News

Egypt’s Safarni Wins Second Place in UN Award

Egypt’s Safarni Wins Second Place in UN Award

On Thursday, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and BMW Group for the Intercultural Innovation Award announced the 10 awardees for 2017, ranking Egypt’s Safarni project second.

Safarni designs and facilitates “Simulated Travel Adventures” for children, with little exposure to diversity, to embrace and connect with cultures. Migrant communities are engaged to design, personalize and facilitate the intercultural content. The “Simulated Travel Adventures” then takes place over eight weeks where children can play, dance, eat and interact with locals from around the world.

In 2008, the Founder of Safarni Raphaelle Ayach was working in Madrid, Spain and studying Arabic. As she began making friends from the Arab world, she noticed herself becoming more sensitive and aware of the ever-present racism against Arabs in Europe. At the same time, she also began to notice many prejudices held by the Arab communities against Europeans.

On both sides, she was surprised to find intelligent people holding tight to their fears of “the other”.  Usually, these fears were not based on actual encounters with people from the community, but based on what they had “heard”. Ayach wondered to herself why these prejudices (on both sides) were suddenly so sensitive to her. She realized that it was because of the fact that she was “emotionally connected” to both groups of people, that she suddenly felt solidarity she never felt before.  She was amazed at how simple friendships had the incredible power to create empathy, awareness and solidarity.

During this phase, Ayach also built a close friendship with intercultural facilitator Walaa Ahmed Abdel Moety. He stood by the idea that “you can never really feel empathy for someone unless that person is your dear friend or your family”.

From this idea, Safarni was born with the aim of contributing to a world where people know each other and are connected on a human level. Its philosophy is that the strongest uniting factor is human connection and empathy. This comes from immersing yourself in someone else’s reality. While some of us have the option to connect with “the other” through traveling; for much of the world, this is not an option.

Thus, Safarni aims to provide its activities for children with no access to travel and little opportunities for authentic contact with diversity.

By supporting sustainable and innovative intercultural grassroots projects with the potential for expansion and replication, the Intercultural Innovation Award aims to contribute to peace, prosperity and building more inclusive societies. The competition for the award was fierce, with 1,356 applications from 130 countries.

27 Egyptian Statues of Lioness Goddess Discovered in Luxor
For the First time in 66 Years, Egypt Wins Gold at the World Championships

Subscribe to our newsletter


News
@AyaNaderM

Aya Nader is an independent journalist based in Egypt, published in Open Democracy, Daily News Egypt, The National, and Al-Monitor, among others. She is an MA candidate in International Relations at the American University in Cairo.

More in News

Egypt to Receive 56,000 Tank rounds as Part of $99 Mn Arms Deal with US

Taha Mahmoud SakrSeptember 19, 2018

Egypt Planning to Establish Anti-Cancer Drug Factory

Mirna AbdulaalSeptember 18, 2018

Sandstone Sphinx Statue Discovered in Kom Ombo

Sara AhmedSeptember 16, 2018

UN Adopts Egyptian Resolution On Preventing Sexual Abuse

Mirna AbdulaalSeptember 16, 2018

Egypt Seeks to Penalize Water Misuse

Sara AhmedSeptember 16, 2018

Egypt Court Orders Arrest of Alaa, Gamal Mubarak

Egyptian StreetsSeptember 15, 2018

Prominent Egyptian Journalist Yosri Fouda Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Egyptian StreetsSeptember 15, 2018

Egypt to Detect and Treat 50 Million Citizens From Hepatitis C

Mirna AbdulaalSeptember 13, 2018
Egyptian Streets is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Egyptian and Middle Eastern streets, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the region.

© 2017 Egyptian Streets. All Rights Reserved.