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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 2009 edition

Building Bridges of Trust to Overcome Conflicts

Cultural interaction can be a key tool to address different issues, mainly of a political and socioeconomic nature. For this reason, the contest targets youths who wish to write about rebuilding bridges of trust and dialogue as an instrument for conflict resolution and creating spaces of coexistence.

Key information

The call was closed on 31 May 2009

We have received 143 stories written by youths from 34 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.

Winners announced

(1st Prize)

I Want to Call Out to Samirah

Pierre J. Mejlak. Malta

(2nd Prize)

The Color of Skin

Kyriakos Theocharous. Greece

(3rd Prize)

The Afareet

Mirette Bahgat. Egypt

Other finalists

A Peaceful Conversation about a Stormy Hist

Abdullah Khaldoun AlSbaihi. Jordan

Salt-Tasting Memories

Keith D. Azzopardi. Malta


Eyad Barghuty. Israel


Farah Ben Jemaa and Ammal Jaabiri. Tunisia


Berislav Blagojević. Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Three Gates of Wisdom

Menad Djaoui. Algeria

I Want to See the Sea

Kristina Druza. Latvia

A Taste of Four Cities

Wiam El-Tamami. Egypt

In the Same Direction

Raluca Enescu. Romania

She Stands upon the Root of Civilisations

Zaina Irhaim. Syria

Seeking to Overthrow a Moon

José García Moreno-Torres and Rita Tapia. Spain

Never Date an Exchange Student

Kateřina Horová. Czech Republic

A Perfect Day for Danube Shells

Nino Kovačič. Croatia

Mental State of Matter

Nikola Lazinica. Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Funeral in Guidone

Chiara Palladino. Italy

The Clasp-Knife.

Petru-Gabriel Pintilei. Romania

The Infidel Donkey

Rosana Rodríguez. Spain

Here – and Over There

Géraldine Sacchi. France

Irfan’s Guitar

Aida Šečić. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Red Coat in a Fishbowl

Eleni Skarparis. Cyprus

My Lebanese Friend

Anne Soisson. Luxembourg

The Tale of the Shore Across

Derya Sönmez. Turkey


Jakub Tabisz. Poland

The Unwritten Rules

Anne Thomassen. Denmark

Culture – Source of Wisdom

Kadiata Touré. Mauritania

Green, Red, White

Conxita Tunica. Spain

Why Do I Have to be Different?

Nouha Yeferni. Tunisia

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