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The Voice of Youths

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 2022 edition

Youths in the forefront for Gender Equality

Increasingly more people share the goal of achieving gender equality, although we are very far from bringing about a change in mentalities. The new generation is getting involved in transforming the current reality which still tolerates forms of gender-based discrimination. Sexist stereotypes, the pay gap, the difficult access to senior political, economic, and social positions, and, particularly, gender-based violence are some of the issues we are interested in changing.

In this 15th edition, we want the authors to feel free to write using fiction or real experiences about their aspects of overcoming this discrimination in their everyday lives.

Short stories are a tool that enables an exercise in introspection, expressing profound convictions, experiences and imaginaries. The literary form can reflect the personal views of the authors or their societies. It can promote the rights of women to fight against this inequality throughout the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Mr Asad Gabi Rahji has been awarded 1st prize in this edition.
His Stories Seeking Shelters is a collection of 5 micro-stories – inspired by actual life in Syria – where gender inequality and honour play a major role.

2nd prize: Ms Tijana Rakočević (Montenegro) with the short story Give birth to me

3rd prize: Mr Amer K. Almassri (Palestine) with the short story One does not equal one


List of the other best short stories selected by the jury:

Mohamed Gabsia (Tunisia) –  My last letter

Muhammad Tawfiq Abu Farda (Jordan) – Oriental Flower

Tereza Tručková (Czech Republic) – The 1rst thing we need to do to fight gender inequality

Matthew Schembri (Malta) – All this because

Aziza Sebai (Tunisia) – Ils ont volé mon corps

Azra Zahirović (Bosnia) – I didn’t want to live

Fatiha Nesrine Boukhorssa (Argelia) – Omnia’s Silent Scream

Ilaria Lorusso (Italia) – Come (non) vivere in un acquario

Call and conditions

Key information

The deadline is 10 July 2022.

If you’re between 18 and 30 years old, take part, write your short story and see your work published.


Finalists announced


Omnia’s Silent Scream

Fatiha Nesrine Boukhorssa (Algeria)

I didn’t want to live

Azra Zahirović (Bosnia)

The 1rst thing we need to do to fight gender inequality

Tereza Truckova (Czech Republic)

Come (non) vivere in un acquario

Ilaria Lorusso (Italy)

Oriental Flower

Muhammad Tawfiq Abu Farda (Jordan)

Awarded 2nd Prize

Give birth to me

Tijana Rakocevic (Montenegro)

Awarded 3rd Prize

One does not equal one Palestine

Amer K. Almassri (Palestine)

Awarded 1st Prize

Stories Seeking Shelters

Asad Gabi Rahji (Syria)

My last letter

Mohamed Gabsia (Tunisia)

They Stole My Body

Aziza Sebai (Tunisia)

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