Are you part of positive change in the Arab world? Share your story!
What do you think of when you hear “Arab world” or “Middle East and North Africa”? All too often, the first images that come to mind are “politicians gathering to talk about the economy, employment rates or education; or an analyst breaking down headline news stories,” writes Lulua Asaad in an article for the Common Ground News Service. But there are many other images and stories that are part of this region – maybe even 1001 of them. It was for this reason that Search for Common Ground recently launched a new website, 1001 Stories of Common Ground, designed for individuals in the Middle East and North Africa to highlight stories of positive change through writings, photos and videos. “These stories,” continues Asaad, “deserve to be heard and can serve as a powerful reality check, dispelling popular stereotypes about a country, a culture or a religion.”
Since its launch in March 2011, the site has grown to over 300 members from many different countries, who make use of the multi-language website in Arabic, English and French. And currently, 1001 Stories of Common Ground is hosting a competition for the best articles, photos and videos showing positive change in the Middle East and North Africa. Winners in each of the photo, video and article categories will receive a $500 grant to attend a conference or otherwise build on their own work, and finalists will have their work featured in the Common Ground News Service and sent to editors around the world. And because positive work to promote women’s rights is so critical, SFCG is offering an additional $500 honorarium to the best video highlighting an initiative to promote gender equality.
Entries to the competition thus far have included:
- An article on a new set of women leaders in Palestine
- A photo of children overcoming sectarianism through football in Lebanon (see above)
- A video showing Christian-Muslim unity in Egypt
- A video highlighting an effort to help women resist harassment in Beirut
To view these entries or to submit your own, please visit www.1001cgstories.org.