Capacity Building Workshop
 Um Sabri Boxer
   April 2013
Francais ÚÑÈí


In This Issue

The “ Inspiring Memory” Book… when Stories Gather
Um Sabri Boxer
Jeera in the hospitality of the people of Abu Nisser
A reflection of Safar funds for 2012
The Hikaya Club Festival - Tunis

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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


Art production grants for creative Arab youth - culture resource.

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Tel: +96265687557


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Tel: +9722961829 or +972599127223




This project is funded by
the European Union

The “ Inspiring Memory” Book… when Stories Gather

The transformation of dialogues in a certain seminar or a meeting into a written text easily comprehended by the reader who did not attend that meeting is a difficult task. The main challenge lies in the ability to transfer the vividness, richness and vitality of the dialogues that took place between the participants. The mission becomes even more difficult when the meetings are characterized by intimacy and richness as our meeting in “ Haresa”.

Within the joint program “ Hakaya” the Arab Education Forum in Jordan and Al Jana Centre in Lebanon organized a regional meeting on the “ Inspiring Memory” between 19- 21 May 2011 in Haresa- Lebanon. The aims of the meeting were to develop a profound understanding of different pilot initiatives that inspire the memory for cultural production and the production of interactive learning tools, as well as to try collectively to reach an understanding and comprehension of meanings and the different manifestations of the inspiring memory. The meeting aimed also to develop a common and renewable vision for the future work in this field.

The “ Inspiring Memory” book which lies between 101 pages was an outcome of these meetings, the first edition was printed in Jordan in 2012. The implementation was done through a contribution from a group of Hakaya program friends, and with the supervision of the working team from the Arab Education Forum and Al Jana information centre. The book contains a collection of stories and tales produced by the participants. The stories were written to allow a reconsideration of the “ learning “concept. The book itself reflects the fruitfulness of the meeting atmosphere in Haresa within 4 dimensions; after the preface and the introduction, there is a reconsideration of words, personal stories, initiatives as well as biographies.

Hence, this book contains; the written texts which were produced during the meeting in Haresa, a summary of the oral presentations for the speakers in the different sessions, a documentation of some interventions raised in the sessions which had to do with a reflection on the experiment or on the redefinition of words. Most of the participants had the opportunity to revise their material listed in their names before being published in this book, however, at the end we hold the sole responsibility for any errors which are certainly unintentional. It is also spontaneously understandable that we will not be able to transform the atmosphere of certain sessions such as Dabkeh dance, singing, storytelling, and film’s screenings which were organized during some evenings as part of art exchange experiences or part of hot discussions during lunch or dinner time. Nevertheless, we certainly hope that the reader through reading this book will be able to create an idea of these group initiatives and have examples on how to transform memory into an inspiring action to others and ourselves as well.

Since the beginning, we decided that the designing and editing process will walk hand-in- hand. Therefore, the first meeting between Maher Al Sharif and myself in Amman during February 2012 was organized in order to present an idea of this book in terms of layout, content, and according to the meeting minutes of the papers and discussions presented by the participants. Due to the highly interactive aspect of the meeting, the meeting minutes of these papers and discussions were not the only documents taken into account, but went beyond that to include a the process of redefining the words, narration of personal stories connected to the meeting theme in order to reflect truly our main principle in Hakaya, which says that learning begins from personal and collective stories, and through redefining the words we use.

From the “ Inspiring Memory” booklet

A text based on Halla Zakarneh’s narration of what she witnessed during Jenin refugee camp massacre, narrated by Fayha’ Abed Al Hadi. The title of the text is ( Shahrazad Said) “… Halla talks about the martyrdom of her husband, and about the seven frightening days she lived inside her house before she was able to bury her lifemate. What happened my dear and good judgmental audience, is that Atiya Abu Rmelh, who is still in denial of believing his eldest son’s martyrdom “Hani” since two days. He wanted to check the rooms in his house, after the outrageous bombing on his camp, indifferent to the mad hail of bullets. When he reached one of the rooms crawling on his knees, the sniper bullets surprised him with two bullets, he followed his son and they became two martyrs…”

The linkage between crisis and the expression of what is silenced, was narrated by Mahmud Badr “ My main goal of the revolution was to overthrow the regime, exactly as it was the goal of millions of people. I had this fear obsession about my mother and father, who always talked to me about his accomplishments exactly as my grandfather used to tell me about the 50’s war. Our insistence on the goal on the 25th of February, was a main purpose to arrest and humiliate us by the security men who took us to the security directorate and to prosecution. And then they deported us to the Arab prison, which is especially designed for political prisoners and contains all kinds of torture and terrorizing methods, we were imprisoned there for 4 days.

You can have a copy of this booklet through Azka Denia website

Um Sabri Boxer

A story narrated by the Palestinian storyteller Hussien Lobani, entitled “ Um Sabri Boxer” talks about a certain period in his childhood days where his clothes used to be stolen each time he goes to the sea with his friends from Al Damon. He talks about his continuous attempts to keep his clothes safe so he will not have to go back naked to his house. At the end of the story, he sheds light on the community problems through incorporating this story about children’s circumstances. Which stands also as an example of poverty witnessed by Palestinians living in Lebanon in 1954 despite the U.S aid. He uses a sarcastic and parody language based on reality to describe this poverty and way of living. Though narrated in a simple language, it reflects harshly a collection of values which bounded his community back then.

