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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 2017 edition

Youth, Stereotypes and Radicalisation

This year’s theme seeks to give youths (aged 18 to 30) the opportunity to explain their experiences of how they see themselves and how society imposes a series of stereotypes on them. Since the Arab Springs, youths have achieved a more significant role and visibility in the media, blogs or social networks. Meanwhile, the economic crisis marginalises youths and contributes to their anonymity. Youths are seen through stereotypes and dualism: either as innovative people and better trained than ever or as people easy to manipulate through the social networks.

Key information

The call was closed on 24 May 2017

We have received 229  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)

A Loaf of Bread

Salim Bouazzati. Morocco

(2nd Prize)

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates

Omar Hussein Al Othman. Jordan

(3rd Prize)

Pizza Kebab

Giulio Pitroso. Italy

Other finalists

A Short Story by Anne Frank

Elisa Konomi. Albania

Coffee O’Clock at the Iron Fist

Lucie Trojanova. Czech Republic

The Receptionist

Basma Ahmed Sayed Eloufi. Egypt

Arabische Chroniken

Nicole Vogl. Germany

My Friend, the Tyrant

Lefteris Anagnostopoulos. Greece

Nadia and Samira

Carlotta Fanton. Italy


Mohammad AlAuthman. Jordan


Maram Obeidat. Jordan

The Wedding

Shareef Tarhini. Lebanon

The City inside My Head

Ethem Mandić. Montenegro

Victim No. 13

Badr Metchu. Morocco

Gods and the Others

Gökten Çağrı Aktan. Turkey

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