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We give a voice to young people to promote a change of narratives and contribute to a culture of understanding, peace and dialogue in the Euro-Mediterranean region

This programme creates spaces for intercultural encounters between young people in order to promote exchanges of experiences and ideas between peers, identify shared values in the region and transcend those stereotypes that tear us apart. By doing so, it aims to equip young people with tools so they can play a relevant role in future societies and actively promote the values of diversity and co-existence in the Euro-Mediterranean area. 

The programme includes regular youth-to-youth debates on the burning issues in the Euro-Mediterranean area, including violent extremism, hate speech and migration.  

It also features the youth contest “A Sea of Words”, organised in collaboration with the Anna Lindh Foundation and its national networks. The competition is open to young people between the ages of 18 and 30 from the Euromed area. It encourages intercultural dialogue and the exchange of knowledge through the stories about experiences and concerns expressed by young people. Since 2008, each contest has revolved around a different theme, such as gender equality, sustainable development, democracy and citizenship, radicalisation and climate change. 

Through short stories, young people have the opportunity to freely express ideas, perceptions, concerns and hopes. In this way, different local and international traditions are reflected. During the 13th year of the contest, around 3,000 works were received, with a good balance between the North (47%) and South (53%) of the Mediterranean. An international jury selects between 10 and 20 texts every year, and offers the finalists the opportunity to take part in an intercultural experience in Barcelona. This exchange includes literary workshops, cultural visits and the awards ceremony, featuring prominent figures from different fields. 

The 2008 edition

Intercultural Dialogue

The first A Sea of Words coincides with the holding of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue within the framework of the campaign “1001 Actions for Dialogue”. Its objective is to encourage young people to write about intercultural dialogue as a tool for resolving crises concerning the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Key information

The call was closed on 15 March 2008

We have received 164 stories written by youths from 33 Euro-Mediterranean countries

The contest welcomes stories written in any of the official languages of the Euro-Mediterranean countries:
Albania, Algeria, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, The Netherlands, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and United Kingdom.

The 10 winning stories will be published in an anthology.

Winners announced

(1st Prize)

A Choice You Wouldn’t Want To Make

Albertas Dvirnas. Lithuania

(2nd Prize)

My Passion

Biljana Apostolova. FYR Macedonia

(3rd Prize)

Seeing with New Eyes

Georgios Ampatzidis. Greece

Other finalists

Between Two Shores

Élise Blot. France


Ilaria Mavilla. Italy

The Cut

Eleni Skarpari. Cyprus

Cold, Sunny and Colorful

Alaa Walid Abukaraki. Jordan


Ceren Alptürkan Erdil. Turkey

On the Road to Soweto

Hafedh Ben Miled. Tunisia

Brotherhood across the Sea

Ümit Çalışıcı. Turkey


Nada Dajani. Palestine

The Other

Aliaa Abdel Aziz Dawoud. Egypt

Bermuda Triangle

Tarek El Bacha. Lebanon

A Sea of Words… A Practical Guide for Swimming in Multicultural Waters

Luciana Grosu Brînduşa. Romania


Juan de Dios Ibáñez. Spain

Standing Mountain

Maria Ioannou. Cyprus

July Memories. The Smell of the Sun in Grapes

Maja Klarić. Croatia

The Salt Roulette

Nataša Kramberger. Slovenia

I Had Been One of the Cavemen

Mohamad Lazqani. Syria

The Legend of Tutla

Hicham Lasri. Morocco

Arguing over a Lost Identity

. Sarah Leusière Velard. France

The Pied-Noir

Christine Schmelzle. Germany


Judit Schvéger. Hungary

Points in Space

Elizaveta Sivakov. Israel

Fatmah. A True Story Taken from Factual Life from Upper Egypt, where Events Have Been Underway from 1955 till the Present

Abeer Abdelfattah Soliman. Egypt

Evening Story

Ana-Iulia Stăiculescu. Romania

Variations on the Theme of European Dialogue

Jana Šubrtová. Czech Republic

My Touch with the World

Tereza Todorova. Bulgaria

Life Is What It Is

Conxita Tunica. Spain

In a Tight Spot

Simão Valente. Portugal

Co-organised with