About EuroArab

Established in: 2012

Main aims:

  • Establish cooperation, mutual understanding, tolerance and peaceful connections between youth in Europe and in the Arab world.
  • Raise awareness on the current political, economic and social problems in Europe, North African and Middle Eastern countries to deepen mutual solidarity.
  • Create a platform, where European and Arab youth could learn from each other, share values, and exchange experiences on combating stereotypes, human rights violations, and intolerance.
  • Strengthen the existing, and develop new cooperations between the educational institutions in Europe and the Arab world through coalition building and mobilization for intercultural dialogue within the educational framework.
  • Empower youth to exercise their rights in order to develop and create an active and strong civil society that promotes multiculturalism.

Activities:

History:

AEGEE has been successfully working within a European dimension in its wider geographical and social meaning. However, the challenges of young people in neighbouring countries nowadays are very similar to those in Europe.  Therefore it is crucial that we extend our focus beyond Europe and learn from each other. Our long term objectives are to strengthen our contacts with young people and youth organisations with similar aims and eventually to expand our network.

The purpose of the project is to establish relationships between European and Arab youth, while implementing the main aims of AEGEE in a broader sense: striving for creating an open and tolerant society of today and tomorrow and fostering democracy, human rights, tolerance and cross border cooperation. Current political developments and a democratic transition in various Middle Eastern and North African countries is just one of the current issues that add relevance to this initiative. The geographic focus is made up of the European countries where AEGEE locals are present, and Arab countries: Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Iraq, Saudi – Arabia, Oman, Yemen, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates.

The project contributes to the four Main Fields of Action of AEGEE.

Higher education: Allowing European and Arab students, and faculty members to exchange educational methods and practices could provide tools in education that have been crafted in another cultural context would enhance the educational journey and possibly improve learning process within the field of education as new ways are explored.

Cultural exchange: A key element of Euro-Arab Cooperation is that it contributes to the dimension of cultural exchange. In today’s society, different cultural groups around the world become interconnected through trade and economic integration. Becoming familiar with the customs and differences of others is the first step in overcoming the barriers in order to work together in spite of the differences that are present.

Active citizenship: By participating in an initiative like this one, one takes active part in strengthening of civil society. Supporting individuals to address social problems always adds value to any society. Having individuals take a stance and stand up  for issues they believe need to be addressed, can act as a catalyst to bring about the changes we desire to see.

Peace and stability: In the process of getting to know each other’s cultural, social, and political background, the likelihood of breaking prejudices, and instead creating connections between the Arab and European youth becomes higher. European youth does not only strive for peace and stability on the European continent, but also beyond. The focus in this case is on the Arab world.

In the past years, there have been various Euro-Arab events in AEGEE. With this project, we would like to create a united thematic framework and basis of knowledge. Some of the previous EuroArab events in AEGEE:

Previous projects:

  1. November 2010: “EuroArab goes Europe: understanding each other’s challenges”
    This was a fourteen day case study trip to Europe. It took place from 1st to 14th November 2010 in Köln, Aachen, Brussels and Maastricht, gathering twelve Arab (Egyptians from the Cairo based NGO, Better World Foundation and Palestinians from the Bethlehem based Students’ Forum Institute), twelve European and four Turkish participants from AEGEE. The themes of the case study were immigration, integration, economic inequality and gender equality.
  2. November 2011: Case Study Trip to Alexandria, Egypt
    The event took place between 10th-18th November 2011. SHIFT – Network (Euro-Arab Youth Initiative) hosted ten AEGEE members in Egypt. The event was part of the Media and Culture Project. The main themes were: the effect of social media on the Arab Revolutions; how we can use social media and networking to close the gap between Europe and the Arab world and the future of social media and its replacements.
  3. March 2012: Case Study Trip to Krakow, Poland
    AEGEE-Krakow hosted the second phase of the Media and Culture Project between 2nd-18th March 2012. Ten members of SHIFT – Network and ten members of AEGEE participated.