Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Tharwa project

Diversity is a notion that is not sufficiently appreciated in the muslim world these days. Today, I want to share with you a website that is dedicated to increasing the muslim people's awareness of the rights of minorities within their societies and of the benefits of cultural and ethnic diversity. The website bears the name of "Tharwa", or wealth. Its motto says it all: "Difference is Wealth" (The arabic version of the website says: "الإختلا ف ثروة") This is a international initiative, with financial support provided by several NGOs from across Europe, and with a diverse advisory committee, with such serious academics and journalists as Saad Eddine Ibrahim, Gilles Kepel, or Brian Whitaker. The mission statement of the Tharwa project states that it is " an independent initiative that seeks to provide a free platform for the discussion and dissemination of ideas that can contribute to raising the standards of civic awareness in the Broader Middle East and North Africa Region".

The goals of the project include:

• Facilitating the occurrence of a constructive dialogue between the various communities inhabiting the Broader Middle East and North Africa Region.

• Supporting ongoing processes of democratization in the Region, especially local independent initiatives.

• Supporting ongoing peace-building initiatives in the Region.

• Providing a more objective and balanced coverage of developments in the Region, specifically those with potential implications for inter-community and gender relations as well as youth issues.

• Creating a network of organizations and individuals interested in raising the standards of civic awareness and involvement in the Region.

• Engaging in activities and programs meant to help empower the Region’s youth movements.

• Helping in bringing greater understanding to gender-related issues in the Region.

• Assisting in monitoring and assessing developments with potential impact on the Region’s physical environment.

• Remaining committed to and helping promote the basic principles of human rights and dignity outlined in such charters as the International Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, among others.

I invite you to have a look at the Tharwa website [english, arabic], it's worth the detour. Happy reading!

4 comments:

Jawad said...

Karim: I've had this website in my 'Favorites' for some time now. Thank you for going the extra step by talking about it.

Karim said...

Jawad:

The last time I looked at your links (quite a while ago), I don't remember having seen it there. Anyway, I thought it would be good to write a post about it, because as I said in our part of the world people don't seem to value diversity much, which I think is a shame...

Jawad said...

Karim: I meant my explorer favorites. You're right - it's either that or they take it for granted.

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