Youth leaders gather in the Upper Egypt city of Asyut this weekend to develop their skills on the use of social media for debate and active citizenship in the framework of Young Arab Voices (YAV).
The purpose of the training is to strengthen the capacity of debate associations established through the Young Arab Voices programme to promote debate events through social media and to engage users in online discussions.
The 32 participants, all part of the YAV debate clubs, are coming from the Egyptian cities of Alexandria, Asyut, Cairo, Damanhour, Minoufia, Qena, Portsaid, with regional participants arriving as well from Tunisia, Libya and Jordan.
The training includes specific components on the use of mobile phones and cameras to record video messages in the streets, and on the live coverage of debate events through live tweeting and live streaming, with a combination of practical exercises, debate simulations, field trips and theoretical inputs.
The training is prepared and delivered by a team of 7iber, an organisation with an extensive experience in connecting debate and online media through their experience with the Hashtag debates in Jordan. In addition, representatives of Soliya and Taking IT Global presented their work as best practices on the use of online tools to foster debate and intercultural understanding.
Andreu Claret, Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation, welcoming the participants at the event said that “the purpose of this training is very in line with the mission of the Foundation. Through social media thousands of young people are connected and have the opportunity to discuss issues that are central for their future. Social Media proved to be a very important tool for opening the doors for democracy in the Arab region, and now they can play an essential role in consolidating it”.
Lina Ejeilat, one of the 7iber trainers, commented that “it’s been great to see the energy and enthusiasm of this group of participants and how eager they are to engage in debates and discussions on issues pertinent to Arab societies at the moment. We need more of these young people and rich debates in our societies during this historic transition period.”
Young Arab Voices' was jointly launched in 2011 by the British Council and the Anna Lindh Foundation in response to the historic political and social changes taking place across the Arab region. The purpose of the programme is to train young people in debating skills and facilitate youth participation in new processes of democratic transition and reform. It has led to the creation of debate clubs in a wide range of settings, from schools and universities to cultural spaces and grass-root NGOs. 'Young Arab Voices' is an initiative of the British Council and Anna Lindh Foundation, co-financed through the British Foreign Office’s Arab Partnership Initiative.
For more information, please contact:
Islam Muhammad, Young Arab Voices Information Officer