Statement of the Anna Lindh Foundation
Alexandria; 13 February 2011: The Anna Lindh Foundation considers of historical importance the events which are taking place in the Euro-Mediterranean region, and particularly the democratic change which has been undertaken by the people of Egypt after 18 days of a peaceful and captivating mobilization. As an institution created for promoting intercultural dialogue, the Foundation considers of utmost significance the participation in those events of men and women of all walks of life and different beliefs, united by their will to call for a better future for their country.
Based in Alexandria, the Foundation has been a privileged witness of an unprecedented social movement involving many youth striving for Freedom, dignity and Social Justice and moved by values and principles which are at the heart of the Anna Lindh Foundation mission. The Foundation praises all the peaceful demonstrators who lost their lives during those uprisings.
During those two weeks, the Foundation has been able to keep on its main activities thanks to the collaboration of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, where our Headquarters are located, and the commitment of Alexandria citizens in defense of their cultural institutions. We want also to express our esteem and gratitude to the people of Alexandria at large, for ensuring the daily life in public spaces and neighborhoods we live in. The Foundation valued also very much the attitude of the Egyptian army contributing to the security of the population and our safety and the progressive return to normality.
The events taking place in Egypt and Tunisia have sparked interest and empathy across the Euro-Mediterranean societies. Most of the Networks of the Foundation, gathering more than 3000 civil society organizations, have expressed their admiration and solidarity with the Egyptian and Tunisian societies. They have already suggested the launching of a common Initiative focused on fostering citizenship and participation as a first answer to events, which deserve, of course, a long term and sustainable response for an institution like the Anna Lindh Foundation.
In collaboration with its Networks, the Foundation will define and launch as soon as possible an initiative responding to the new challenges we face in the region. Our main goal is to contribute to the strengthening of civil societies, and to take stock of the new demands emerging among Youth for promoting intercultural dialogue across the Mediterranean.
Some of these demands were raised during the Anna Lindh Forum organized in March 2010. Some were highlighted by the Report on Intercultural Trends published recently by the Foundation. As an institution working with and for the civil society, we consider that the recent events have more than confirmed those observations and are full of lessons, which need to be learnt and included in our programme for the coming years. We hope they will be a major contribution for the building of a common and shared Euro-Mediterranean future based on the values of freedom, dialogue, mutual respect and citizenship.
Secretariat of the Anna Lindh Foundation