ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

ISESCO celebrates World Arabic Language Day Quarterly newsletter – Issue 109 – Rabii II 1439 A.H / January 2018 ISESCO Executive Council adopts Draft Medium Term Strategic Plan for 2019-2027 The Director General calls upon world states to recognize Al-Quds as capital of the State of Palestine Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers holds its 7th session at ISESCO headquarters, Rabat Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers holds its 10th session in Khartoum, Republic of the Sudan

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

Letter to the reader Director General’s activities Executive Council holds its 38th Session in Rabat Ministerial Conferences Activities of Directorates and Specialized Centers • Cooperation • Education • S&T • Social and Human Science • Culture • ICC activities 1 2 16 19 35 39 48 53 55 60 First published in March 1986 \ \ \ General Manager: Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri Director General \ \ \ Editor-in-Chief Dr El Mahjoub Bensaid Head of Information and Communication Centre (ICC) \ \ \ Tel + 212 (05) 37 56 60 56/53 Fax : + 212 (05) 37 71 53 27 (05) 37 71 47 21 E-mail : press@isesco.org.ma \ \ \ Editing: ICC \ \ \ Photocomposition : Planning, Information, Documentation and Publishing Centre (PIDPC) \ \ \ Translation supervised by: Translation Centre \ \ \ Printing: ISESCO Rabat - Kingdom of Morocco \ \ \ Legal Deposit: ISSN: 0851-7185 / 54/ 1986 Contents

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 1 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 fulfillment of noble goals which elevate humankind, create progress and build the future. Given its cardinal importance as a prerequisite of stable human life, dialogue has an impact on building world peace. There can be no peace that builds the new human civilization without a multilevel dialogue among political leaders; intellectual, cultural and creative elites; and religious leaders. Those are the ones who make peace and pave the way for the elemination of the causes of tension among nations and peoples and open the way for understanding, reconciliation, tolerance and harmony.

The major idea that I would like to highlight is that serious and earnest dialogue among civilizations, cultures and followers of religion strongly contributes to promoting world peace, spreading the valuesofpeacefulcoexistenceandaculture of justice and peace, and entrenching the principles of citizenship, democracy and good governance. In addition, it brings about profound mutations in international relations and positively guides international affairs with a view of redressing global discrepancies, and adjusting the balance of powers at all levels, which would eventually lead to reforming the current situation, promoting stability and spreading peace and security in our world.

Today, more than ever before, dialogue is desperately needed. Civil wars and crises are raging on in the MENA region, and the wave of killing and religious and racial discrimination are spreading, as in Myanmar’s villages where Muslims’ lives have been scorched and hundreds of thousands were killed, according to Human Rights Watch, as a result of blind fanatism and bitter hatred. Had constructive dialogue prevailed in those regions, and cultural and religious pluralism been put to use to consolidate interregional and interethnic dialogue, and among governments and peoples, the situation would not have been as tragic as it is now.

If positive, earnest and active dialogue among the world’s governments had been conducted in an appropriate way, the UN Security Council would not have failed to accomplish the mission it was originally created for i.e. maintaining world peace and security.

At the invitation of Mr Ilyas Umakhanov, the Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Fede- ration, I took part in the 137th session of the European Parliamentary Union, held in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, on 17 October 2017. I made a presentation titled “the Role of Cultural Pluralism in Promoting Interregional Dialogue”. I discussed three major themes: cultural pluralism, dialogue among cultures, civilizations and followers of religions, and impact of dialogue on building world peace. I underlined that cultural pluralism is a feature of human societies that is relevant to all times and all spaces.

People have different cultural orientations and backgrounds in the same way they have different beliefs, races and languages. This natural difference gives rise to pluralism in all aspects of life. This is what international literature refers to as cultural diversity. Indeed, cultural pluralism reflects the national identities of peoples and nations. As much as identities differ, cultures differ, giving rise to cultural, civilizational and spiritual specificities that characterize the belonging to human communities with unique identities. If we look into Islamic heritage, of which a great part originates from the region of Central Asia during the last centuries and delve into the intents of Islam, contents of the Arab-Islamic culture, and the contributions of this heritage in enriching human civilization, we will find that the Islamic civilization abounds with a rich and diverse cultural heritage based on dialogue, rapprochement and coexistence among followers of religions, madhahibs and races.

The reason is that Muslims across the Islamic world have given, taken and innovated; opened to human civilizations and cultures; and were open- minded in dealing with those from different religions. They embraced the positive side of their respective cultures, co-existed with them and encouraged them to promote free thought and innovation in so many sciences and knowledge realms. Scientists, intellectuals, philosophers and poets were bound by a relation of fraternity and fellowship in service of science and the production of knowledge. Allah Almighty has created people different in languages, races and colors, which is referred to as cultural pluralism.

