Capacity Building Workshop
Cities and the thirst for stories
September 2012
Francais ÚŃČí

In This issue

Launch of the second phase of "Safar/Istikshaf" and the "Jeera – Amman Learning and Convivial City" initiative
Application deadline extended
Travel grants in September
Hakaya Meetings
What is Azkadunya?
Artists' mobility and visas: share your story!

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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


Guide to Funding opportunities for international cultural exchange in Asia

Initiated by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) through its online portal, these 20 mobility funding guides are a concrete output of the mapping of funding opportunities for international cultural exchange in 18 countries in Asia. Apart from the mobility funding guides focused on the respective 18 Asian ASEM countries, you can also find two additional guides, one focused on Asia and another one on funding opportunities open to any nationality.

Roberto Cimetta Fund
Call for travel grant applications - Regione Puglia - Mediterranean

The Roberto Cimetta Fund is launching the fourth 2012 open call for travel grants, open thanks to the support of the Regione Puglia in Italy; artists and cultural operators from the Region of Puglia are eligible for this Fund as well as artists or cultural operators from the Euro-Arab and Mediterranean regions travelling to the Region of Puglia. The call is open between September, 1st and September, 30th.

Asian Cultural Council Fellowship Program

The Asian Cultural Council supports cultural exchange in the visual and performing arts between Asia, the United States and amongst Asian countries. Applications are accepted from individuals and institutions. The grant program covers all the visual and performing arts, both contemporary and traditional. Deadline: 1 November.

Contact Us

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


Launch of the second phase of "Safar/Istikshaf" and the "Jeera – Amman Learning and Convivial City" initiative

The Arab Education Forum announced the launch of the second phase of "Safar/ Istikshaf program" and "Jeera-Amman Learning and Convivial city" initiative during the opening of the fifth edition of Hakaya Festival. The two projects are in line with AEF’s efforts to revive the concept of “community learning”, challenging traditional forms of education by recognizing the society and people as the primary source of knowledge.

In the second phase of Safar /Istikshaf Program, the AEF and its partners seek to promote mobility "as" and "for" learning in the Arab world and the Mediterranean at large. The program will strive to ensure universal access to mobility through advocating for public policies that encourage mobility and facilitate it to the fullest. Istikshaf marks a fruitful cooperation between the AEF, Roberto Cimetta Fund (France) and I-ACT (Egypt), and has received funding from the European Union as of December 2011. Over the period of 30 months the partner organizations intend to implement a series of activities to promote and disseminate a "culture of mobility" that embraces the value of mobility for learning.

Since the beginning of the second phase of Istikshaf, three meetings were conducted with various stakeholders concerned with supporting mobility in the Arab world. In addition, an advocacy campaign is under development to tackle relevant public policies. Grounded in the conviction that beneficiaries of mobility schemes should take the lead in promoting and supporting mobility, efforts were intensified to launch local mobility funds, managed by active youth, with the first initiatives launched in 8 Arab countries. Also in mid-August and during the first phase of Istikshaf, the AEF published a book entitled ‘Madarat: exploring mobility around the Mediterranean’, the first of its kind in Arabic including research papers, articles, and reflections written by Arab and European artists, writers, and experts.

Such programs cannot succeed without public-private partnerships, and the Greater Amman Municipality has become the lead partner with the AEF in the "Jeera: Amman learning and convivial city" initiative which serves as a pilot and model for the way cities can promote mobility "as" and "for" learning for its residents and visitors. The "Jeera" initiative seeks to reveal Amman as the hospitable and learning city it can be, paving the way for its residents and visitors alike to engage in a unique learning experience in its neighborhoods and among its people.

The project kicked off with a series of meetings with local communities, stakeholders and representatives of the Greater Amman Municipality – Cultural department, coupled with extensive research on existing learning opportunities in the city, including its people, institutions and spaces. These steps aim at promoting knowledge and encouraging residents and visitors to learn through apprenticeships, visits and basic human connections. The first product of this project will be the “learning map of Amman”, which illustrates available learning opportunities in the city.

The two initiatives are in line with AEF’s conviction that people are always the solution and any knowledge that is capable of contributing to the healthy growth of individuals and groups should derive from their experiences and expertise and enrich them.
Application deadline extended: Travel grants available for young Arab innovators for exchanging visits with the winners of King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement

The Safar program, in collaboration with the King Abdullah II Award for Youth Innovation and Achievement, is offering young Arab innovators the chance to obtain a travel grant in order to visit any of the recipients of the Award. This is as a result of an agreement between the King Abdullah II Fund for Development and the Arab Education Fund’s Safar program, which aims to make the most of the experience and resources of both parties, and use them to serve the interests of a generation of young Arab activists in their communities. The Safar Youth Mobility Fund supports these young Arab innovators to visit the recipients of the Award to learn from them and communicate with them, in their various locations all over the Arab world.

