Where does respect for others begin? Launch of the manual « Writing Peace »

22 January 2018

"Writing Peace" is a manual that invites young audiences to discover contemporary writings by introducing them to a sample of them. Its goal is to make the world appear a little closer and a little more familiar. "Writing Peace" encourages children (aged 8 to 14) to become aware of the interdependence of cultures through familiarization with contemporary writing systems, their history, and their borrowings.

The manual contains 24 activity sheets. Each section presents the characters of a writing system, an introductory text and historical background, the word “peace” and the word “hello,” the language(s) attached to the system(s), and an activity whose answers appear at the end of manual.

6,000 years after the advent of writing, what do we know about others, their systems of thought, and the transcriptions of their writing systems? How can different writing systems contribute to a better understanding of the world and our place within it? By beginning to learn about these writings and their fascinating beauty, the manual connects children to diversity, thus opening their eyes to the concept of peace and our awareness of it.


© UNESCO

Following the release of the manual, the book is proposed to schools for experimentation for a fixed period, with the help of teachers and pilot facilitators. The objective of these pilot tests will be to demonstrate the impact on children's perception of cultural diversity and of the nature of cultures intrinsically linked to each other. A training series is planned with the network of UNESCO Offices and their local partners.

The first training session will be held from 21 to 22 February 2018 in Rabat, Morocco, with support of the National Council for Human Rights, as intercultural dialogue cannot take place without respect for human rights and dignity. Several human rights clubs in Moroccan schools will be involved in an experimentation protocol conducted over several weeks.

"Writing Peace" is currently available in French, Arabic and English.

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About the author:

Eric Cattelain provided scientific coordination of both the book and the catalog of the exhibition. He has a PhD in Linguistics, Language and Culture expert - Semio.logics and is an Associate Professor in Bordeaux’s Department of Multimedia and Internet (MMI).  He is also behind the pantopie project. He edited the French manual, along with Michel Lafon, which then served as the basis for English and Arabic adaptations.

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Contact: Amina Hamshari, UNESCO, a.hamshari@unesco.org