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Mar 27, 2018 / 0 Comments
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Why development?


Violent extremism and development are inextricably linked. Violent extremism is a major obstacle in the path of development, so understanding and preventing it becomes a high priority for development actors. What’s more, since the right development policies can help address the root causes of violent extremism, we are faced with a mutually beneficial situation where development and the prevention of violent extremism go hand in hand.


Complexity: understanding violent extremism’s social, economic and political origins


Looking at violent extremism from a solely economic point of view will not suffice; neither will taking only political or social elements into account. Causes of involvement in jihadist networks, for example, can be extremely diverse: from identity-related causes rooted in humiliation from the colonial era, to the political dimension, where both trust in governments and social contracts are broken across the MENA region, and from geographical elements through to the socio-economic. To prevent violent extremism, we must consider its full complexity. Prevention policies will need to be implemented through a genuinely multi-sectoral approach.



  • Youth: a sacrificed generation

Three groups of vulnerable youth are highlighted: economically excluded youth, often with little or no education, young graduates who are either unemployed or stuck in low-paying jobs that don’t correspond to their qualifications, and young women who, although increasingly integrated into the education system, often remain excluded from the labor market. This exclusion and subsequent vulnerability can leave youth at risk of radicalization.

  • Education: quality and employability

Teaching methods such as rote learning, or those that discourage critical thinking or fail to teach individual or collective responsibility, as well as education that does not equip the youth with the right mix of knowledge and skills to enter the labor market, all increase the risk of youth falling into violent extremism. Furthermore, when education no longer fulfills the role of driver of upward social mobility, and graduates remain economically, socially and politically excluded, the risk is even higher.

  • New actors: women and adolescents

A combination of factors including the emergence of step-families and the decreasing authority of parents, and the apparent failures of feminism along with the crisis of masculinity, have all contributed to the emergence of new actors. These are adolescents, driven by a crisis in parental authority, and young women, often drawn in by the image of the “hero”, men who are ready to fight to the death for honor and whom they can “complement” as a good wife.

  • Convergences in the North and South

Violent extremism is a serious threat in both the North and the South. Although it can take different forms and have different effects on each shore, dangers resulting from exclusion and those education-related remain present across the region. The most glaring convergence is the bleak employment outlook for youth throughout the region, and this remains a major risk factor for vulnerable youth on both sides of the Mediterranean.


Lessons and outcomes


Youth policies: youth must be the central focus of policies that aim to prevent violent extremism. Youth policies must be organized with a long-term vision, and must consider the youth as societal actors, empowering them to take back their role in social, economic and political life.


Education: education can be a key instrument in the prevention of violent extremism. Initiatives are needed that promote pluralist thinking in schools, and pedagogic methods need to be streamed in that encourage civic engagement and critical thinking. In this way, school can help demystify the discourse of violent extremism. Also, the risks engendered by exclusion can be reduced if education focuses more on employability, better equipping students with the necessary vocational skills to find work and their place in social and political life.


    To read the full policy paper in English, Arabic and French:  Link





Oct 01, 2014 / 0 Comments
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Case Studies from Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia

By Jacques Van Der Meer*


For the Southern Mediterranean countries, the issue of the constitution of structural knowledge assets, in particular intellectual property will be critical to the deployment of a knowledge economy strategy. While the volume of patent filings of the region is low, this does not necessarily reflect the non-existence of potential, but rather the insufficiency of the capacity and infrastructure necessary to ensure the value of the upstream resources necessary (research conducted in the universities, public research centres outside universities, corporate research centres for small to medium size companies and major groups etc.).


