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Civic Pole: Pole: Mapping and Connecting Civil Society Efforts in Egypt, 2013


Association for International Affairs – AMO

Financial support of the Czech MFA: 1 400 000 CZK

The Civic Pole (CP) project by AMO in 2013 aimed to contribute to a mutual cooperation among different segments of the civil society in Egypt. AMO conducted journalism capacity-building, spread information about editorial team’s work and awareness about civic projects as well as individual activists. Our goal was to interlink journalists, activists, nongovernmental organizations and research institutions in joint debates on different topics that are relevant for the development of the society. AMO has been monitoring, debating and spreading the awareness about the developments in individual regions of Egypt through journalistic articles, and about the overall process of the transition from the perspective of researchers. The project was supported by the website, which contains journalistic articles, four background papers and provided an important platform with studying materials for journalistic trainees.

A general objective of the project was to enhance the development of the civil society. AMO conducted 6 training sessions in advanced journalism for the editorial team of 11 writers, 2 editors, and several trainers. The trained journalists work in different cities from Alexandria, Mansoura, Giza, Fayoum to the Upper Egypt of Assiut, Sohag and Qena. After each session, editorial meetings took place in order to discuss upcoming articles on thematic and procedural level. The themes of 2013 were for instance infrastructure development, authorities and citizens relations, civic initiatives, research activities, human stories as well as interviews with societally relevant figures. The trainings and editorial meetings took place in January, February, April, June, October and November. A majority of written articles was published on the website, many in both language versions (in Arabic and English).

At the end of the project, AMO co-organized a public debate on reform topics in Egypt with the Andalus Institute. CP-related researchers, journalists and civil society representatives participated in the event on 20 November in Cairo. In Prague, AMO informed about the progress of the project at a public debate Media projects in authoritarian and transition countries. The event took place on 25 November 2013 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Representatives of other non-governmental organizations introduced their experience from the field work. Later on, AMO also hosted a debate on general state of transition in Egypt What happened to Egypt's transition?