Mawaïd, rendez-vous for the Euro-Arab dialogue at UNESCO


07 December 2016

Paris ( France) - UNESCO, National Commissions for UNESCO members of the Euro-Arab Dialogue Initiative and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation are organizing an international conference on 9 and 10 December entitled "Mawaïd - Rendez-vous for the Euro-Arab Dialogue" to be held at the Organization's headquarters (Room II). The objective of this conference is to strengthen Euro-Arab cooperation and to adapt this initiative, created in 2001, to the current international challenges.

Opened by the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Founder and President of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, this two-day conference will focus on topics such as harnessing cultural heritage for reconciliation, the importance of local governments (municipalities, regions, etc.) in the educational and cultural cooperation between Europe and the Arab world, and education as a vehicle for the prevention of violent extremism. The role of media in promoting intercultural dialogue and in preventing radicalization will also be discussed (see programme).

The speakers and participants at this event include, among others, the writer Tahar Ben Jelloun; Francesco Rutelli, President of Priorità Cultura (Culture First); Metin Arditi, UNESCO Special Envoy for Intercultural Dialogue; Mounir Bouchenaki, Advisor to the Director-General of UNESCO on World Heritage; Barbara Cassin, philologist and philosopher; Ziad Hawat, Mayor of Byblos (Lebanon) and Moncef Ben Moussa, Director of the Bardo Museum (Tunisia).

During this conference, a Plan of Action will be adopted to strengthen the dialogue between Europe and the Arab world. It will take into account the proposals of young participants invited by National Commissions for UNESCO, who also contribute to the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022) coordinated by UNESCO.


Journalists wishing to cover this event are requested to accredit.

Media contact: Djibril Kébé, UNESCO Press Office, +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 41,