The Scientific Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean and Black Sea (EMBS) Observatory organized a two day workshop, held on the island of Procida, Naples, May 24-25, 2007.


Ala Yousef, Coordinator of the Zajel Youth Exchange Program of An-Najah's Public Relations Department, represented the University. The event provided the opportunity to get to know prospective partners for future projects in the youth exchange, student mobility, and cooperation in the field of higher education.   


The EMBS Observatory is an internationally-networked organization, comprised of local authorities, cultural institutions, and various associations from different countries bordering the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Its mission is to promote peace, along with economic and social development, mainly via concrete actions of solidarity. EMBS also works to stimulate multi-directional mobility and the reciprocal knowledge of the different people living in this area.


The major aims of the two day workshop in Procida were to enlarge the network so that it involves new cultural, social and political institutions, and to strengthen productive relationships among the different members already party to the EMBS Observatory. For this reason, the majority of meetings will be organized in small working groups, with the agenda of both discussing the opportunities offered by EU-funding and allowing multiple interactions for future project proposals. The outcome of the meetings was a list of concrete ideas and active collaborations working toward a fruitful network of Euro-Mediterranean and Black Sea institutions.


Ala Yousef, Zajel Coordinator, said that his participation in this workshop will open new window for Zajel's Youth Exchange Program.  He listed benefits of the event, including:  networking, sharing ideas, building projects, enlarging partnerships, and becoming familiar with more ideas and proposals for joint projects to help improve events organized for youths in Palestine.  


The workshop focused mainly on: cultural actions and cooperation; building bridges; fostering intercultural dialogue on the diversity and wealth of cultures; the mobility of artists, professionals, cultural operators; and summer schools. It also included the presentations of members of the honored committee of the EMBS observatory, European policies and funding in Mediterranean programs, and thematic working groups on concrete projects. Participants touched on another important issue, that of a co-operation and mobility programme in the field of higher education, a mobility scheme for students, post graduates and teachers, Masters Courses, EU-funded scholarships for participants of Masters Courses, and European integration through higher education.


In addition, other workshop issues included: active citizenship and the development of civil society in the enlarged and neighboring Europe; mobility and non-formal education for young people; youth exchanges; participation of young people in society; and life-long learning, in particular school education, adult education and informal learning.


The course took place in the lovely scenery of Procida, one of the most beautiful islands of the Gulf of Naples. The building which housed the workshop, the Ex-conservatorio delle Orfanelle lies in the most ancient part of the island, Terra Murata, whose name derives from an ancient division of the island called "Terre" (land), where inhabitants' houses were built to protect the area.