Capacity Building Workshop
Almoultaqa Launchs Istikshaf Mobility Regional Policy Agenda
October 2012
Francais ÚÑÈí

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Launch of Istikshaf Mobility Regional Policy Agenda
AFF Annual Meeting 2012
Mobility Operators meetings Documentary
See Hakaya Meeting Documentary
Schools Collection

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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

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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 holds a meeting on public policies, affecting mobility in the period between 20-21 November, 2012 in the French Institute in Beirut.

Supported by the European Union, the first day of the debate will focus 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.

A total number of 45 activists and institutions from more than 20 Arab and European countries will attend this meeting, where Istikshaf Mobility Regional Policy Agenda will be signed, aiming at jumpstarting a debate on the regional and national levels among a wide spectrum of governmental, non-governmental and international organizations and social activities in order to reach policies and positions vis-à-vis the mobility of artists and social activities, who wish to learn and engage in a dialogue across the borders.

Roberto Cimetta Fund also convenes a meeting, titled “Madarat” for dialogue and capacity-building, in cooperation with the French institute in Beirut and the Arab Education Forum on Wednesday, November 21, 2012. This meeting will create opportunities for networking, advocacy among communities and governments to further pursue the interests of artists and stakeholders in the arts and culture sectors, namely independent artists. It also aims at re-visiting the space that brings together Europe, in its larger sense and context, with the Arab and Mediterranean countries in a manner that truly reflects the reality of artistic mobility in the region.

AFF Annual Meeting 2012

On behalf on the Arab Education Forum, Mais Irqsusi participated in AFF Annual Meeting 2012, held on September 16th, 2012, in Cairo and co-hosted by AFF members in Egypt: The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development and Mansour Foundation for Development. The AFF Annual Meeting 2012, entitled “Maximizing Philanthropic Resources in Times of Change and Austerity”, was held in the period between September 16 - 18, 2012 at the Marriott Hotel - Zamalek in Cairo, Egypt. The meeting drew global attendance from leading regional and international philanthropic foundations and key players in the field of philanthropy.

Mobility Operators meetings Documentary

The meeting was the stepping stone for the launch of the Istikshaf collaboration and advocacy platform to enhance the network of supporters, find common actions and tools, and develop the complementarities amongst various groups involved in promoting mobility in the Euro-Mediterranean region to become more efficient in advocating with policy makers for the advancement of mobility as a crucial prerequisite for lifelong learning, artistic growth, and cultural exchange.

See Hakaya Meeting Documentary

Tales of an Arab Spring: Who Writes people’s history(ies)

Schools Collection

In 1937 a remarkable project was initiated by the Irish folklore Commission. The Commission had been set up in 1935 by Séamus Ó Duilearga with the urgent intention of systemising the collecting and saving of the rich oral tradition of Ireland which was in danger of being lost to the social changes - emigration, linguistic change and modernity - that the 20th century was ushering in.

He had secured a small grant from De Valera, the Prime Minister of the fledgling Irish Free State (as it was known at the time) and he set about recruiting collectors who would record the everyday treasures before they faded from communal memory. The commission also sponsored collecting in the native communities of the Isle of Man and in the Western Isles of Scotland. The Folklore archive is the second biggest in the world, after that of Finland. The Main Collection contains up tp 3,000 thick volumes and a huge body of sound recordings.

One inspired project that stands out was the “Schools Collection” of the school year of 1937-38, when, with agreement of the Department of Education and the teachers' union, it was arranged that primary schoolchildren would not have to produce written homework for a whole year but were given instead copybooks into which they collected, in Irish and English, the stories and lore of their parents, grandparents and neighbours. Some 100,000 children (between the ages of 12 and 14) in 5,000 schools rose to the occasion and a collection of more than half a million manuscript pages was housed in the Commission (now the Department of Folklore, University College Dublin).

The topics researched and written about included local history, folktales and local versions of the older epics, riddles and seanfhocail (proverbs), superstitions, songs, games, pastimes, prayers, folk cures, traditional work practises and crafts. The collection was unique and served as a model in other European countries. The enthusiastic efforts of those children saved a wealth of folk tradition that otherwise would have disappeared leaving the nation poorer for the loss.

Nowadays schoolchildren researching their own home districts can avail of the collection through their school libraries. Of particular interest would be material under the title of Dindseanchas (the lore of place names). The original Irish name of a village, a field, a hill or a bend in the road often holds an origin story, one hidden or suppressed by the colonial project of the British Army's Ordinance Survey and mapmaking of the island of Ireland in the early 19th century. This event is the 1833 setting of Brian Friel's theatrical masterpiece, “Translations” (1981). In more recent times, his friend, our Nobel prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney has pointed out that while the whole of the Irish landscape is a manuscript, there is a danger that we are fast losing the skill to read it. I add these comments, aware of the history of displacement that has intensified for the Palestinian people. It would be great to see this simple and effective project copied wherever native cultures are under attack.

Up to some years ago it was possible for working storytellers to introduce children to the local essays collected in the 30's and then to introduce those children to people in their seventies. Imagine the delight and intrigue felt by the children when they realised that these 'old people' had been the childrn who collected and saved the precious material all those years ago. If we acknowledge that the grandparent–grandchild relationship is a vital, one storytelling can be a wonderful meeting place. Those who survived the past with a noble dignity can give strength to a new generation to face their own circumstances in a proud and fearless way.

Jack Lynch, Irland.

Irish storyteller Jack Lynch appeared at The Hakaya Festival in Amman 2011-2012 and will be telling at The International Storytelling Festival in Beni-Mellal, Morocco March 2012 He is a founder-member and chairman of the Irish national organisation - Storytellers of Ireland/Aos Scéal Éireann.

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