Autumn is gently approaching in Alexandria; though the heat is still staggering and the beaches are full of holidaymakers enjoying the sun and the sea. Many have already returned to their offices after the summer vacation and children are returning to schools the coming weeks.
The institute has an eventful fall ahead with activities in Alexandria as well as in other countries in the region and in Sweden and the UK.
With a glimpse back at our activities this summer we’d like to highlight the interesting debate on ”Muslim feminism and secular feminism are they compatible?” that took place during the political week in Almedalen, Sweden on the 30th of June. The participants were Mrs. Gudrun Schyman from the political party Feminist initiative and Archbishop Mrs. Antje Jackelén. From Egypt professor Hoda el-Saadi from the American University in Cairo, Dr. Marwa Sharafeldin Ph.D in Islamic Law and Human Rights Law from Musawah International Movement and Mr. Mohamed Abdelaal from the Egyptian religious establishment. You can enjoy the debate by clicking here.

Almedalen 1

The debate attracted a lot of audience and gave many some food for thoughts on the importance of cooperation between feminists, whether religious or secular.

Almedalen 2
During the summer the institute has been hosting youth initiatives like the MAC Club in Alexandria regarding the revival of cultural heritage, and the Alexandria Euromed Summit.
Our next TV debate, Aswat min Misr, will be recorded in August and broadcasted in the beginning of September on ONTV . The debate will discuss the relationship between the decision-makers and the citizens with Egyptians and Tunisians. The moderator of the debate, Mr Amr Khafagy, has worked on a documentary together with the institute and an NGO from Egypt called Aswat. Mr. Khafagy travelled with the team to interview Swedish politicians and civil society actors during the political week of Almedalen in Sweden in the beginning of July. Apart from meeting with politicians Mr. Khafagy also met with the Swedish Press Ombudsmen and interviewed the Swedish Minister of Integration.

Almedalen 3

The institute is currently working on the preparations for a study tour to Stockholm and Malmö regarding joint efforts against violence against women and sexual harassment. The Swedish Institute has since 2013 in cooperation with ABAAD-Resource Center for Gender Equality based in Lebanon, cooperated on “Masculinities and ending Gender Based Violence (GBV)”. Further in May 2014, The Swedish institute in cooperation with ABAAD, Appropriate communication techniques ACT, National Council Women, HarassMap and Shuft el-taharroush; organized a campaign against sexual harassment. One of the direct outcomes was the networking between civil society and the government institutions and their united call for cooperation and coordination. Further there was consensus on the importance of sharing experiences on a regional level and with countries which have successfully implemented wide ranging approaches to end sexual violence and harassment.
To follow up on these two activities implemented, the institute, ABAAD and ACT have decided to organize a visit to Sweden to study the holistic approaches society has developed to fight GBV and the support and rehabilitation victims and perpetrators receive.
New Urban Topologies is a project that the institute initiated in 2011 in cooperation with Färgfabriken for Art and Development, and Alexandria University. The main theme for the workshop planned 28-30 September will be; Kafr Ashry-Lost and public Spaces. Based on sustainability, security, recycling and the specific needs of children and women, the dialogue will continue with its inhabitants. During three days there will be excursions, seminars and workshops.
Further the institute in cooperation with the Bibliotheca Alexandria is preparing for a Development Forum later this fall. A preparatory meeting will take place in the UK in September at University of Westminster.
These are a few of our upcoming activities in August and September and we hope you will follow us at the Swedish Institute Alexandria
I wish you an inspiring autumn!
Cecilia Sternemo
Deputy Director