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Education and the Arab Spring

January 2012
Edition Number: 

Intercultural Affairs

Choosing not to Choose
Raghda Butros/

When I was four or five, I was plagued by a question that Arab adults love to torment children with: "who do you love more, your mother or your father?" This is a question for which there is no...

Arab revolts provide great inspiration to political cartoonists
Rita Daou/Middle East Online

From Tunisia's Ben Ali, to Egypt's Mubarak, Libya's Gathafi, all become fair game for caricaturists long muzzled in Arab region. The Arab revolutions have provided great fodder for political cartoonists, even if some in the region have paid a high price for daring to illustrate what would have been unthinkable only a year ago.

الإيمان به عام 2011 في العالم العربي: تغيير نستطيع
Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan

Regionally and globally we are coming to the end of a significant year. Manifold “awakenings” have altered the strategic, social and political context of a region I refer to as “West Asia North Africa” (commonly known as the Middle East and North Africa).

Les joies et colères des murs en Libye
Ben Boubakar Youssef /Babelmed

Chose inimaginable il y a encore un an, sous le régime du colonel Kadhafi, les murs de Tripoli s’expriment comme ils ne l’ont jamais fait. Graffitis, dessins et toiles de peinture ornent les espaces urbains donnant une ambiance colorée et exquise inhabituelles pour les Tripolitains. Les murs de certaines casernes, les ponts, échangeurs et autres citadelles de la ville ont été envahis par des artistes en herbe assoiffés d’expression pour crier tout ce qu’ils avaient sur le cœur.

The skateboarders bringing peace to Tunisia
Jake Hanrahan/The Guardian

How do you bring people together in the immediate aftermath of a revolution? Meet the Bedouins, the arty skate gang which commandeered an abandoned mansion in Tunisia to promote peace in the wake of the upheaval.

We Are Here and That Is How It Should Be!
Margret Köhler/Qantara

In their films, German directors of Turkish descent no longer emphasise the feeling of being alienated and foreign, as was the case in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. There is now a trend towards a lighter and more optimistic approach when dealing with serious subjects.

Que veulent les Arabes ?
Mansoor Moaddel/Project Syndicate

Il y a un an de cela, le vendeur de rue tunisien Mohamed Bouazizi s'immolait, ce qui eut pour effet de déclencher une vague de protestations populaires qui s'est propagée à travers le monde arabe, forçant les dictateurs égyptien, libyen et yémenite à abandonner le pouvoir  ; il semblerait également que la fin du règne du Président syrien Bachar al-Assad soit proche.

President Marzouki Meets With Leaders of Three Faiths
Kouichi Shirayanagi/Tunisia

President Moncef Marzouki welcomed leaders from Tunisia’s three religious faiths to the Carthage Presidential Palace, on December 19th. The Mufti of the Republic, the Chief Rabbi of Tunisia and the Archbishop of Tunis all had separate meetings with the new President.

What Happened to My Revolution
SARAH A. TOPOL / Foreign Policy

Five influential Egyptian protesters look back on a tumultuous year.

Tunisia's Islamist Party Slams Anti-Semitic Chants
Bouazza Ben Bouazza and Paul Shemm / Huffington Post

The head of Tunisia's moderate Islamic party condemned anti-Semitic slogans chanted Monday by a handful of ultraconservative Muslims during the arrival of a top Hamas official that have alarmed the local Jewish community.

Tracking the Revolutionary Mood
Dalia Mogahed / Foreign Policy

Egyptians' views of their political process reflect this optimism. Although many Americans -- and some Egyptian activists -- argue that little has changed in Egypt, most Egyptians see things differently, particularly after the recent parliamentary polls.

The Spanish Transition and the Arab Spring
Antoni Segura/EuroMesco IEMed

This paper by Antoni Segura focuses on the transition processes unfolding in Arab countries and compares them to the Spanish experience. Very often presented as a model, the Spanish…

In Focus

Sommet WISE à Doha : comment réformer le système éducatif dans les pays arabes ?

Changer les societes, changer l’education, c’est le thème retenu par le WISE, le sommet mondial de l’innovation pour l‘éducation, qui s’est tenu du 1er au 3 novembre au Qatar. En toile de fond, la question des mutations sociales et politiques enclenchées par le Printemps Arabe, et l’impact de ces révolutions sur le secteur de l‘éducation.Comment réformer le système éducatif des pays arabes ?

