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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 2019 edition

Young People’s Commitment to Social Change

In this last decade, new social movements have appeared in the Euro-Mediterranean area and developed civic actions that particularly involve young people, women and men. The demands from various public spaces, graffiti, youth cooperation, the new forms of mobilisation and interaction attempt to influence societal change and the way citizen participation and governance are understood.

This year’s contest aims to highlight the central role played by young people by giving them a voice to explain their own experiences and emotions in relation to the personal and social changes that are currently taking place.

Key information

The call was closed on 25 April 2019

We have received 246 stories written by youths from 28 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.


Read the short stories awarded in this publication

Winners announced

(1st Prize)

The Invisible

Bartłomiej Juszczak (Poland)

(2nd Prize)

Living in a Beehive

Khamsa Harabi (Tunisia)

(3rd Prize)


Hamoumi Ismail (France)

Other finalists

All Must Change

Akila Tchier (Algeria)

The Heart of an Angel

Ahmed Abdelaty Hefny (Egypt)

No Heroes

Ioulia Stamatopoulou (Greece)


Sali Abu Kwaik (Jordan)

Closets Are Meant for Clothes

Dana Ozoliņa (Letonia)

Do Refugees Have Names

Anna Romandash (Netherlands)

The Spirit of the Revolution

Mouna Ammar (Tunisia)

The Egg Boy

Ali Tarhini (Lebanon)

Co-organised with