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Algarve, Portugal, 03/12/2013

Agreement on Common Goals for Educational Toolkit Reached at UNESCO/MBI Al Jaber Foundation Euro Arab Dialogue Meeting in Penina Hotel Portugal

Foundation Director Carolyn Perry opens the meeting

Last week representatives of the UNESCO National Commissions, joined by a group of technical experts from educational institutions and NGOS met in the Algarve, Portugal, to agree on a roadmap for the production of an educational toolkit aimed at helping counteracting stereotyping and promoting tolerance and understanding across Europe and the Arab world.

The outcome of this meeting provides for the creation of materials to be made available for educators in schools, clubs and societies in the countries of Europe and the Arab world, to supplement national curricula in the areas of citizenship, dialogue and cultural understanding.

Speaking at the event in Portugal, Secretary General of the Moroccan National Commission for Education Ms Touria Majdouline, said: “Schools are a laboratory in which we build tomorrow’s individuals. Through this dialogue we aim to remove stereotypes that are not based on fact or research. Values of tolerance, acceptance of diversity are learned at school; that is why this educational toolkit is so important.”

The initiative, jointly led by UNESCO and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, was the result of the Declaration reached at The International Conference of National Commissions for UNESCO ‘Euro-Arab Dialogue: Contribution to a New Humanism’ held in Vienna, Austria, in June 2012, which was sponsored by H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Founder and Chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation.

Together with a comparative study on school textbooks which was also produced under the auspices of the UNESCO Euro Arab Dialogue, the roadmap will be submitted to the representatives of European and Arab governments at an International Conference “Euro-Arab Dialogue: Common Cultural Heritage and Values” to be organized by UNESCO in cooperation with the MBI Al Jaber Foundation in 2014.

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