Euro-med youth exchanges: Culture of Olive Trees . . . Culture of Peace
an article by Euromed Youth Exchange
Video: Culture of Olive Trees . . . Culture of Peace
“Culture is something that remains in our minds after we forget everything“. Culture of Olive Trees . . . Culture of Peace represented an opportunity for creating new bridges among the Mediterranean European and North African countries, cultures, traditions and perspectives of living.
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From 17th to the 27th December 2011 the Association des Amis de la Maison de Jeunes Sahloul (AAMJ Sahloul) hosted Italian, German, French, Tunisian, Algerian and Egyptian participants for a Euro-Med Youth Exchange (Action 1) in Hammam-Sousse.
Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Italy, France share a unique background about the past and current culture and use of olives. Olive oil has historically been used in several domains: nutrition, medicines, healing and also for religious and defending purposes.
The whole Mediterranean area is also known as an olive region due to its geographical and climatic unique characteristics. The culture of olive oil and trees carries a meaningful message of unity especially when considering a transnational perspective among different cultures, religions and ways of live. Historically, olive oil was considered as a privileged and holy element suitable for heroes (according to Greeks and Romans): at present, the role of olive oil and the culture of olive trees have been changed and evolved but the importance and the peaceful message of its purpose still remains the same among different populations.
The project Culture of Olive Trees . . . Culture of Peace turned these perspectives of unity and peace into reality, by encouraging European and North African youth while working, living and sharing their ways of life together in a serene and productive environment.
Participants enriched themselves by living in Tunisia, studying the theme of peace related to nature and connected to the culture of olive trees. All the events organized during the project (conferences, different workshops, study groups, cultural visits and surprises) introduced all participants to the Tunisian culture, its social services, its political and social features while pointing out the theme of revolution as a source of new bridge and understanding between Europe and North-Africa: revolution must be accompanied at the same time with the concept of evolution among society.
(Click here for a French version of this article)
Question(s) related to this article:
Is there a renewed movement of solidarity by the new generation? ,
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LATEST READER COMMENT:
Inspiration. If I had to define my experience during the week spent in Budapest with 31 young people from all over Europe this would be the word I use. Because inspiration is what we need to keep going, inspiration brings joy and a feeling of being able to do whatever we want. And why not? Human beings are able to do whatever they want, you just have to look around to see. So why not work towards a culture of peace?!
Culture of peace was one of the themes we discussed in Budapest, and our main conclusions were that a culture of peace is a process that leads to a better world where human beings can live free in peace and dignity.
To know what is a culture of peace in a more concrete way, just look around you and think of the things you would like to improve in your life and in your quarter, community, country. Each place and community looks forward to the ‘own’ culture of peace, because to engage the community in this process is fundamental. And, furthermore, it is important to keep in mind some basic aspects when creating a culture of peace: equality in human rights, nonviolence, respects and care for the environment (because we don’t live in a vacuum), share of information and knowledge, gender equality and freedom from discrimination, sustainable development, peace education, inner peace...
It is hard to me to imagine a human being who would answer ‘no’ to the question ‘would you like to live in a culture of peace?’. What do you think? This is the reason why few years ago the petition for the ‘Manifesto 2000 for a culture of peace and human rights’ gathered 1% of the world population signatures!! Wow! And maybe the reason why it was totally ignored by the world “leaders” is because it was starting to wake up people minds and hearts.
Maybe some of you may laugh while reading this article, because it seems that there is a general tendency to irony and cynicism in our modern society towards peace and human rights matters. . ...more.