The European Investment Bank, as a lead in the CMI’s “Innovation Capacities” programme, commissioned a study of the Intellectual Property assets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to assess the potential of developing a successful IP system. Coordinated by Professor Ahmed Bounfour othe University Paris-Sud, this study, “The market of patents in the South-Mediterranean zone and its potential for development Egypt, Morocco, Tunisiaevaluates the context of innovation in three countries (Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia) and, based on a “gap-analysis” with Turkey, South Korea, and Malaysia, subsequently evaluates possible scenarios and policy options to develop the Intellectual Property Rights system and market. Some of the highlights of the study are as follows:

  • Intellectual Capital in the region can be major drivers of growth and value creation, as well as a way to promote “hard” intangibles, like Intellectual Property Rights, Utility Models, Copyrights and Trademarks.
  • Some 80% of patent applications are characterized by non-residents demand in the Southern Mediterranean, and most of the remaining twenty per cent of resident applications are single applicants. Hence, both stimulating residential applications and looking closely into Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was recommended.
  • Although MENA countries made progress in updating their patent system to international standards and adopting innovation policies, there is a clear stagnation in patent registration from resident applicants. Hence, the necessity to identify causes and ways to stimulate local demand for patents.
  • MENA countries have little focus on industrial research, and Intellectual Property Rights regimes are based on academic research, which is not absorbed by the local industry. Turkey’s governance model marrying industrial and academic research is a good model to look into for MENA countries.
  • The region has a potential in innovation that has yet to be triggered.


Read the Study “The market of patents in the South-Mediterranean zone and its potential for development Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia” in Arabic (attached below).

Jun 19, 2018 / 0 Comments
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With the attendance of a committed group of 45 local governments’ representatives from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Turkey and Afghanistan, the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) organized a training workshop for the Host Municipalities Learning Network (HMLN) on strategic planning for local economic development. As part of the program the CMI Refugees and Host Communities Program team arranged a special field visit to the small municipality of Sarhan with 26,000 inhabitants out of which 6,000 (nearly one quarter of the population) are refugees. This formerly active trading town - 2km across from the Syrian border with a shared special economic zone - is suffering from the border closure as much as the many Syrian villages on the other side.


This small municipality undertook amazing efforts to attract the private sector to invest and create jobs. It offers a good example to develop a more diversified local economy that provides job opportunities, including for women and youth in the forced displacement context. To get there, it established partnerships with the private sector to benefit from the presence of skilled Syrian refugees and to respond to the sharp rise in unemployment and poverty. A garment sewing factory and a pickles factory providing jobs for women have already been established. As a result - 750 jobs for Jordanian and Syrian people, mainly women were created.


This ongoing initiative with a focus on local economic development is being implemented through partnerships between the municipality, the private sector, donors and the central government. In the future, the Municipality of Sarhan is planning to create a craft area to host craftsmen that will attract more private investment and create jobs. A vocational training center will also be established within the craft area, to train and upgrade the skills of youth to work in the various businesses working in the area.


The project is undergoing the following steps:

  • Preliminary studies by the municipality to design the project scope and nature.
  • Consultations with the local community (citizens and refugees) to ensure their acceptance and support to the project.
  • Communication with the necessary public authorities to request approvals to proceed with the project.
  • Financing: the municipality reached out to donor agencies and organizations to finance the project (including under the World Bank-Administered Municipal Services and Social Resilience Project (P161982)).
  • Creation of a garments sewing factory (satellite factory for an international company) through partnership with the private sector and with support from the World Bank-administered Emergency Services and Social Resilience Project (P147689), and a pickles factory by selling municipal land to a Syrian investor.
  • A craft area for doing business and a vocational center are currently under construction on 15,000 m2.


This photo story shows Sarhan’s commitment to improving the Local Economic Development (LED) environment, and creating jobs in a forced displacement context.



In Sarhan, refugees make up about 23% of the population.

Concerned about the lack of job opportunities in the town, Sarhan municipality rose up to the challenge by adopting a proactive approach in attracting private investors.

This resulted in the creation of jobs for both Syrians and Jordanians.



One example is that of Mr. Al Qatari, a Syrian businessman who fled his country where he owned a pickles factory. He relocated his family and business to Sarhan.



Sarhan Municipality, sold a land lot to Al Qatari, allowing him to re-establish his factory and pursue his business.



Al Qatari’s son, Mohammed, insists on accompanying his father everywhere.



Alia and her friends work in Al Qatari’s pickles factory in Sarhan together with other Syrian refugees. “We are happy here”, she says, “we earn 220 JOD per month” (the minimum wage in Jordan).



Alia and her friends.



The factory produces all kinds of pickles, olives, and sauces.



Thanks to the initiative of Al Qatari and to the help of Sarhan municipality, 200 women and men, Jordanians and Syrians, now have jobs.



