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From Promoting Intercultural Dialogue to Countering Hate Speech: The ALF Networks Activities

Tue, 30/05/2017 - 12:22 -- Rana Elsadek

Tunisia: Celebrating Sfax as “Capital of Arab Culture” and encouraging youth and intercultural initiatives

Czech Republic, Montenegro, Netherlands, Sweden, Austria and Ireland: Celebrating cultural diversity and fighting violent extremism

The Tunisian ALF Network organized the Euro-Arab Youth Forum on 10-13 March 2017 celebrating Sfax as “Capital of Arab Culture”. The Forum gathered more than a hundred young participants and members of NGOs and  from over 23 countries including Algeria, France, Germany, Greece, Jordan, Morocco, Spain and UK and was organized in  partnership with the Sfax of Arabic Culture, the Tunisian Ministry of Youth and the Cultural Club Ali Belhaouane. The participants shared their experiences and attended workshops aiming at providing youth with tools for developing common intercultural projects. The Forum also provided the necessary space for the participants to discuss several topics such as: culture against violence in public space, culture vs. radicalization and culture as a tool of integration of migrants. “The Declaration of Sfax for a Cultural Valorisation in the World” was the culmination of the debates and reflections of the Forum. The document was elaborated on behalf of the participants by a selected group, responsible for outlining the statement, which will be proposed for adoption by all national and international bodies of the participating states, as a basis for future steps taken and projects initiated in the field of culture.

ALF in:

• Czech Republic: on the 2nd of March, the Czech Network organized a capacity building activity “Countering hate speech” to understand the phenomenon and to effectively counter it

• Montenegro: the Montenegrin and Finnish Heads of Networks coordinated and participated in the UNESCO Conference “Cultural Diversity as a Driver of Social Development” held on the 24th of March in Podgorica (Montenegro)

• Netherlands: the Dutch Network organized the first Network meeting of this year, on the 29th of March. The meeting aimed at introducing the Network members to each other enabling them to learn about the activities and approaches to facing current challenges in the region

• Sweden: the Head of the Swedish network organised the regional training seminar “Countering Hate Speech through Human Rights Education” in Gothenburg. The event  was organised in the framework of the “No Hate Speech Movement”, the Council of Europe’s youth campaign

• Austria: on the 7th of April, the Austrian Network organised a workshop aiming at facilitating Intercultural Dialogue in times of rising extremism throughout the world

• Ireland: the Irish Head of Network co-directed the 13th edition of the Cork World Book Festival, which gathered writers from the Balkan region

The Anna Lindh Foundation runs the largest Network of civil society organisations of more than 4000 organisations,  involved in the promotion of intercultural dialogue across the Euro-Mediterranean region.

To know more about the current and upcoming activities, read the bi-monthly Networks Newsletter in EN and FR