This is a reference for Ahmad Khallaf

“Egypt 2.0: Unity in Diversity” Open Space

The training activity took place
in Wadi El-Natroun, Fayoum - Egypt
organised by Initiative; Simeon - Ahmad under OMA ngo
28th-30th July, 2011

Aims & objectives

A diverse group of young Egyptians participates in a three-day Open Space conference during which they can freely discuss the topic of unity in diversity in new Egypt, exchange views and ideas and build personal relationships and trust. As a result, they understand each other more fully and reject attempts to create division along sectarian or religious lines. Moreover, participants come up with new ideas to concrete projects that they will implement together and the experiences of the event will spread through social media publication, word of mouth and imitation of the Open Space conference format.

The goal of the Open Space conference is to encourage dialogue and exchange of ideas among Egyptian youth from different geographical, cultural, religious and political backgrounds. By exchanging experiences and views, participants will be able to build trust and to create ideas for shaping a new Egypt. The Open Space dialogue will serve as a tool of awareness raising the importance of overcoming divisions and finding a common approach to help rebuilding Egypt. Moreover, the project shall serve as an example of non-aggressive communication and dialogue which Egyptian youth groups take up and may repeat in different forms in their communities in a democratic way.

Target group & international/intercultural composition of the group & team

The activity was mainly targeting locals but we meant to include additional 2 Nationalities to enrich more intercultural dialogues (From Germany and Switzerland) and generally:
To be interested in the role of diversity and unity in future Egypt, committed to non-violence and a culture of dialogue and representing different geographical, social, religious and political backgrounds. Specifically, we aim at:
• Involving more than 15 cities (17 cities)
• Ensuring gender balance
• Including Muslims and Christians of different shades; speaking Arabic
• Mixing participants experienced in dialogue, politics, journalism, NGO work and youth events with participants for whom the Open Space experience will be rather new.

Training methods used & main activities

Mainly Open Space Technology (Letting them choose their agenda, dates and topics to discuss)

Including Morning Energizers and Ice-breakers

Outcomes of the activity

It created an atmosphere of harmony and friendship among all the participants:
1. Reflected in refusing a Coptic deacon to share the room with a member of the Muslim Brotherhood before the event starts and ended by sharing him with a Salafi guy becoming friends in the end!

2. An initiative by a female participants to have a project about sports "mainly a weekly football match" between different political backgrounds

3.Youth in the event; Liberals and Islamists believed that Decision makers won't achieve the dialogues they managed to made as they are speaking media-free making their opinions heard

4.Lately, to discover that 2 participants got married!

FB Page:

Your tasks and responsibilities within the team

- One of the 2 initiators for the event idea (in addition to my colleague Simeon Schaechtele from Germany): Searching for the fund

- Organizer among the 5 team members: Managing the transportation, the refund for the participants, publication of the call and choosing the participants

- Facilitator and Trainer of the whole event: Describing the technology, Conducting the sessions and Managing any apparent conflicts

I worked on this training for 3 days as a full time trainer.

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