Regional Mobility and Freedom of Movement Policy Agenda
The Regional Mobility and Freedom of Movement Policy Agenda has received continuous support from various Arab and European institutions along with many other individuals who have been contacted to begin laying the groundwork for the Agenda. The following communities have signed onto the Agenda so far: Azart Community; Moroccan Oasis for Education, Culture and Creativity; Moroccan Academy for Mixed Martial Arts; Maraya Community for Theater and Cinema; Moroccan Community for Participatory Development; Casablanca Now newspaper; and the Sudanese organization Women Making Decisions.
To read and sign onto the Agenda, please visit this website here.

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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

 Qais Alhinti Wandering Arabia to Create a New Kind of Travel Guid

When Qais Alhinti visited Palestine in October 2011, he fell in love with the people and the land. An explorer by heart, he decided to embark on a 130-day tour around South America and the Caribbean to raise awareness of the issues facing the Palestinian people through a series of lectures and interviews at various forums and festivals in the region.
From October 2012 until February 2013, Qais traveled to Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, and Peru to explain the plight of the Palestinians to local youth. Following the success of his first tour, Qais met with Sfax in Tunisia in March and April 2013.
The Arab Educational Forum, through its Safar Fund, is sponsoring Qais second tour, this time in the Arab region where he will visit Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, and Tunisia from November 2013 until February 2014. During his tour, Qais will author a unique travel guide focusing not just on accommodation and the must-sees, but also on civil society organizations in the country, inspiring people to meet, and cultural centers. The guides will be made available to all interested Arab youth to encourage them to travel and better familiarize themselves with the region.
You can also participate in Qais project by creating a travel guide for your city. We are looking for guides to include accommodation, transport options both to get to your city and within the city, institutions and civil society organizations to visit, cultural centers, and places that hold meaning to you and your community.

For more information on the Safar Guide, please visit: safarfund
Individuals interested in participating with Qais in his travels or part of his travels, please

 Reviving Confidence Between Arab Governments and Youth

by Naoufal El Hammoumi
27 August 2013
Tiflet, Morocco An opinion poll conducted by the Qatar-based Aljazeera Centre for Studies and published on 30 July 2013 revealed that a majority of young people in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen feel disenfranchised by the political process in their countries.
Results showed that 81 per cent of respondents in Tunisia, 72 per cent in Egypt and 62 per cent in Libya felt that their recently elected parliaments didnt represent them. As a young Moroccan, I feel the same way. Today, Arab youth everywhere seem to share this lack of trust in their parliaments. We need to rekindle the trust between youth and their politicians to better develop our countries.
Over the past ten years, a large youth movement in North Africa and the Middle East took off, and we believed we could effect positive change in our countries. This movement reached its peak during what is popularly known as the Arab Spring. In the Moroccan context, the popular movement caused the monarchy to meet a large part of the streets demands by giving the Prime Minister and the parliament more executive powers as well as creating space for civil society to debate the new constitution and holding a national referendum on it.
Yet soon after the reforms, Moroccan youth felt that they were once again left out of the political sphere. This resulted in a loss of confidence in the political process and in politicians. The Moroccan youth felt bitter and desperate, ultimately leading to the current crisis in relations between youth and their politicians.
But youth have shown they are politically mature and ready to be partners in politics. One example of this is a group of youth who created the Youth Movement for Reform in Morocco, in which I took part in 2011. The group held the belief that differences in opinions are the heart of societal progress. To this end, they generated discussions between youth who wanted reform, and those who didnt. Both groups shared a desire for prosperity for their country, and peace and respect for fellow citizens.
Youth have also shown they possess the knowhow to work in a local context and affect change in their communities, which is added value for politicians who are also seeking to improve the state of the nation.
Indeed, from 1999 to 2011 I worked with a group of students to create an association named Tifletois: New Life in the small marginalized town of Tiflet, in northwest Morocco. We organized computer literacy classes for children, created sports teams between local youth and organized international cultural exchanges. These activities in turn contributed to creating a culture of participation and engagement in their community.
We can be a partner to politicians to solve real problems.
To move beyond the current mistrust we need a mechanism that brings politicians and youth together to build a society that allows for full participation of everyone in the decision-making process.
Youth are the foundation for a strong society, as well as the nations future. They can be a catalyst for development and their participation could create a better society, looking positively toward the future. What is needed now is rekindled trust to move in that direction.
Our ambitious generation of youth and todays conventional politicians together can decide which path the nation should take.
* Naoufal El Hammoumi is a young Moroccan leader and activist in the civil society. He was a board member of Safar youth mobility fund from 2008 2011. This article was written for the Common Ground News Service (CGNews)


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