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“La Caixa” Chair At Sabanci University In Istanbul, Turkey

The 'Anna Lindh-La Caixa Chair’, coordinated by The Sabanci University in Turkey, is a platform for stimulating debate on intercultural dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Launched in 2012, the Chair encompasses lectures and workshops on dialogue, cultural diversity and social cohesion in the Mediterranean societies, involving civil society leaders and academics on cross-cultural affairs. The Chair has also led to an annual summer school, open to young people from the 42 Euro-Mediterranean Member States.

THE ANNA LINDH-SABANCI SUMMER SCHOOL 2013

In the framework of the Anna Lindh-“la Caixa” Chair in Istanbul, between the 15th and 22nd of September, Sabanci University hosted a Summer School, co-organized with the Anna Lindh Foundation, with the participation of students from 14 different Euro-Mediterranean countries, namely: France, Italy, Israel, Tunisia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Albania, Egypt, Slovenia, Spain, Lebanon, Czech Republic and Turkey. The program, carried out by Turkish and Spanish professors from Sabanci University, The University of Barcelona, Barcelona Institute of International Studies (IBEI), Fundacion CIDOB and Yeditepe University, included lectures and discussions on topics ranging from history and social studies, to culture, law, economy, energy, migrations and human rights in the Euro-Mediterranean and the European Union. It also included a workshop, conducted by Robert Manchin of Gallup Europe and Eleonora Insalaco from the Anna Lindh Foundation, presenting the Anna Lindh Report on Intercultural Trends and the methodology of the Gallup Opinion Poll, on which the Report is based. Please find more detailed information about the Summer School here: (link to the program) and about the Anna Lindh Report here.

WHAT THE PARTICIPANTS TOLD US AFTER THE SUMMER SCHOOL:

- “This experience made me interested in issues related to the Euro-Med region really so much, that I would like to study them further. I am talking especially about the concerns related to the Arab Spring and the Arabic countries in general.”
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- “Every day I learned many things that I hadn’t heard of before. I really appreciate the fact that the teachers were able to get all students to the same level - they always assumed that in the class there is someone, who has no knowledge about the topic and they really did a good job in explaining the ‘big picture.’”

- “I enjoyed the new connections between people from different countries, the diversity of the discourse. It was very interesting to have the opportunity to sit face-to-face with people who live in countries, which I used to know only from television or from newspapers.”

- “Every issue was presented on a very high level and by the real people, which helped us to keep focused and to look at the discussed problems from a more personal perspective.”

- “The program was very interesting for me, because my M.A is about international law, and I want to work in foreign relations and international law related to "treaties, agreements and conventions" in the future. Moreover, I want to study the Euro-Med region because it is gaining momentum recently and it is becoming an important chapter of international law.”

- “I have gained knowledge about the situation in the Euro-Med, the developments, the growth and the difficulties it faces, and about the international treaties that have been governing this region since a long time.”

- “I am still in touch with the other students I met during the Summer School and I’m hoping to develop some sort of partnership with them.”

- “I learned a lot about Turkey and I had a great opportunity to meet people with whom I might have some collaboration in the future.”

- “I’d like to thank again all of you for giving us this great opportunity to join the Sabanci Summer School. It was really great. All of us, we will never forget this experience, which helped us to be more active and aware of the necessity to  increase our awareness of what is going on in the region.”

- “I gained new information and ideas about the Turkish state policy, and I really discovered points of view new for me. This experience showed me how to gain and improve my knowledge in the field of intercultural relations. In fact, the Summer School allowed me to realize, just how crucial it is to follow new updates in the MENA region and Europe on a daily basis, in order to be more aware and conscious of not only my own country, but also about the whole world of various news.”

- “I enjoyed all the lectures, specially those about the role of Turkey in the ME and its relations with the EU. But I was hoping for more workshops and working groups.”

- “I want to be a specialist in Turkish studies. Right now I am already working in a research center on Turkish issues, so the Summer school enriched my knowledge about Turkey and the Mediterranean region.”

- “[Thanks to the Anna Lindh-Gallup workshop with Robert Manchin] I now have more respect and interest for statistics and surveys, when I will use them more in my research papers.”

- “I am studying International Relations and the lectures of the Summer School were highlighting important informations about the EU-MED area, which I can use during my studies. I am also working with immigrants from the Euro-Med area, and the knowledge gained during this program can be useful in my work - to understand people from these countries better.”

- “I learned many important things about EU-Turkey relations, and about the free movement of people in the Euro-Med area. The Anna Lindh-Gallup Survey helped me to understand better the ways of thinking of the people of the Mediterranean.

- “From the lectures and workshops, I gained knowledge about the region in general, and from the participants I learned some details about life in the particular countries.”