Hiba [nickname] fled Syria when the war broke out. Her husband is paralyzed with serious lung disease.

She is now the sole breadwinner of her family and the caregiver for five children “After three years in the Zaatari refugee camp”, she says, “I met Mr. Al Qatari.

He paid my house rent for two years, and after that, I started working for the first time in my life”.



An employee of the pickles factory, poses for a picture.



Another example of Sarhan’s municipality efforts to promote local economic development, is this garment sewing factory established by the municipality with the support of the World Bank and other international donors.



The factory run by the private sector created more than 200 jobs for Jordanian women, in addition to 100 indirect jobs.



Employees are on average women between 19 and 30 years old and they work 8 hours per day. Their monthly salary is 220 JOD (the minimum wage in Jordan).



Sherihan, 29, is a young Jordanian woman who has a job now thanks to the garments sewing factory.



Sherihan’s friend also insisted for a picture.



Hadeel, 23, also works in the garment sewing factory.



Khalaf Alassem, Mayor of Sarhan, is very glad of the partnerships with private investors from Jordan, Syria, and beyond.

He has an ambitious plan for creating more jobs through partnerships with the private sector. A complex is currently under construction and will host a crafts area for arts and craftsmen and a training center for young people.

In addition, the municipality has already identified land assets to rent to potential investors for further job creation.



More information about the CMI Refugees and Host Communities Program 

More information about the CMI Host Municipalities Learning Network

More information about the Municipal Services and Social Resilience Project 

Apr 16, 2018 / 0 Comments
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For so long women have represented the symbol of resilience. In the water sector they are no different. In the Middle East and North Africa, the world’s most water-stressed region, women are playing their part in protecting water and fighting water scarcity. 


This project was initiated during the CMI's World Water Day Youth Workshop: Nature-based Solutions for a Water Secure Mediterranean.


She the Lead



"I started volunteering and working with refugees on various projects including human rights and environmental justice when I was 12 years old.
When it comes to environmental justice, women take the lead to ensure that their families get adequate living standard, water, food, and basic human rights."


Kholoud Al-Ajarma, Winner of WaterHeroes Contest, MedYWat [1]Member, Projects Manager, Laje'oon Center, Palestinian Territories



She the Future



"It is when I had my son, Hussein, that I felt the proudest about being an environmentalist working to improve water security in Jordan. It made me realize that I was actively building a better future for him and those of his generation."


Fatima Albatoul Sabbahi, MedYWat Member, President of Al-Azem Environmental Association, Jordan



She the Power



"I started becoming deeply passionate with understanding the environment when I specialized in water. My passion grew and with it my ambition. My aspiration today is to solve our current water issue in Palestine through education. I truly believe that women hold the power and can ensure water awareness is passed along from one generation to the other."


Lamis Qdemat, MedYWat Coordinator, CEO and Founder of Water Heroes Game, Palestinian Territories



She the Belief



"Will she be able to manage her personal and professional life? Will she be able to work under harsh conditions in construction sites alongside men?
These questions were always put out there leaving me and my merits under constant scrutiny. But my belief in myself was never raddled! I started my work in the municipality of Karak, as water and environmental engineer when I was 23 years-old. I am now 33 years-old and one of the youngest female municipal executive managers!"


Sajeda Rahaife, MedYWat Member, Municipal Executive Manager, Karak Municipality, Jordan



She the Life



"As children, we were always told tales of mystery and power but one story marked my childhood and shaped my future: the story of the force that gives life to God's creations! This tale of water, bringing life as it flows, significantly contributed to who I have become. Protecting this force has been and will always be my goal."


Roula Khadra, International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM)



She the History



"Women are the keepers of nations' heritage. In our journey to look for tales and stories around water use, we realized that our collective memory is based on the memories of women throughout generations. They have had a massive impact on the creation of our traditions. Today I tell stories to carry on that tradition and to make sure the next generation does too!"


Kholoud Belhedi, Winner of WaterHeroes Contest, MedYWat Member, Counteuses du Maghreb, Tunisia




[1] The Mediterranean Youth for water (MedYWat) It is a community of young water professionals from different backgrounds working on water in the Mediterranean managed by the Center for Mediterranean Integration Marseille. This group was launched during the first Wold Water Day youth workshop on treated wastewater reuse (Marseille, March 2017).

