In February 2005, a group of young people met in Amman in a meeting organized by the Arab Education Forum. The young participants discussed their experiences and ideas relating to initiatives spearheaded by the youth such as: are the Arab youth social entrepreneurs? If yes, do their initiatives see the light? Are their initiatives promoted and valued? Is there a sufficient exchange of expertise and knowledge among the Arab young entrepreneurs? Can we reach the youth in remote areas or are our activities restricted to urban areas?

Following these rich discussions, the participants realized that it was important to establish an independent fund for mobility in order to support the exchange of experiences.
First Phase (2005 – 2007) 
Safar provided a total number of 146 grants and organized 3 regional meetings in Egypt, Bahrain and Jordan. During the first two years, 52 young males and females from different parts of the Arab world were engaged in the “call for reflections”. In addition, Safar issued a guidebook on the youth initiatives in the Arab world. The guidebook was developed by 42 young participants and youth workers from various states and you can still contribute your reflections and thoughts. 
At the end of the first phase, an evaluating Committee was formed and consisted of: Cherry Lap, Claude Isacough and Marwa Saudi. The committee conducted an internal evaluation of the project (2005 – 2007). You can read the English EvaluationReport and the Executive Summary in Arabic
Second Phase (2008 – 2009)
Following the success of the first phase of Safar, which was further endorsed by an evaluation conducted by partner organizations and concerned youth from the Arab world, the Arab Education Forum extended the project and decided to carry on with the program for two additional years in order to augment the gains. The extension seeks to further develop the opportunities provided to the youth to learn through mobility, with particular emphasis on apprenticeship and the countries that were not covered in the first phase. You can read the executive summary of the evaluation in Arabic here. 

Third Phase (2010 – 2011) - Istikshaf I


Istikshaf aims to develop an interactive platform for the questioning of artistic mobility around the Mediterranean, as well as providing mobility opportunities for artists across the Mediterranean divide. This 20 month project is in partnership with the Roberto Cimmetta Fund – France, The  Arab Theatre Training Center (ATTC) –Lebanon, Al Balad Theatre- Jordan, Studio Emad Eddine Foundation ( SEE)- Egypt, and Dramatiski Institutet (DI)- Sweden and partially funded by the Anna Lindh Foundation


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Mapping of existing mobility operators using an online form and interviews

Download English Form

Download French Form

Fourth Phase (Dec 2011 – Mar 2014) - Istikshaf II

Based on the success of Istikshaf  program-phase I, the Arab Education Forum launched phase II of the program in partnership with Roberto Cimetta Fund -France and the International Association for Creation and Training ( I-ACT) - Egypt and with the support of the European Union.

Istiskshaf- phase II aims at developing an interactive platform for the questioning of mobility around the Mediterranean, as well as providing mobility opportunities for artists and social entrepreneurs across the Mediterranean divide. More specifically,  it focuses on:

  • Developing, enhancing, and connecting to networks and platforms that bring together various stakeholders concerned with mobility around the Mediterranean, with special focus on consolidating such networks in the South and East of the Mediterranean.
  • Launching a multi-faceted advocacy campaign targeting cultural and civil society policy makers.
  • Establishing local Safar funds in a number of Arab countries that will develop support structures for mobility.
  • Organizing regional meetings for young artists and social entrepreneurs to communicate and share their experiences.
  • Developing, implementing and building partnerships around the theme “ Learning and Hospitable Cities” starting with the city of Amman in Jordan.
  • Developing a web- based tool (Istikshaf travel guide ) focusing on learning opportunities in different cities.
  • Research, documentation, evaluation of, and reflection on mobility, through various tools including a regular evaluation of the impact of mobility using several key mobility operators’ experiences and discussing them in a bi-annual Symposium.
  • Offering  grants for young  artists and social entrepreneurs to facilitate mobility for learning.
    As part of this program, the Arab Education Forum has joined the On the Move (OTM) network, which is a cultural mobility information network active in Europe and worldwide, aiming to encourage and facilitate cross-border mobility and cooperation for professionals of the artistic and cultural sector. (http://on-the-move.org).

About Safar

A large number of groups and individuals cooperate on a regular basis to develop, execute and evaluate Safar.


Support Safar

Support one or more travel grants for young social entrepreneurs from your country or countries of relevance to your area of work.


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