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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 2016 edition

Combating All Forms of Violence Against Women

From the very beginning and on several fronts, the IEMed has been dedicated to the fight for gender equality. Working with the Anna Lindh Foundation, the IEMed drew up the preliminary document for the First Ministerial Conference in Istanbul in 2006 “Strengthening the Role of Women in Society: The Role of Culture and Media as Key Instruments for the Evolution of Mentalities”; and, since 2013, it has promoted the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation (FFEM):

In the 9th A Sea of Words contest, we are calling for real or fictional stories that address different experiences and views on the various types of gender-based violence and discrimination within our diverse societies in order to question established patterns and promote new ways of approaching equality.


Key information

The call was closed on 2 June 2016

We have received  303 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)

Reasons and Names

Nour Bassam Hariri. Syria

(2nd Prize)

Chicca Is Running

Valeria Mingolla. Italy

(3rd Prize)

The Face

Mira Petrović. Croatia

Other finalists


Asmaa Ramadan Mohamed Ali. Egypt

2:24 a.m

Maria Tramountani. Germany

Alex / Alexandra

Mirsini Tramountani. Germany

From Mother to Daughter

Federica Ponza. Italy


Linda Ahmad Obeidat. Jordan

Then the Almond Tree Smiled

Souha Bakhta. Tunisia

Do You Blame the Creature or its Creator? (Innocent of all Charges)

Djellal Eddine Semaane. Algeria

Wolves Do Not Hate Meat

Maram Obeidat. Jordan

No Plans for Tonight

Maryam Tarhini. Lebanon

Suddenly Nothing (The Long Shadow of a Short Life)

Jelena Đurović. Montenegro

Her First Flight

Alicja Wojciechowska. Poland


Lara Bulut. Turkey


Hazem Raad. Syria

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