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15/1 Soldiers may attend Afghanistan debate after all

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13/1 Paintings of the Zuidas

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10/1 Zuidas: People feel that we are losers

9/1 Fun on the ice - but not for all

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9/1 I Amsterdam must remain exclusive

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7/1 Fatima Elatik to run Zeeburg

7/1 Municipal managers to return to shop floor

4/1 Police: take photo of strange people

3/1 Gaza protest criticises politicians

1/1 Thousands to protest against attacks on Gaza

1/1 Mustapha Laboui leaves district council


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Invest in Beirut film screening

11 June 2008 - Do you want to invest in small-scale political and cultural projects in the Middle East yet circumvent bureaucratic NGOs? Next Sunday, the Bazaar will be launching the Social Intervention Fund (SIF).

The initiative is basically a website where young artists and activists from the Middle East (defined broadly as the area from Morocco to Afghanistan) can post their ideas for political and cultural projects and solicit support.

For example, someone might need a few hundred euros for an open-air film screening in Beirut, or to organise a hip-hop concert in the occupied areas, explains Evert-Jan Grit of IKV Pax Christi, one of the initiators of the SIF.

According to the initiators, there is an enormous potential of idealism and creativity among young people in the Middle East. However, they often have no connections with NGO networks. In addition, these NGOs often have rather bureaucratic procedures to apply for funds.

The SIF intends to provide young people with a very simple way to connect with potential sponsors in Europe. It is also a response to the fact that people increasingly want to be directly involved with the projects they support, rather than just transfer money to anonymous NGOs.

When the website will be launched next Sunday, it will contain three to five projects, Grit says. The SIF will be advertised through youth organisations in the Middle East. It is expected that the initiative will be further spread through word of mouth.

The Bazaar Festival is an event that aims to challenge the 'one-dimensional' image of the Middle East. "People usually associate the Middle East with Palestinians, Islam and terrorism", Grit says. Next Sunday, there will be debates on economic issues. At last year's edition of de Bazaar, two bomb car wrecks from Iraq were displayed at the Leidseplein (photo above).

Bazaar Festival


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