Jan 22, 2018 / 0 Comments
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Photo credit: Mohamed Azakir / World Bank

Le nombre de réfugiés et de déplacés dans le monde a atteint un record sans précédent depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale, en raison notamment du conflit en Syrie, où plus de la moitié des habitants ont été contraints de quitter leur foyer (a).

Continuez à lire cet article sur le site de la banque mondiale, ici.

Jan 15, 2018 / 0 Comments
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Du « hitiste »[1] au cycliste. Vers une Vélorution en Tunisie.


Traversez Tunis et vous ferez ce constat étonnant pour une capitale : à première vue, le vélo est quasiment absent des rues. Pourtant, la capitale tunisienne est confrontée à l'essoufflement de son modèle urbain :  ville saturée par les embouteillages, accroissement des maladies de la sédentarité (obésité, cholestérol, etc.), stress urbain, pollution, augmentation régulière du prix des carburants sont autant de réalités quotidiennes pour les Tunisois.


Parmi les modes de transport doux, écologiques et respectueux de l’espace public, le vélo commence à acquérir une nouvelle présence. Face à quel contexte local cette mobilité alternative doit-elle s’adapter ? Que propose la société civile mobilisée autour de la revendication des déplacements cyclables ?


Traditionnellement, dans la société tunisienne, le vélo est un mode de transport adopté par les hommes pour les déplacements courts à l'intérieur du quartier (se rendre au café, faire une course), pour les déplacements quotidiens mixtes dans certaines petites villes côtières comme Nabeul ou pour faciliter les trajets dans les zones rurales (comme les élèves qui se rendent à leur lycée sur l’île de Djerba).  Le vélo est perçu comme le mode de transport de l'ouvrier qui ne peut accéder à un autre moyen de transport. Le vélo est aussi  lié à l'enfance, les enfants s'y adonnent à cœur joie dans leurs temps libres jusqu'à l'adolescence où peu de femmes poursuivent sa pratique. Cet usage traditionnel limité est à mettre en perspective avec l'essor de la société de consommation qui, dans les années 1980, a placé la voiture comme signe ultime de réussite. Qui n'a pas de voiture n'a pas réussi sa vie, quitte à s'endetter durant toute celle-ci.

Mais la pratique du vélo aujourd'hui en Tunisie, aussi minoritaire soit-elle, est investie par un spectre de plus en plus large de la société : de l'ouvrier pour se rendre à son travail au jeune cadre pour ses loisirs, de l'étudiant(e) pour se rendre à la fac au retraité sportif pour des randonnées. Chacun a donc son usage propre du vélo : moyen de transport pour se rendre au travail ou à son lieu d'étude, balade de fin de journée entre amis, randonnée lors du week-end, déplacement du quotidien, échappatoire au stress urbain, moyen de quitter la ville pour quelques heures[2].

Chez les jeunes urbains, le vélo devient un véritable outil d'affirmation de soi : on customise son vélo, on adopte la mode vestimentaire qui est liée et certains nomment avec humour leur vélo « ma femme ». Le vélo devient une nouvelle frontière du soi. De plus, il crée des nouveaux cercles de sociabilité (des groupes se forment autour de rendez-vous de balades).  Le réinvestissement actuel du vélo par les jeunes recoupe le mouvement de l'aventure qui se développe depuis quelques années autour de la pratique du camping, de la randonnée et du cyclo-tourisme. Pour cette nouvelle génération urbaine, la nature devient une alternative à la ville et le vélo un moyen de l'atteindre. Le vélo est synonyme de challenge, de dépassement de soi et de mouvement prenant le contre-pied de l'image du jeune assis au café, un loisir très présent chez les jeunes tunisiens.



Dans les mois qui suivirent la révolution, des passionnés de vélo ont lancé différents mouvements de vélo, qui se sont concrétisés essentiellement autour de parades à vélos mensuelles sur le modèle international des  « critical mass ». Ils ont réuni plusieurs dizaines de cyclistes le temps de balades principalement dans les quartiers aisés de la ville (La Marsa, Le Lac). Au printemps 2017, des amis habitant à Tunis convaincus par la nécessité d’adopter plus massivement le vélo comme moyen de transport alternatif à la voiture ont créé l'association « Vélorution Tunisie ». 


