Capacity Building Workshop
The story goes on..
December 2012
Francais ÚŃČí

In This issue

Launch of Istikshaf Mobility Regional Policy Agenda
Safar Grants
A Workshop For Cultural Institutions in Amman as part of “Jeerah – Amman learning and convivial city”
And the story goes on..
A manual on mechanisms of transmitting knowledge in the field of storytelling and training storytellers
Arab Resources / Azkadunya

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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

Safar Grant

Grant applications for the Safar/Istikshaf program are accepted throughout the month. The grant selection committee looks at the submitted applications in the first week of every month, provided that the application is submitted at least one month before the date of travel. For more information


The Young Arab Theatre Fund (YATF)

Apply for the Production and Touring programs. The deadline is on the 15th of January 2013.

Contact Us

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


Launch of Istikshaf Mobility Regional Policy Agenda

As part of Istikshaf, an advocacy program that supports mobility as a tool of learning in the Euro-Arab region, the Arab Education Forum held a meeting on public policies, affecting mobility in the period between 20-21November, 2012 in the French Institute in Beirut.

Supported by the European Union, the first day of the debate focused on the Regional Mobility Policy Agenda, which was based on the deliberations of the Alexandria meeting that took place last June and gathered a group of institutes, active individuals who support the mobility of artists and social activities and a number of non-governmental, regional and international organizations. The meeting discussed and identified policy issues and restrictions that negatively affect the mobility of artists and limit the use of mobility as a tool for learning the region in general.

This regional mobility policy agenda aims to develop closer links between a range of stakeholders including government agencies, foundations, voluntary and community sector in delivering specific policies and positions in areas affecting mobility with a focus on arts, culture and social entrepreneurship. It also helps people to better understand the policy issues and their impact and provide tools to influence them. The agenda addresses the following main themes:

  • Mobility on the national agenda
  • Financing mobility
  • Crossing borders
  • Mobilizing communities
You can support the Istikshaf Mobility Regional Policy Agenda.


Safar Grants

Yousria Ghorab/ Egypt

Yousria received a grant to travel to Morocco, in order to visit the film commission in Mada Talon Society, based in Ouarzazate, Morocco. She is an independent director and visual artist, who participated in “media and digital arts” workshops. Her first video art film was titled “Tamathel”.

Abdelkarim Haimer / Algeria

Abdelkarim received a travel grant to Egypt, where he participated in the apprenticeship of Arab Storytellers, organized by Warsha Theatre Troupe and Hakaya Program. Abdelkarim is a dancer and theatrical actor, with a bachelor degree in law, specializing in criminal law. He played numerous roles in theatre, participated in writing short stories and had an experience with children through curating parties.

Haifa Tekouti / Tunisia

Haifa received a travel Grant to Gaza, Palestine, where she participated in “Tawasul”, the International Festival of Contemporary Art in Palestine. She is a plastic artist, who graduated from the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Tunisia, specializing in drawing. Haifa is also a practicing member in the Tunisian Plastic Artists’ Union and the Tunisian Association of Plastic Art. She also uses parts of fishing boats in her art work, a genre of work usually known as “combine painting”.

A Workshop For Cultural Institutions in Amman as part of “Jeerah – Amman learning and convivial city

The hall teemed with activists, who came to represent their respective institutions. When they actually explored the concept of Jeerah, they started communicating and “networking”, a traditional act that was not named, while today we call it “Jeerah” among institutions. The word is derived from the well-known humane connection towards one’s neighbors.

This is a brief description of the special workshop, which hosted active cultural institutions in Amman and took place in the Millennium Garden, owned by Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) and located in Tlaa’ Al Ali. The workshop was organized by the Arab Education Forum in cooperation with the Cultural Directorate in GAM, as part of “Jeerah”, a project that was launched last October.

Our aim was to create a network of cultural institutions that can cooperate to realize cultural development in Amman. During the workshop, the project was introduced as an attempt that seeks to turn Amman into a learning and convivial city, encouraging its community to engage in learning activities. The engagement may take different forms, including their efforts to learn something new and sharing their expertise and ideas with others, who wish to learn from them, making the most of the public spaces in Amman. This vision eventually seeks to turn these spaces into active learning places.

New participants have joined the organizational team of “Jeerah”, allowing more and more people to engage in learning. We are now using apprenticeships to promote their very own philosophy.