Difference is Allah’s established way as He made people nations and tribes so they know each other, and exchange knowledge, in order to pave the way for dialogue regardless of religion, gender, race, language, color, ethnicity and region. Therefore, it is through dialogue that we can foster mutual acquaintance and understanding among cultures, civilizations and followers of religions. Dialogue is the choice of sensible persons and the path of those seeking to spread peace and common values and consolidate security in the world. From our practical experience and aca- demic expertise in this field, we underline that dialogue, in this deep and compre- hensive sense, is the choice of wise people that ultimately leads to the Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri Director General Letter to the reader Serious and earnest dialogue among civilizations, cultures and followers of religions strongly contributes to promoting world peace “ 1 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ”

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 2 Heads of State receiving Director General On the afternoon of 14 October 2017, in Singapore city, Mrs Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, received ISESCO Director General. During the meeting, the Director General briefed the President about ISESCO’s activities, the Organization’s relations with Jamiyah Singapore, and the 2nd Forum of Heads of Islamic Cultural Centers and Associations outside the Islamic World, held in Singapore, on 13-14 October 2017. The Director General also offered the President of the Republic a collection of ISESCO publications.

It is worth noting that Mrs Halimah Yacob, former Speaker of the Parliament, is the country’s first female Muslim president.

On 21 November 2017, Field Marshall Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan, received, at the Friendship Palace in Khartoum, ISESCO Director General who hailed the excellent cooperation relations between ISESCO and the Republic of the Sudan. For his part, President Al-Bashir welcomed the Director General and commended his efforts towards the development of the Islamic world and the promotion of cultural dialogue among Islamic countries. He also lauded ISESCO’s role in developing cultural strategies and policies for the promotion of middle stance and showcasing the genuine image of Islam.

The audience was attended by the Minister of Culture of the Republic of the Sudan, Mr Al-Tayeb Hassan Badawi.

On the evening of 18 December 2017, the President of the Republic of Guinea, Mr Alpha Condé, in Conakry, received ISESCO Director General who expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Guinean President for his country’s support to Islamic joint action and ISESCO in particular. For his part, President Condé welcomed ISESCO Director General and thanked him for participating in the official ceremony that took place in Conakry to celebrate the World Arabic Language Day and the city’s selection as the World Book Capital for 2017. He also commended Dr Altwaijri’s efforts at the head of ISESCO and the achievements of the Organization in its fields of competence, while reiterating his country’s support to ISESCO to carry on its civilizational mission in the Islamic world.

On the afternoon of 21 December 2017, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr Ilham Aliyev, received, at the Presi- dential Palace in Baku, ISESCO Director General who briefed President Aliyev about the arrangements underway to celebrate Nakhitchevan as the Asian region’s Islamic Culture Capital for 2018. Dr Altwaijri also expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Azerbaijani President for his country’s support to ISESCO and its keenness to strengthen relations with the Organization in its fields of competence, namely education, science and culture. For his part, President Aliyev commended ISESCO’s considerable activity and important initiatives to promote joint Islamic action, while reiterating his country’s support for ISESCO and its Director General to carry on its civilizational development mission.

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

3 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On the afternoon of 22 September 2017, the Director General received a delegation of Saudi intellectuals with whom he toured the Organization’s offices. The Director General briefed the dele- gation on ISESCO’s strategies and action programmes, especially in cultural fields, and its cultural priorities outlined in the Three- Year Action Plan for 2016-2018. He also underlined the efforts made to consolidate inter-cultural dialogue, alliance between civilizations, co-existence between followers of religions; uphold the cultural identities of Muslim communities living in the West; and counter Islamophobia.

The Director General further explained the objectives of the programme of the celebration of Islamic Cultural Capitals. At the end of the meeting, he presented the delegation members with some of ISESCO publications and newsletters. On 2 October 2017, ISESCO Director General, in his office, received Dr Boubakar Doukouré, Chairman of ISESCO Executive Council. Talks during this meeting centered on the 38th Session of the Executive Council’s programme which was held on 3 October 2017 at ISESCO’s headquarters in Rabat. He also received the Chairman on 12 December 2017 and discussed with him developments at the Islamic and international scenes.

On 2 October 2017, ISESCO Director General received, in his office,MrLahoucineTijani,PresidentDelegateoftheMohammedVI Foundation for Environmental Protection, and Mrs Nouzha Alaoui, the Foundation’s Secretary General. Talks during this meeting focused on means of developing cooperation between ISESCO and the Foundation in environmental protection and sustainable development. It is worth mentioning that in 2007, ISESCO and the Foundation signed a cooperation agreement under which a large number of programmes and activities on environmental issues were implemented. ISESCO and the Foundation also signed a cooperation programme for 2018-2019 at the opening session of the 7th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers at ISESCO headquarters on 25 October 2017.