In order to apply please visit the Safar Fund website:

For more information on the initiatives:

Travel grants in September

  • (Islam Sarafi from Palestine, Jameei Ben Zaeem from Algeria, Kholoud Abdulbari from yemen, Khamees Abu Sssad from Palestine, Samah Kamel from Egypt, Shadi Hagras from Egypt, Haimer Abdelkarim from Algeria, Noura Majdoub from Tunisia, Youssra Elsharkawy from Egypt ). The aforementioned grantees participated in a series of workshops, conducted as part of Hakaya Festival in Amman.
  • (Dana Dia from Lebanon, Razan Al- Mubaidin from Jordan, Fidaa Ataya from Palestine, Saif Eldeen Jlassi from Tunisia, Maher Abado from Syria, Saddam Al-Edlah from Yemen, Dhiyaa Al Shikh from Syria, Bilel Jelassi from Tunisia ). The aforementioned grantees participated in workshops, organized by the International Association for Creativity and Training (I-act) in Alexandria, Egypt.
Hakaya Meetings

Over the past two-and-a-half years, the Hakaya regional program has engaged in partnerships and projects that have captured the spirit of the Arab street through the stories shared by so many passionate individuals and organizations. Over the past 24 months inspirational theme-based meetings occurred, dialogues emerged, knowledge surfaced, connections were made and learning was experienced. While a core group of regional partners remained consistent and active, some partners were lost, as work paths no longer crossed the same terrain. A cycle in our work was close to completion and we knew it was time to sit and assess all that we had done and begin the steps to plan for our next phase.

Hakaya was built on the premise that stories are central to life, art and learning. From that belief that connected many of us, individuals and organizations alike, we began to translate our discussions into projects built around the ever growing notion of Hakaya. On September 13-15,2012, a total of 22 individuals, representatives of regional partners, Consultative Board members, and select Friends of Hakaya met in Amman to begin evaluating the work. Hakaya sought the expertise of an external evaluator to assist in this process. The three days paved the way for honest reflections of partners and Consultative Board members as all concerned explored the meaning and impact of Hakaya and its regional outreach.

On September 15, a Storyteller's Network meeting was also organized and witnessed the gathering of a diverse group of storytellers in the beautiful setting of Darat al-Funoun,an art space located in Jabal Lweibdeh. The Storytellers engaged in discussions on what they perceive the role of a network should be and how best it could serve their interests.

The afternoon of September 15 culminated in presentations by three panelists involved in initiatives supported by Hakaya. Anas Abu-Rahmeh, a poet and writer, read poetry inspired by his visits to Palestinian villages where he listened to stories told and found new meanings to the words. Based on a concrete recommendation during a Partners meeting, Shahd Beni-Odeh was commissioned to research and interview members of the storytellers network, identify methodologies guiding their work and the trainings they conduct, giving them the form to share their vast knowledge with others. Nora Amin, a partner within our network, spoke of the work she had done in Egypt through the Hakaya program, work that supported neighborhoods coming out to share stories on the streets, allowing residents to break their silence and engage often times challenging the discourse of the day.

All in all the three days provided the perfect opportunity for reflection and growth, the Hakaya way!
Praline Gaypara / Lebanon, France

The storyteller Taher Bakeer / Palestine

What is Azkadunya?

Azkadunya is an alternative distribution network for non-profit cultural and educational products produced in the Arab world or in Arabic. It is a partner to "The Other Arabia" project of the Arab Education Forum. Azkadunya is primarily an internet-based sales and distribution network, but we also take part in book fairs and other cultural events that provide an opportunity for marketing these products.

Why Azkadunya?

There are many individual initiatives and organizations, community based as well as official, that are producing excellent cultural products whether books, music, films, magazines, or otherwise. However, these products do not have adequate distribution opportunities or channels within the Arab world and abroad. Azkadunya is the only distributor for these products in the Arab world.

Determination and persistence continue to encourage Azkadunya to establish and broaden partnerships and further seek to leave its mark. This cannot happen without your collaboration and your feedback, including your comments and recommendations to develop Azkadunya.

Therefore, we kindly ask you to fill this form, in order to help us improve the project and its tools including the website.

Artists' mobility and visas: share your story!

On the Move is exploring how cultural organizations supporting mobility can help non-EU artists overcome the difficulties they encounter when willing to enter the EU, and which message could be conveyed to the policy makers at the EU and national level to take into account the specific needs of artists and operators active across borders. Reply to our questionnaire and help us collect real stories about concrete obstacles to mobility related to visas!

The deadline is 15 October.

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