Premier mode d'action là aussi, l'association appelle à des critical mass mensuelles. Le départ est souvent donné de lieux historiques et patrimoniaux comme la Porte de France à l'entrée de la médina de Tunis, la porte historique de l'entrée de la Goulette, la place du Saf-Saf de la Marsa ou encore le Jardin aux roses Bir Belhassen de l'Ariana. Revisiter le patrimoine tunisien grâce au vélo est aussi un des objectifs du mouvement. Grâce au potentiel de diffusion et de mobilisation des réseaux sociaux, plusieurs centaines de cyclistes défilent à chaque parade revendicative et festive sur des circuits d'environ 10 kilomètres définis à l'avance (des parades qui ont eu lieu au centre-ville de Tunis, à Bardo, cité Olympique, La Marsa, La Goulette-Le Kram-Carthage et L’Ariana). Entre avril et mai 2017, près d'un millier de passionnés de vélos ou simples amateurs ont pris part à ces manifestations.

Parmi ceux qui répondent à l'appel de Vélorution se côtoient femmes et hommes de toutes générations -avec une présence féminine en crescendo-, de toutes catégories professionnelles, de tous quartiers et de toutes régions. Des jeunes rejoignent régulièrement les parades depuis les villes de Nabeul, Hammamet ou Bizerte à plus de 60 kilomètres de Tunis.  De ces rassemblements cyclistes, des groupes sont nés qui organisent régulièrement entre eux des sorties urbaines à vélo.


Ce mouvement tire sa force d'une volonté de réappropriation de l’espace public[3]. Les militants demandent en effet à l'Etat un partage des infrastructures via la mise en place de pistes cyclables. Un des slogans du mouvement est : « la rue est à nous tous » (lkayes mta'na lkol) ou encore « les rues nous appartiennent » (we own the roads). Le vélo devient un médiateur de citoyenneté. Il porte le projet d'habiter la ville autrement : s'affranchir de la dépendance à des transports publics insuffisants, du stress, de la perte de temps et d'argent causés par les embouteillages.


Dès lors, en milieu urbain, le vélo devient symbole d'autonomie, d'indépendance et d'une liberté retrouvée. De son côté, Vélorution œuvre à sensibiliser les citoyens et les autorités à la prise en compte de ce mode de transport comme mobilité d'avenir. Il vise à convaincre que les déplacements cyclables sont une des solutions à de nombreux problèmes que rencontrent la société tunisienne en terme de santé publique, en terme de crise économique et en terme écologique.  Si la société civile bouillonne d'idées, l'Etat saura-t-il s'engager dans cette voie et proposer une vraie réforme urbanistique à même d’accueillir dignement le nouveau mouvement des cyclistes tunisiens, celui de la révolution des vélos ?


Crédit photos : Tarek Rassaa


[1]Littéralement « celui qui tient les murs », expression popularisée par l'humoriste Fellag pour nommer les jeunes algériens qui  tuent le temps à la terrasse des cafés. Expression qui symbolise le drame de l'inactivité et inaction de la jeunesse maghrébine.

[2] Il n'existe pas de chiffre pour mesurer la part du vélo en Tunisie si ce n'est pour la ville côtière de Sfax où la part modale du vélo est de 0,8% en 2015. Source : H. Abid, ETIC, 2015

[3]Un espace public qui fait l'objet de revendications fortes depuis 2011 à l'instar du mouvement citoyen « Winou ltrottoir » (« Où est le trottoir ? ») destiné à alarmer les autorités quant à la dégradation des infrastructures piétonnes. Les trottoirs sont déformés ou usurpés aux piétons à des fins de terrasse de cafés, de places de parkings ou de dépôt de poubelles.

Jan 15, 2018 / 0 Comments
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Construits puis élargis pour les véhicules particuliers, les axes de circulation majeurs du Grand Caire continuent de subir une congestion massive due à des problèmes de conception des infrastructures de bus et à la forte augmentation de l’usage des véhicules particuliers pour des déplacements quotidiens. Cependant, de nombreux bus du Caire continuent d’emprunter ces axes malgré la densité du trafic. Cet article s’intéresse à la rue Salah Salem, négligée malgré son potentiel pour servir de tronçon unique de 28 km de couloir de transport public, dont les bus n’utilisent actuellement que certains segments.


