Sea of words logo

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 2013 edition

Building Citizenship

In its 2013 call, the contest A Sea of Words is being held for the sixth time with the objective of helping to promote dialogue between peoples and the exchange of knowledge and experiences between different local and international traditions. Within the framework of the European Year of Citizens, the contest addresses the vision and expectations of youths in relation to the issue of building citizenship in the countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area.

The contest focuses on the production of short stories whose content is linked to the creation or consolidation of dynamics aimed at fostering voluntary work, a key element of active citizenship that helps to promote intergenerational solidarity, the evolution of values and societies, and the expression of the different sensibilities and realities of youths in the region.

Key information

The call was closed on 25 May 2013

We have received 242 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)

Zmajski Most

Daniel López Bončina. Slovenia

(2nd Prize)

Errors Allowed

Christoforos Pavlakis. Greece

(3rd Prize)

Water City

Dragana Tripković. Montenegro

Other finalists

Visiting Palestine

Khadija Hamany. Algeria

An Awesome Thing Happened to Me Yesterday

Marina Giunio. Croatia

The Two Superb

Sondos Gamal. Egypt

A Stranger Lives in Our Home

Anna-Maria Emilia Ikonen. Finland

The Sun Is Stifling

Samia Hathroubi. France

Politics Class

Emily Watton. Germany

School of Nations

Gabriella Szaszkó. Hungary

Stranger in Israel

Ilana Kishko. Israel

The Mirror

Eugenio Dacrema. Italy

Sour Oranges

Agnija Kazuša. Latvia

Something about Natalie

Sayed Ismail. Palestina

The Farthest Spaces

Leen Saed Rihawi. Syria

Rubbed Paper

Ana Do Vale Lázaro. Portugal

A Microphone without Bullets

Imen Fejjari. Tunisia

Co-organised with