الربيع العربي وإصلاح التعليم
أحمد أبودقة

بعد مضي عام على بدأ "الربيع العربي" يتطلع الكثيرين إلى ما بعد هذه المرحلة بعين الترقب والحيرة، وتطرح تساؤلات حول قدرة البناء التعليمي والتنموي العربي على عبور مرحلة الإصلاح بسلام والخروج من مأزق السلطات القمعية إلى مستقبل مليء بالحرية والتنمية الحقيقية.

Democracy starts at school-How political philosophy has relevance across the curriculum
Mike Gershon/Guardian

Citizenship is, to my mind, vital. I must declare an interest here – I trained in the subject – but nonetheless, it is surely imprudent not to instruct our nation's youth in the democratic inheritance their forebears so decisively won.

Europe’s woolly thinking about how to aid educational reform in the Arab world
Ronald Sultana/Europes World

European governments, the EU and international organisations all agree better education is key to the future of Arab countries. But Ronald G. Sultana warns that so far no coherent strategy has emerged.

Education for All: Three New Year’s wishes
Pauline Rose, Director of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report

As the 2015 deadline for the Education for All goals fast approaches – and the global economic crisis threatens to slow progress – here are the three things we most want to happen in 2012. They offer an agenda for the kind of change that is needed to give everyone in the world an opportunity for a decent education.

Will the Arab Spring Lead to a Revolution in Education?
Muhammad Faour/Foreign Policy

Emerging democracies are fragile entities that need the support of dramatic reforms beyond the political realm. With publics in Egypt, Tunisia, and other Arab countries pushing for political and social change, education reform must be one such pillar of the new Middle East. More than one-third of the population in the Arab world is under the age of 15 and either currently enrolled in, or about to enter, the K-12 education system. Education will therefore play a key role in preparing the millions of young people in democratizing states to become well-informed participants in their localities, governments, and the global community.

EuroMed Media Review

King receives EU envoy
Jordan News Agency

His Majesty King Abdullah II on Wednesday met with European Union Special Representative for the Southern Mediterranean region, Bernardino Leon and discussed with him the developments in the Arab world. The King spoke about steps taken by Jordan to achieve comprehensive political, economic and social reform to strengthen the democratic process and enhance development and modernization.

EU € 4.8 million joint programme to strengthen democratic reform in the Southern Mediterranean countries

The European Union and the Council of Europe today signed a €4.8 million joint programme to strengthen democratic reform in the Southern Mediterranean countries.The ceremony took place in Strasbourg between CoE Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland and European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle.

Libri: giovane marocchina vince concorso "Un mare di parole"

La giovane Hanane Oulaillah-Jazouani, di Casablanca in Marocco, ha vinto il primo premio del concorso "Un mare di parole". Si tratta di un concorso internazionale per racconti brevi, organizzato dalla Fondazione Euromediterranea Anna Lindh per il Dialogo tra le Culture e dall'Istituto Europeo per il Mediterraneo. Il concorso, che punta a incoraggiare il dialogo tra i popoli e gli scambi di conoscenza ed esperienze tra diverse tradizioni locali e internazionali, si rivolge a scrittori fino a trent'anni residenti in uno dei 43 paesi dell'area euro-mediterranea.

Departing UfM Secretary General bids farewell to Spanish hosts
ENPI Info Centre

Youssef Amrani, the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, has bid farewell to the Spanish Prime Minister and the president of the government of Catalonia, which hosts the UfM’s headquarters in Barcelona, informing them of his appointment as Morocco’s Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Round-table debates highlight the role of pluralism in contemporary societies
Anna Lindh Foundation

On the occasion of the visit to Egypt of the distinguished Spanish philosopher Adela Cortina two events were organised in the Cairo Opera House and in the Swedish Institute of Alexandria by a number of institutions including Al-Azhar University, the Spanish Embassy in Egypt, the Anna Lindh Foundation and the Instituto Cervantes.

U.N. Arab-European draft resolution on Syria to stress need to solve crisis peacefully
Al Arabiya

The latest Arab-European draft resolution on Syria will be distributed by Morocco among the members of the U.N. Security Council on Friday, sources close to Al Arabiya said.

Commissioner Štefan Füle, One year after the Arab spring

We have launched the Civil Society Facility last September. Work continues on the establishment of the European Endowment for Democracy. The Commission has also renewed and increased its support to the Anna Lindh Foundation. And finally, we have strengthened our cooperation with the Council of Europe.