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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 2011 edition

Paths of Participation: Democracy and Citizenship

The contest A Sea of Words, in its 2011 call, is being held again to help encourage dialogue between peoples and exchange of knowledge and experiences between different local and international traditions. However, in the framework of the European Year of Volunteering activities that promote active citizenship, this year’s theme will be aimed at promoting social solidarity and democracy.

The contest is aimed at the production of short stories whose content is related to the creation and/or consolidation of dynamics that strengthen volunteering activities, one of the active citizenship elements to promote social cohesion, liberty and democratic values.

Literary production is a fundamental means of expressing and describing events, ideas and emotions that can be directly transmitted to and by young people all over the Euro-Mediterranean region. From this point of view, the objective is to generate literary stories – based on reality and purely fictional – that describe different experiences of participation, citizenship and democracy.

Key information

The call was closed on 31 July 2011

We have received 165 stories written by youths from 32 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)

Towards Hope

Alaa Almalfouth. Palestine

(2nd Prize)

A Free Choice and Participation Group

Georgios Ampatzidis. Greece

(3rd Prize)

June 29th

Antonia Asimakopoulou. Greece

Other finalists

Barricaded Window, Let the Sun In!

Atika Belhacene. Algeria

Traffic Light

Ayah Bseisy. Palestine


Ilija Ðjurović. Montenegro

After el-Fawar

Pnina Geffen. Israel

Letters for a Peaceful Revolution

Lyuba Guerassimova. Bulgaria

White Lies

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Israel

Slip Road

Vesna Hauschild. Slovenia

Ladies who Travel East, or the Tunisian Seducer

Kateřina Horová. Czech Republic

A Story of a Revolution

Muhammad Ishan Kaad. Syria

Sugarcane Juice

Yasser Kashef. Egypt

Love Rap

Laura Lapiņa. Latvia

Playing Democracy or a Girl from the Republic Room

Gintarė Laurinavičiūtė. Lithuania

Turning Tables

Razan Majdalawieh and Raneem Tayeh. Jordan

Thank you, Ma’am

Odăgescu Bogdan. Romania

The Padlock

Hanane Oulahillah. Morocco

The Angels’ Tears

Marine Ronzi. France


Bihter Esin Yücel. Turkey

Co-organised with