La rue Salah Salem s’étend de l’aéroport jusqu’à la station de métro et terminal de bus de Monib, traversant de nombreux quartiers et lieux emblématiques du Caire dont Héliopolis, la place de Giza, et les rues de Haram et Faisal. C’est un des plus importants axes et un couloir de transport urbain majeur de la Région du Grand Caire.


Malgré cela, la rue Salah Salem ne bénéficie pas d’un service de bus fiable qui relierait ses deux extrémités. Certains lignes parcourent des sections réservées pour les bus, mais jamais la rue dans son intégralité.


De nombreuses études ont été réalisées afin de construire un système de bus à haut niveau de service (BHNS) dans la rue Salah Salem, dont une étude de préfaisabilité de l’Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) et du Programme des Nations Unies pour le Développement (PNUD) sur la mise en place d’un réseau de BHNS dans le Grand Caire (ITDP 2015), et un plan de transport – CREATS – de l’agence de coopération japonaise (JICA 2012). Ce dernier propose la création de voies médianes réservées aux bus sur certains segments de la route, avec une signalisation donnant la priorité aux bus et la création d’arrêts de bus pour les sections à trafic mixte (bus et véhicules particuliers).


Figure 1- Capture d’écran Google maps, montrant la carte et l’itinéraire de la station de bus de l’Aéroport du Caire à la station de métro de Monib, en empruntant entièrement la rue Salah Salem (capture d’écran par l’auteur – l’itinéraire peut être retrouvé via le lien suivant :


Le BHNS représentent une partie de la solution à la crise de la mobilité urbaine au Caire. De nombreux experts locaux en mobilité urbaine font référence au système de BHNS comme étant « le métro des pauvres », expliquant que les projets futurs devraient se limiter au BHNS et exclure les projets de métro. Ils critiquent ce dernier mode de transport comme étant un gaspillage financier, considérant que davantage de lignes de BHNS auraient pu être réalisées pour « les pauvres » en lieu et place de lignes de métro desservant principalement « des zones riches ».


Bien que cette affirmation puisse de prime abord sembler vraie dans des contextes « spatialement (in)justes » (Soja 2010), au Caire la majorité des lignes de métro desservent de fait autant les habitants pauvres que les riches, s’étendant à travers des quartiers de milieux socio-économiques variés, les reliant les uns aux autres et fournissant un mode transport à haute capacité.


L’aspect problématique du choix du BHNS par rapport au métro est que les bus – standards comme BHNS – sont perçus comme des véhicules transportant « les pauvres qui n’ont pas les moyens de s’offrir une voiture », et non comme faisant partie d’un réseau de transports publics étendu à l’ensemble de l’agglomération du Grand Caire, mixant le BHNS et le métro (lorsque nécessaire) pour soutenir le droit à la mobilité urbaine de tous les citoyens, quelle que soit leur classe sociale.


Concrètement, il n’y a pas que la rue Salah Salem qui a besoin de bus. D’autres axes majeurs requièrent des interventions graduelles mais importantes afin d’accueillir un service de bus de meilleure qualité à court et moyen terme, puis de mettre en place des lignes de BHNS à plus long terme.


Au sein du Grand Caire, les rues sont généralement élargies pour accueillir plus de voitures, et il arrive que des trottoirs soient supprimés ou significativement réduits. Dans ce contexte, construire un BHNS nécessiterait un meilleur aménagement de l’espace public: trottoirs, tunnels et passerelles pour les piétons, feux de circulation, panneaux de signalisation, etc. ; et cela exigerait un changement d’état d’esprit des pouvoirs publics.


Avec une infrastructure et un service de bus ainsi amélioré, le transport public (qui concerne également le métro et le tramway) attirera plus de passagers utilisant aujourd’hui la voiture, et ce qui favorisera un meilleur accès à la mobilité urbaine pour tous, comme un droit et non comme une subvention sociale.