This story is a manifestation between a collection of stories recorded within Hakaya program, where the implementation was supervised by the Arab information Centre for Folk Art/ AlJana, The story reflects live knowledge and experiences from Lobani’s biography, it also reflects his research and interest in Palestinian folklore and heritage as well as his eagerness to pass it on to be a legacy for future generations.

Listen to the story through this link:

Jeera in the hospitality of the people of Abu Nisser

Samah Sabaneh- Jeera program coordinator

On Thursday 21/3/2013 which marks the mothers’ day and the first spring days, we went in a Jeera journey to Abu Nisser neighborhood. The journey was organized by Ms Hannan Al Masaeed, one of establishing members of Jeera initiative, she works as a social supervisor in Abu Nisser area which constituted a great example of hospitality in this area… words will betray me if I wanted to talk about the uniqueness of this trip. We met inspiring people which added to our experience, and there were people from different organizations; governmental such as ( Amman Municipality Libraries) and nongovernmental ( the Arab Education Forum- my book is your book- we love reading) and AlJana organization from Lebanon.

The journey began to take off in front the Arab Education Forum in Al-Shmensani heading to Abu Nisser neighborhood which is part of Amman municipality area. The people of Abu Nisser welcomed us warmly, then we were introduced to Rana Jughyber; the engineering director of this region, in which she got to know about Jeera initiative, the participants and the organizations they are presenting. We knew that Abu Nisser housing is one of the most structured systems, guaranteeing a very pure air and the whole area is a mountainous region covered with trees. We had a tour in the streets which were overlooking the jungles, then we went to Abu Nisser arboretum where we had a discussion on the bond between agriculture and arts/ culture and how much humans are related to agriculture. The conversation between the trees and plants was very pleasant, and lucky us the weather was more than perfect, especially with the smell of tea with miramya herbs. We planted seeds for colored roses and we felt that we are going back even a little to our roots and natural connection to earth, solid and plant. The members of the arboretum gave us seeds of a rose for each participants as a gift.

Please visit this link for more information about Abu Nisser journey :

A reflection of Safar funds for 2012

Safar fund program in 2012 has utilized all of its resources, capabilities, networking with other resources from the forum’s projects, partner institutions and donors to offer a lot of funds for youth. The applications went through a voting committee and interviews with the applicants to shortlist best choices.

The administrative board of Safar program has integrated more than one resource to offer the funds, regardless of the donor, the program would agree with other programs and institutions which fund the travel, to join Safar database and promote Safar’s culture through special groups. Therefore, it will not only give this program the opportunity to spread but also to facilitate the work of these organizations. An agreement is reached between this program and the institutions on the mechanisms and on the issue that despite funding financially the travel, Safar’s standards are applied to the applicants who would like to get this fund.

The number of applications was below the number reached in the past years, one of these important reasons is the political instability in some of the Arab countries, where the number of Arab countries to be visited had diminished due to the political and security atmosphere, in addition to the difficulties encountered to gain a visa to some of these countries. The youth become afraid to visit instable countries due to the possibility of having problems at any time. Moreover, the youth’s indulgent in political and local activities in their countries had limited there time to think about travelling to other countries and learning before getting beyond this stage.

Accordingly, during the year 2012, a total number of 154 applications were received. Out of this number 100 applications have not met with Safar’s standards or they were applications lacking more information. Therefore, 53 applications for Arab males and females belonging to these countries “ Algeria, Mauretania, Jordan, Syria, Tunisia, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Yemen, Morocco, and Sudan” were nominated to get Safar fund for an event or a visit to the participating Arab countries. 39 applications were accepted, in which 28 were carried out through funds by “ Istkshaf” , “ Hakaya” programs, or Kind Abdullah prize fund for excellence.

The grants were distributed between males and females, in which 13 grants were offered for females and 20 for males. 13 applicants were between the ages 21-25 years old, and 11 were between 26-30 years old, while 4 applicants were between 31-25 years old.

Details of applications:

• Total number of applications received: 154
• Total number of application raised to the voting committee: 53
• Total number of approved applications: 39
• Total number of individuals who did not travel: 11
• Applications funded by “ Istkshaf” program/ the European Union (EU): 4
• Applications funded by “ Hakaya” program”: 20
• Applications funded by King Abdullah Prize Fund for Excellence: 4

The Hikaya Club Festival - Tunis

From the 3rd-12th of May 2013

The main motive for creating the Hikaya Club network in primary schools was to encourage children to develop an interest in reading, with the belief that a hikaya (story) has the ability to inspire an interest in books. A hikaya is an oral book shared by several people in the same space at the same time—in a home, at a club, or at the market. The art of hikaya (storytelling) has been practiced by grandmothers and mothers in their homes, and was mastered by several storytellers that would share their hikaya in markets and other public spaces.

The development of the material conditions of society has been damaging to the soul and meaning of alhikaya, and much has been lost from storytellers to stories.

The Hikaya Club Network, which is part of the Donia Hikaya association, is one of 32 storytelling clubs that are associated with different schools and institutes in Safaqes. Initially, meetings with the teachers that would supervise these clubs were organized. Afterwards, performances of the stories told in the clubs were organized in centers for drama, arts, popular theater, and school centers, in order to expose children who may not be part of these school-clubs to the art of storytelling. The purpose of this was to popularize storytelling as a means of educating students in schools.

After seven months from the launch of the Hikaya Club Network, a festival has been organized from the 3rd-12th of May, which aims to present the work of the entire term.

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