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From December 7th to 11 2020, around twenty youth from the Mediterranean region have actively taken part to the Anna Lindh / CMI’s Young Mediterranean Voices (YMV) Communication Lab.
With the aim to challenge extremist narratives in the digital world, they embarked in a five days’ workshop, during which they exchanged with leading experts in communication to develop creative and inter-regional communication campaigns. Four campaigns were designed out of which two will benefit from small grants supporting the implementation process.
8 youth from the CMI Mediterranean Youth for Water – MedYWat and Mediterranean Youth for Climate Action – MedYCA were taking part in the YMV Communications Lab and 3 of them will also benefit from the support from the Anna Lindh to implement their campaigns.
Spotlight on the Winning Campaigns & Teams
“Peace on Climate”
Lead by Haya AbuShukhaldem, Yara Acaf, Bianca Carrera, Ahmed Saad and Kristina Xhiveli, “Peace on Climate” is one the selected campaigns at the YMV Communication Lab, that will benefit from support.
Through this campaign, these Mediterranean youth are seeking to raise awareness on the correlation between climate change and radicalization, conflicts, and other violent extremisms, and to get the United Nations and its member-states to acknowledge these linkages. Their ultimate ambition is to succeed in bringing these topics to the agenda of the upcoming COP26 penciled on November 1-12, 2021.
Climate change is an aggravating fac factor, contributing to the deterioration of livelihoods. It is forcing people to abandon their usual jobs as farmers or shepherds, and indirectly join armed groups to survive. Orienting peacekeeping and integration efforts through an environmental perspective can really make a difference in that regard. This campaign, which builds on data, reports and testimonies, is committed to ensuring this question is seriously addressed at higher levels.
A movement seeking to raise the voice until those in power move and act. Will you join?”
Bianca, MedYCA member
Bianca Carrera is Spanish 17 years old future university student in International Relations or Global Studies. She is a contributing author for the Spanish Think-And-Do Tank ‘Puerta de África’, as well as in other media sites. She is also an intern at the United Nations Association of Spain. Passionate about international geopolitics, especially in Africa and the Middle East, she is also a human rights, animal rights and climate justice activist within various Spanish local groups.
Radicalization and conflict will not be eradicated until policymakers address its causes through every possible approach. The environmental factor has been ignored for long. Bearable climate conditions are indispensable to prevent despair and yet easy exposure to armed groups. All in all, violence does not usually emerge unless one has nothing to lose; and people whose means of survival have been taken away by the changing climate, are the easiest targets.
Kristina, MedYWat and MedYCA member
Kristina Xhiveli is an environmental and urban waste management specialist as well as environmental activist from Albania, who has completed a master's degree in Environmental Biology at the University of Tirana. She is a member of the OSCE advisory group on environmental crimes in Albania as well as the Mediterranean Youth for Climate Action network (MedYCA) and the Mediterranean Youth for Water (MedYWat).
This campaign is of great importance, not only because it is about climate change, but because it also brings in a social and educational approach. We need to thoroughly understand extremism, radicalization, and conflict; so that we can finally change the realities of the individuals who experience them.
Yara, MedYCA member
A holder of a master's degree in Environmental Policy Planning from the American University of Beirut (AUB), Yara Acaf is an environmental scientist and activist from Lebanon. She has previously worked with REVOLVE Media and is now a Research and Development Assistant at UN-ESCWA. Yara is the founder of the Global Youth Biodiversity Network (GYBN) Lebanese chapter, which advocates for biodiversity conservation and youth mobilization. She is also a member of the Mediterranean Youth for Climate Action network (MedYCA).
This campaign will not only allow us to highlight a relatively overlooked subject but will also prove that young people are genuinely concerned about the future of the planet and are paying attention to climate-related impacts that might not directly affect their lives but are of extreme importance.
Ahmed Saad is an Egyptian Entrepreneurship and Innovation Masters student at Warwick University, UK, and a freelancer advisor for early-stage tech startups. A former Business Mentor and partnerships officer at “Fekretak Sherketak”; the General Authority for Investment and Free zones in Egypt, Entrepreneurship center, he delivered over 800 mentorship sessions to entrepreneurs from all around Egypt and has a record of 1000+ training hours on different entrepreneurship related topics.
If we need to change the violence tomorrow, we need to change its roots today.
Haya AbuShukhaidem is a Palestinian journalist and media consultant based in the West Bank city of Hebron. She graduated with a BA in English Language and Literature, from Bethlehem University in 2016. She started her career as a journalist with local media and news outlet (PNN), and then became a freelance journalist/producer and media consultant with different local and regional media outlets, such as Middle East Eye, 10Mojo, and Nofeedo, as well as local NGOs.
Actions speak louder than words. Therefore, we need to act now to mitigate the impacts of climate change and create a better future for the coming generations.
“Read Between the Lines”
The campaign aspires to increase the Mediterranean population awareness on the social issues that migrants face and means to foster socio-economic integration. By leveraging social media platforms, and through catchy yet meaningful hashtags the campaign leaders aim to shift mindsets, and fight the negative stereotypes surrounding migrants and refugees.
"Ahmed Alboraey is a researcher on Biotechnology from the Islamic University of Gaza 2015. He worked in the Islamic University of Gaza teacher assistant, after that he worked in the ministry of agriculture in Palestine. He joined the Mediterranean Youth for Water Network in 2018 and in the next year. Ahmed started working in the World Youth for Parliament for Water facilitating the Blue Peace group. In 2020 he began to work at Mediterranean Youth for Water Network as water and migration coordinator and at the same time Ahmed Proceed to complete his study in agriculture biotechnology in Turkey.
Humanity does not know the lines, so read between the lines. The impact of the campaign will be in giving more attention to the question, who are we as Humans and to never forget despite difficulties that force us to migrate."
Njoud Mashouka, she is a Bachelor of International Relations specialized in Governance of Emerging Technologies and Innovation from IE University, Spain. She is currently interning at Ashoka and working on developing a diaspora strategy. Her passions include mitigating climate change and achieving gender equality, with a strive for a sustainable future and a specific concern for migrant communities.
Through our campaign I hope to create more awareness about the social issues that migrants face, and more importantly shift mindsets and stereotypical narratives on migrants and refugees.