Figure 2- Un bus CTA (Cairo Transport Authority) ramassant des passagers du côté Ouest de Salah Salem à l’arrêt Rue Azhar/Hussein.


Figure 3- Passagers hélant un bus côté Est de Salah Salem à l’arrêt Rue Azhar/Hussein.


Figure 4- Photo prise à bord d’un bus CTA en direction du Sud, approchant le côté Ouest de Salah Salem – arrêt de bus Rue Azhar/Hussein.



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Soja, E. W. (2010). Seeking spatial justice (Vol. 16). U of Minnesota Press.

Tadamun. (2015). The Mustafa Al-Nahhas Corridor Development Project: A Lost Opportunity? Extrait de


Dec 19, 2017 / 0 Comments
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Food security may not seem a priority during current conflicts, but it is critical that the region seize opportunities to make better use of scarce water resources to address a longer-term challenge to the region’s stability.


Continue reading this article on the World Bank's website


This article was first published on the Arab Food and Nutrition Security Blog

Dec 11, 2017 / 0 Comments
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Silvia Marchionne moderated the discussion on “How can Mobility and Cultural Exchanges Promote Entrepreneurship and Regional Integration?” in the context of the regional conference on Youth and Employability in MENA: Better Skills, More Jobs” in Cairo in July 2017. In this article, she restitutes the discussion’s main takeaways.


The Southern Mediterranean region is facing a changing landscape characterised by a deep economic crisis and high youth unemployment rates, lack of skills, important gaps between the skills and the labour market, low employability rates of graduates and a growing demand for high skilled profiles and a global competition for talent.


Many MENA countries, especially Arab Mediterranean countries, face important and overlapping challenges. Youth unemployment rates in MENA (21 percent in the Middle East and 25 percent in North Africa) are higher than in any other region in the world. Young women and new educated entrants in the labour market are disproportionately unemployed. Moreover, young entrants to the labour market are more educated than ever before, but are unable to capitalize on the time and resources invested in their education because of a lack of good quality jobs in the respective labour markets.


There are many factors that influence economic growth, ranging from governance and overall macroeconomic and political stability, to productivity, innovation, and the quality of skills that education systems can develop. Skills development is a cumulative and dynamic process that occurs throughout an individual’s life cycle. Skills are acquired through many avenues: the formal education system, informal and continuing education, and on-the-job training.


Taking into consideration this challenging environment, there is a need to establish closer links between higher education and employability, between youth mobility and research, between governance of higher education and employability to promote the establishment of more cross-sectoral partnerships.

Universities are relevant institutions in promoting economic growth and civil society participation, not only for their capacity to create and disseminate knowledge, but also as organizations that attract talented people, inject new ideas, enrich cultural life, and encompass the whole social fabric of which they are a part.


In this context, interconnection between the need to increase opportunity for encounter and dialogue on one hand, and on the other hand to structure that encounter around the value set and interest of citizens such as good practices in the domain of creative enterprise and managing cultural diversity is a crucial aspect as well as the importance of mobility as a transversal dynamic of cultural relation, in terms of ideas and cultural works as well as people-to-people cooperation. Those are the main key messages of this session, as mobility exchanges could surely help increasing the citizenship and entrepreneurial skills of youth and their employability opportunities. However, mobility and exchange should be promoted not only from South to the North but also from North to South and South-to-South countries. This should lead us to working to stop increasing barriers to cultural mobility in Europe and the Mediterranean interconnected with policy approaches on security and migration, especially working more on facilitating the visa delivery.


In conclusion, we should work to empower individuals and preparing long lasting solutions in a long-term perspective to integrate youth in the society, by filling the gap in the lack of awareness and information for mobility opportunities (by increasing info days, dissemination and relations between university staff and students/youth regarding mobility) and through facilitating platforms and opportunities for cross-network actions, involving diverse civil society networks.




Dec 05, 2017 / 0 Comments
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The 23rd edition of the COP-UNFCCC took place at the Bonn World Conference Center from 6-17 November 2017. The CMI-facilitated Mediterranean Youth for Water (MedYWat) Network was represented by its core group members Antoine Allam and Hassan Tolba at a joint UNESCO/UNECSO-IHP side event, organized in collaboration with the World Youth Parliament for Water.


