selected projects IN 2017

local Libya

Media project, January - December 2017

The platform was launched in 2016 and connects local journalists from different parts of the country. Authors have the opportunity to gain journalistic experience and tell stories from and about their communities. The Local Libya network developed further spin-offs like discussions, cultural events or informal talks which enabled dialogues with international organizations and diplomats. The English-language channel "Libya Chronicles" emerged from this project and provides regularly reports about incidences in Libya.

The project Local Libya was supported by ifa - Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen with funds of the Federal Foreign Office.;

zenith Photo award

Photo award, January - December 2017

Whereas the first three editions were held in German and aimed to show the perspectives of Muslims in Germany on their communities, as well as the views of non-Muslims on their Muslim neighbours, the zenith Photo award competition widened the scope in its fourth edition, encouraging participants to take part in the debate on Islam in Europe.

52 photographers from all over Europe participated in the competition, more than 6000 users voted for the first award in an online-competition and the six winners were announced in an award ceremony on 15th November 2017.

The zenith Photo award was supported and co-funded by Stiftung Mercator and Stiftung “Haus der Geschichte”.

dolma diaries

Civil society project, January - December 2017  

Dolma Diaries - a joint Armenian-Azerbaijani-Georgian comedy series that wants to spread in a humorous way the message of a neighborly friendship. The title is an allusion to the controversial invention of the national dish Dolma (filled grape leaves) and is an example of the ongoing tensions between the countries in the South Caucasus. Where politics could not achieve anything with its approach efforts, the project explores new ways to fuel civil society discourse. Four authors developed a script draft as well as a trailer for the series.

The project was supported and co-funded by the Federal Foreign Office, Go Group Media Georgien, Eurasia Partnership Foundation and Humanitarian Research Union.

Iraq after daesh: political opinions and the security sector

expert conference, December 2017

High-ranking representatives of foreign embassies, politicians and security experts from the country as well as representatives of religious and civic institutions met in Iraq to discuss scenarios that could prevent or contain the return of jihadist groups (such as the IS organization).

Engaging committed actors in the country was the declared goal of this event and resulted in the idea of founding the Baghdad Policy Club.

The conference was held in cooperation with Baghdad International Centre for Studies and Peace Building.

weak states and powerful insurgencies: armies and militias in the Middle east

conference, 20th and 21st September 2017 in Vienna, Austria

Around forty renowned experts from Europe, Russia, the US and the Middle East gathered in Vienna to analyze the role of militias, non-state actors in the Middle East and current developments in the region.

The conference was attended by scientists from, for example, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Georgetown University, as well as selected military experts, such as NATO, as well as political officials from Iraq. The event enhanced an exchange between science, politics and the media on a complex topic that increasingly defines realities in the Middle East.

The conference was held in cooperation with zenithMagazine and Institut für Friedenssicherung und Konfliktmanagement (IFK).

zenith debate

story telling tool

zenithDebate is an online tool that enables true competition in debating regardless of reputation or social background. During the first stage of the project in 2017, two manuals have been developed which explain how zenithDebate can be used, how important it is and which impact it can generate. A first spin-off of this tool is the debate channel on the Arabic website of (Monazara).

zenith talk casablanca

unlocking knowledge Economies - enabling inclusive societies

13th September 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco

zenithTalk opened up its stage – this time in Casablanca. Young social entrepreneurs came together to discuss new approaches of education, social development and start-ups. Guests included Mehemed Bougsea, co-founder of Think-IT, Ahmad Al-Hidiq, co-founder of the health app "Hey Doc", Belabbes Benkredda, founder of the Munathara Initiative and Amel Karmoul, former Tunisian Tourism Minister. Partners of the Education Commission participated as well in this zenithTalk.

The project was funded by BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt.

Silk Road Symphony orchestra

concert, 15th July 2017

The Silk Road Symphony Orchestra is an international project orchestra that understands classical music as an instrument of civil society dialogue. The topic is the common cultural heritage of Europe, Asia and the Middle East, the Silk Road metaphorically stands for the cultural exchange, the silk for what society gives each other.

Under the direction of the conductor Jan Moritz Onken, the orchestra uses new digital media to disseminate the content and thus enables young people, some of them affected by war, destruction or repressive forms of government, to participate in the project via a digital platform.

The Candid Foundation is supporting this project through their media network.

Russia and the middle east. strategic partnership or hazardours adventures

expert conference, 23rd June 2017 in Berlin, Germany

The Candid Foundation invited together with the BMW Foundation and the Middle East expert group "Tawila” three high-ranking Russian Middle East experts from the Academy of Sciences and the Russian Institute for International Affairs (RIAC) from Moscow for a discussion. The main topic was the role of Russia in Syria and the question of whether and where there is a point of reference for an ending war.

The conference aimed at enriching the network between politics, diplomacy, science and media as well as ensuring an objective discourse.

local libya cultural summit

summit, 31st January 2017 in Tunis, Tunisia

Cultural and civic initiatives from the Local Libya Network gathered together during the Local Libya Cultural Summit in Tunis to exchange ideas, get connected and get to know other actors in the field. The event received a strong media response in Tunisia, as well as in German media outlets as Frankfurter Allgemeine or Neue Zürcher Zeitung.

Our partner for this summit was the Maghreb Economic Forum.