Ever since she moved out of Libya in 2015, Safia has been struck by the commonalities she found with other Arabs she encountered. Yemenis, Iraqis or Lebanese, all shared traits and behaviours that fascinated yet intrigued her.

Responding to this appeal, she dedicated her studies and subsequent work to uncovering the elements that make up Arab identity. Her home country, Libya, is where she decided to start digging. “At university, I would see other students write stories based in LA, New York or other cities they had never set foot in. I wanted to do something differently and base my stories where I grew up. But I quickly realised I had very little resources to rely on.”

Safia set off a project to counter this gap in archival content and historical knowledge. Sard (“Narrative” in Arabic) is a two-folded initiative comprised of a docu-narrative podcast and a short documentary. Based on historical research story lined in the form of fiction, the creative products explore social aspects of life under the Italian occupation and post-independence Libya.

“Some people are walking archives and no one knows about them! When COVID-19 hit, I realised the urgency of this project, because these people might not be there for much longer to tell their stories. Our story.” She says looking into the past allows her to gain the wisdom she needs to build for the future.

Safia aims to make her work a public record, an open-source archive for Libyans curious about their history. “If this can ignite a drive among other people who have similar questions, it would be amazing. But I try not to think too much of the macro view. I want to make my contributions, one at a time, at my level.”

  

All-Around Culture Programme
All-Around Culture (AAC) is a four-year collaborative and interconnected programme aimed at fostering a vital cultural ecosystem as an enabling environment for social and economic inclusion of youth in seven countries across the Arab region. The programme is co-funded by the EU under the “International Partnerships” domain, Programme to Support Youth and Culture in the Southern Neighbourhood.

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The Youth-Led Cultural and Civic Initiatives (YLCCI) is one of ACC’s five components, implemented by the Tunisian not-for-profit organisation l’Art Rue. Started in April 2021, YLCCI aims to raise access to culture and start intercultural dialogue through the support to community-based collaborative and contextual artistic projects.
The project does so by promoting youth-led cultural and civic initiatives through 32 research and 24 production grants, collaborative laboratories as well as tailor made guidance and networking.

World Youth Skills Day (2021)

On the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day, the EU Neighbours South team launched a new campaign highlighting young entrepreneurs who received support from the European Union in the Southern neighbourhood. 👉 Discover the inspiring stories of young Mediterranean changemakers and beneficiaries of EU support. The project chose to collaborate also with 8 EU Goodwill Ambassadors from the #InTheirEyes competition and ...
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