The Middle East at your school
“The Middle East at your school” is an educational project for schools aimed at promoting intercultural communication between children and young people. The development of intercultural dialogue and the knowledge of other cultures in the modern world of globalization are becoming unavoidable. Therefore, we strongly believe that knowledge of foreign cultures will help for young people to have a clearer understanding of global political, historical, cultural processes and will allow to interpret them critically as well as to integrate in different cultural and social environments.
The aim of the project is to promote children and youth’s interest for the Middle East and to develop an adequate knowledge of Middle Eastern culture, allowing to dissociate from stereotypes often created in the public domain.
The project will be implemented in a form of integrated lessons, using interactive tools, visual materials, organizing workshops, discussions and competitions. This project is implemented by a team of qualified specialist of the Middle East, who are working with young people at the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies of Vilnius University.
Progress of the project
The program of six integrated lessons (literature, language, culture, history, ethics and art) prepared for different age groups (for 6-8 grades, 8-10 grades and for 10-12 grades) will be conducted at schools that have joined this project. Interactive tools, workshops, visual material will be used and open discussions will be held during the lessons. The selection of grades, topics, lessons will be coordinated with each educational institution individually and adapted to their needs and facilities.
The second task of the project is to apply the knowledge acquired by the students and encourage further interest in Middle Eastern culture through creative activities organized in the form of competitions. Works by all participants will be published on arabicforum.lt and unesco.lt websites. The winners of each competition will be selected and awarded.
1. Competition “Remote But Close”. The aim of the competition is to find facts, features and similarities related between Lithuania and the Middle East. Did you find the name of an Arab town that sounds similar to a Lithuanian city? Have you heard similarities between Arabic and Lithuanian music? Or do you know a proverb that is used in our country and the Middle East? All sorts of similarities are expected in various forms (drawings, photographs, essays) that would reveal that we are geographically remote but culturally close.
2. The photography contest “The Most Beautiful Moment of the Holidays in the Arab World” is meant to share experiences through photographs while traveling around the Arab world. Pictures that capture personal experiences in any Arab country or the beauty of nature and everyday life are welcome.
3. Essay "Once upon a time in the Arab Country...“ The competition is designed to liberate the imagination of every writer and to take the reader to one (or maybe few?) Arab countries and tell the story about adventures that took place there. Fictional and true stories are welcome. The essay should not exceed 2 A4 pages.
For closure of the project on 18th December the representatives of participating and interested institutions will be invited to a closing ceremony, during which the results of the project and possibilities to collaborate and to continue this project will be presented. The closure ceremony will seek to encourage a discussion among different institutions, to analyse the problems that arises while developing a cross cultural dialogue and to suggest possible solutions and ways of collaboration. We seek to bring together a community of culturally sensitive and active institutions with the common goal of promoting intercultural dialogue, critical thinking through cultural knowledge and cooperation.
All winners of the competitions will also be awarded at the closing ceremony.
Arabic language (by Maritana Larbi)
What does Arabic youth read? (by Gintarė Sereikaitė)
Ethics of Islam (by Gintarė Sereikaitė)
History of the Middle East (by Maritana Larbi)
What is Islamic art? (by Milda Petkauskaitė)
Features of Arabic Culture (by Milda Petkauskaitė)
VšĮ Arabų kultūros forumas
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania
The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Copenhagen
Honorary Consulate of the Sultanate of Oman in the Republic of Lithuania
Vilnius University Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies
Mayor sponsors - Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Copenhagen and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania
Under the patronage of the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO