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To mark the 5
th edition of SafirLab, CFI and the French Institute have selected around twenty projects headed up by young people who are working for change and are actively involved in new social dynamics sweeping across the Arab world.
Aged between 20 and 30, these pioneers hail from Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen and also – as of this year – from Algeria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. They are committed to playing a part in shaping the futures of their respective countries, and are behind a variety of initiatives that have brought new-found hope to their local communities, such as a new participatory women's web magazine in Algeria, a scheme for promoting reading in Morocco, a website and an app for accessing public places designed for disabled people in Tunisia, a festival showcasing short films that focus on social issues in Jordan, and much more besides.
The project leaders will be staying in Paris from 30 October to 13 November, during which time they will be able to widen their professional network by attending group workshops and meetings conducted in three working languages (English, French and Arabic), together with customised tutorials on project management, sourcing funding, the use of social media, media training, public speaking, and so on.
The main focus of SafirLab 2016 will be on social innovation. Building on the momentum created by previous editions, the programme will boost its 'fast-track' dimension by providing the participants with all the tools they need to bring their projects to fruition.
The projects selected for this year's edition include
Warda (Algeria): a web platform and space for encouraging young people to volunteer and become more active citizens.
Aflami (Jordan): a festival that showcases short films focusing on social issues, which are produced by young people who beforehand will have completed a short training course on cinematographic production.
Active Citizen Programme (Libya): helping and supporting young people in Libya to play a more active role in the public sphere and contribute more to civil society.
The Qra Twsel Tramway Library Initiative (Morocco): promoting reading as a vector for social and cultural development, by setting up libraries offering free reading material in Casablanca's tram stations.
Expression Platform (West Bank): the creation of a platform for young people living in the refugee camps in the West Bank, allowing them to express and share their views and have constructive debates.
Leaders of Tomorrow (Tunisia): the setting-up of a club aiming to make young people more aware of citizenship, thus enabling them to become more active citizens and help to make Tunisia more democratic.