And the story goes on..

It seems like just yesterday I was sitting down to reflect on all the changes our region was experiencing, and here we are today: our world continues to be in the midst of change, with many unanswered questions. It seems the only constant is the stories we continue to share, as though in sharing we reclaim a sense of bonding. Stories have a magic about them, and an ability at times to make us believe in something bigger than ourselves, something to carry us through, to make the impossible imaginable and to give us hope that when change comes, it is for the best.

This year marks a turning point for the regional Hakaya Program as we end a three year cycle in which we were fortunate to have been funded by the European Union. In this cycle we supported and collaborated with partners in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, France, Sweden, Denmark, and in our home base, Jordan. We reached out to storytellers around the region and beyond including Mauritania, Sudan, Ireland, and Nubia. We sent storytellers to travel around the Euro-Mediterranean region and we even spread our wings across the Mediterranean shores, all in the belief that in sharing our stories we make meaningful connections and we grow.

In the course of three years we, the collective 'WE' have grown. We supported the training of promising young storytellers, offering mentoring and a platform for their developing skills as well as residencies for and with storytellers. We have searched wide and deep to try to uncover and understand storytelling trends in our region as well as age-old methods of transmission of knowledge. We have supported the venturing out to remote areas to collect, re-write and record stories. We have put forward symposiums on inspirational memories, personal narratives and the creative writing of our history. We have documented our work via film, social media, written word, and audio recordings. We have supported public storytelling events, and we have watched as the Hakaya Festival, organized by our lead partner, Al-Balad Theatre, has grown in its outreach and impact. We have partaken in a journey that has expanded our horizons. We, the collective 'We', have much to be proud of.

Recently I listened to my sister-in-law speak of the fairies that brought smiles to her face and warmed her heart when she was a child. Today, every time she looks around and sees something beautiful surface she would smile and say "It’s the doing of the fairies!" So whether it’s the fairies, our willingness to believe in miracles or our human need to connect on a meaningful, magical level, Hakaya has indisputably transported us in time and place.

Reem Abu Kishk  - Hakaya Program Manager.

Hakaya concludes its journey in the Arab Storytellers Forum in Cairo

A manual on mechanisms of transmitting knowledge in the field of storytelling and training storytellers

Following a series of Hakaya partners’ meetings, which discussed mechanisms of initiating a dialogue among stakeholders in the field of storytelling, we agreed on supporting specialized and in-depth research. The research aimed at exploring the art of storytelling from different angles, including mechanisms of transmitting knowledge in this field.

Over the span of six months, I met storytellers and storytelling trainers from different Arab countries, some of whom I reached through “Hakaya journeys” and others through Skype and emails. We communicated at length and I was able to ask them questions and discuss in detail the mechanisms of transmitting knowledge, when it comes to storytelling, training, apprenticeships and documenting their work.

In this research, we were able to identify through personal interviews with each storyteller and trainer the methodologies and different training and executive techniques, used to transmit knowledge and expertise in storytelling and train individuals in this field.

We reviewed their experiences, workshops, performances and special apprenticeships, determining the main characteristics that a professional storytelling mentor should possess, such as having a good degree of knowledge in other arts, including drama, literature and music.

We also spoke about stories these storytellers have encountered in their journeys, the difference between being spontaneous and quick-witted, the constant and the variable in improvisation as well as how to express and feel liberated through storytelling and stories. Their reflections and personal visions were all documented, revolving around tales, storytelling and the best way to train in this field.

Hakaya manual greatly benefited from their experiences, as they contributed in compiling a number of storytelling and training methodologies. We hope that this production will expand to reach as many people as possible in this field, in order to learn from their expertise.

After this rich and inspiring experience, I urge you to share your stories with us. I believe that storytelling is the best way to express our humanity!

Shahd Bani Odeh

Arab Resources / Azkadunya

The Program has recently left its mark within the cultural community, as it has participated in numerous activities and exhibitions. During these events, the program was introduced to the public, presenting the enormous cultural potential and capabilities of the Arab world in their different forms, including books, music, films, arts and initiatives.

Azkadunya participated in Amman’s International Fair, the exhibition of De La Salle Frere School as well as in different cultural festivals and events, such as Hakaya Festival and Creative Jordan Festival.

During these forums, the program managed to draw a large number of people, especially those who sought to purchase educational books, literary books for children and the young, music and documentaries.

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