The depiction of the Middle East and North Africa in the news is often unflattering in that it paints the picture of a region ridden by crisis and overshadowed by political and economic turmoil. Overall conditions and lived realities are, however, much more complex and multi-layered than this stereotype suggests. This is well reflected in more than 100 projects that the Goethe-Institut, funded by the Federal Foreign Office, has been supporting in Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt since 2011 and until today under its programme “Dialogue & Transition”. The contribution differs from one project country to the next, taking into account their widely differing contexts.
The projects’ primary target groups are young people and key actors in civil society and education, seeking to create spaces for discussion and exchange of opinions, as well as opportunities for qualification. The Goethe-Institut further trains and connects cultural actors in the region with each other and with relevant partners in Germany. “Dialogue & Transition” aims for more than just the implementation of fixed concepts; it enhances future prospects, strengthens participatory decision-making, exchange, self-efficacy, and provides room for creativity and innovation.