MedYWat is a community of young professionals, researchers and civil society members working in the water sector from around the Mediterranean. It was launched earlier at the CMI World Water Day youth workshop “Youth Innovating with Wastewater for a Sustainable Mediterranean” (Marseille, 21-22 March 2017) and has been growing ever since.


The “The role of Youth in Bridging Water and Climate Change” side event took place on Friday 10th as part of the 2nd Water Action Day at the UNESCO Pavilion, in the presence of the Deputy Director of the Division of Water Sciences at UNESCO, Dr. Anil Mishra.


The session was introduced by Dr. Mishra, myself and the other two speakers, Anaïs Vives, board member of (Generations Climate and the Water and Climate Initiative) and Hassan Tolba (World Youth Parliament for Water).


The session began with my own presentation on “Mediterranean Youth for Regional Water Security” which consisted of a description of the Center for Mediterranean Integration, the MedYWat network and a case study of climate change impact on Mediterranean watersheds.


Several reports mentioned the escalating situation in the Mediterranean involving water resources such as the Plan Bleu 2012 report (PlanBleu, 2012),[1] IPCC 2014 report (IPCC, 2014)[2] and Llsat’s 2013 study (Llasat, et al., 2013). [3]They all confirmed that climate change is deeply affecting the hydrological regime of Mediterranean watersheds.


Once again, the findings of a simulation research study on the evolution of Lebanese snow cover done in 2007 and later verified by measures in 2017 at the “Centre Régional de l’Eau et de l’Environnement” (CREEN) of Saint Joseph University in Beirut (Hreiche & Najem, 2007), [4]confirmed the impact of climate change on Lebanese water resources.


Researchers noticed that spring discharges between 2005 and 2015 were becoming more regulated, with a lower peak flow in spring season and higher flows in winter, compared to the period between 1965 and 1975 with 2°C lower temperatures. Another finding by researchers was the early snowmelt occurring 1 month earlier than before. Such impacts might affect the water management plans and have major consequences on irrigation, water supply and other water management applications.


Therefore, to anticipate major consequences on water management in Lebanon, we are working right now at CREEN on developing a low flow prediction model to support water authorities in management tasks.

As a Mediterranean youth, myself, I call on other young people to take part in the fight against climate change by: 


  • Volunteering in local and regional youth committees and networks promoting more sustainable development by raising awareness in several Lebanese universities, scouting activities and others
  • Working in the water sciences research field with several research projects involving water resources and climate change
  • Acquiring new personal healthy habits such as reducing waste production


At COP23, several UNESCO sessions stressed the importance of youth involvement in research studies on climate change, since access to data has become easier and several organizations such as G-Wadi, (, a UNESCO MENA platform) built online platforms for data collection and sharing. These research opportunities push youth and research communities in exploring the relations between climate change and natural resources.


This session was unique, it gave an opportunity to youth to contribute to the 2nd Water Action Day by presenting their work and achievements.

Indeed, youth are gaining ground when it comes to conceiving and presenting innovative solutions.


Through my participation at COP23 Water Action Day, MedYWat network seized another opportunity to gain visibility as a blooming and active network on an international level. MedYWat needs to keep making progress with a clear working plan for addressing climate change.


[1] PlanBleu. (2012). les demandes en eau toujours satisfaites en Méditerranée à l'horizon 2050 ? Les Notes du Plan Bleu, #25. Sophia Antipolis: Plan Bleu PNUE/PAM.


[2] IPCC. (2014). GIEC, 2014: Changements climatiques 2014: Rapport de synthèse. Contribution des Groupes de travail I, II et III au cinquième Rapport d’évaluation. Genève, Suisse: GIEC.


[3] Llasat, M., Llasat-Botija, M., Petrucci, O., AA, P., J, R., F, V., & L, B. (2013). Towards a database on societal impact of Mediterranean floods within the framework of the HYMEX project. Natural Hazards Earth Systems Sciences. doi:10.5194/nhess-13-1337-2013


[4]Hreiche, A., & Najem, W. (2007). Hydrological impact simulations of climate change on Lebanese Coastal Rivers. Hydrological Sceinces Journal, 1119-1133.