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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 2018 edition

Memory and Identity: Rethinking Cultural Heritage

This year’s contest seeks to provide a forum for youths to tell us about their own experiences and emotions in relation to cultural heritage. Cultural heritage, whether tangible or intangible, is a fundamental part of our identity; it is a shared value and a sign of identity in villages and towns, natural landscapes and emblematic centuries-old constructions that bring us together in diversity. It is not just a legacy of the past but also helps us to forge the path to follow and design our future. Cultural heritage contributes to creating more united societies and to fostering growth and employment in cities and regions.

Key information

The call was closed on 20 April 2018.

We have received 249 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.

Winners announced

(1st Prize)

The Last Exile

Assia Elkadhi. Tunisia

(2nd Prize)

Dancing With the Past

Ilham Zenid. Morocco

(3rd Prize)


Dana Ozoliņa. Latvia

Other finalists

The Riviera

Abbass Tarhini. Lebanon

Family Notebook

Ahmed Abdelaty Hefny. Egypt

The Warrior

Donna Maria Maalouf. Sweden


Elena Cristina Simion. Romania

The Dastle of Rozafa

Etjen Konomi. Albania

Let Us Make Man

Georgios – Rafail Pissanis. Greece

In Our House There Is A Store

Hisham Ahmad Jouned. Syria

A Country House

Jeanne Inglebert. France

Holy Theodora

Maria Tramountani. Germany

The Land of P.

Monika Piepiórka. Poland

The Symphony of Death

Sarra Saadi. Algeria

Al-Kohl and The Jar

Maram Obeidat. Jordan

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