On the morning of 5 October 2017, ISESCO Director General received, in his office, Mr Tarik Ismail Oglu Aliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Kingdom of Morocco. During this meeting, the two parties discussed ways to enhance the special cooperation relations between the Azerbaijani government and ISESCO in its areas of competence, as part of the implementation of the Organization’s Three-Year Action Plan for 2016-2018. Director General’s activities at headquarters

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

4 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Director General’s activities at headquarters On 31 October 2017, ISESCO Director General received, in his office, Dr Adil Jarboui, Secretary of State to the Minister of Social Affairs, in charge of Immigration and Tunisians Abroad. Talks during the meeting centered on boosting cooperation between ISESCO and the Tunisian government in the activation of the Strategy for Islamic Cultural Action outside the Islamic World. On 8 November 2017, ISESCO Director General received, in his office, a delegation of members of Egypt’s House of Representatives, headed by Dr Suleiman Wahdan, the House’s Deputy Speaker.

During this meeting, ISESCO Director General briefed the delegation on the Organization’s strategies, action plans and priorities set out in its Three-Year Action Plan for 2016-2018. He also reviewed ISESCO’s experience in holding parliamentary forums on education and science. In addition, the parties discussed ways to promote the role of Member States’ parliaments and consultative assemblies in enacting the relevant policies and legislations on education, culture, science and techno- logy and incorporating them in development projects. On 12 December 2017, ISESCO Director General received, in his office, Mr Ashraf Ibrahim Ahmed Ibrahim, the new Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt to the Kingdom of Morocco.

Talks during this meeting centered on ways to promote the special cooperation relations between ISESCO and the competent parties in the Arab Republic of Egypt, as part of implementing the Organization’s Three-Year Action Plan for 2016-2018. On the same day, he received Mr Jamal Al-Shobaki, the Palestinian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Morocco and together they discussed the prospects of promoting cooperation between competent parties in the State of Palestine and ISESCO, as part of the implementation of the Three-Year Action Plan for 2016- 2018. On this occasion, the Palestinian Ambassador hailed the support extended by ISESCO to the educational, scientific, cultural and information institutions in Al-Quds Al-Sharif and in Palestine in general, as well as the stances adopted by ISESCO in defending the Palestinian cause and condemning the Israeli repeated aggressions against the Palestinian people and its attempts to Judaize Al-Quds Al-Sharif.

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

5 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 UNESCO Director General offers ISESCO Director General copy of “The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture” Collection Euro-Arab Studies Center offers its Shield to ISESCO Director General On the evening of 26 September 2017, the Director General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Mrs Irina Bokova, offered, at the Organization’s head- quarters in Paris, a copy of “The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture” Collection to ISESCO Director General. It is worth mentioning that UNESCO published this Collection in six thematic volumes which necessitated forty years of work.

During an official ceremony held in Paris, “ISESCO/OCIS Prize for Educators” was awarded to UNESCO, as recognition by ISESCO and the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies (OCIS) of the publication of this Collection which is considered as an important reference on the Islamic civilization and an appropriate platform for dialogue among cultures and followers of religions. On the evening of 11 October 2017, the President of the Center for Euro-Arab Studies (CEEA), Dr Saleh bin Bakr Al-Tayar, offered in Paris the Center’s Shield to ISESCO Director General, in the presence of His Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud; Dr Moufid Shehab, President of the CEEA Board of Trustees; and a host of experts and politicians from the Arab world and France, in recognition of Dr Altwaijri’s efforts in promoting intercultural dialogue, alliance of civilizations, and coexistence among followers of religions to establish security and entrench tolerance and coexistence values.

Director General’s activities outside the Seat Country

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

6 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Director General’s activities outside the Seat Country On the evening of 14 October 2017, in Singapore, Mr Theo Chee Hean, the Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security of the Republic of Singapore, presented ISESCO Director General with an appreciation prize from Jamiyah Singapore, on the occasion of its 85th anniversary, in the presence of Dr Mohd Hasbi Abu Bakar, President of Jamiyah Singapore, and Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Commu- nications and Information, Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs.

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister offers appreciation prize to ISESCO Director General On 14 October 2017, at the close of the opening session of the 2nd Forum of Heads of Islamic Cultural Centers and Associations outside the Islamic World, in Singapore, Mr K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law of the Republic of Singapore, offered the Shield of Jamiyah Singapore to ISESCO Director General, in recognition of his remarkable efforts to promote the educational, scientific and cultural insti- tutions in non-Member States of ISESCO and his sustained support for Islamic cul- tural centers and associations of Muslims outside the Islamic world.

Jamiyah Singapore offers its Shield to ISESCO Director General

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

7 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 15 October 2017, in Singapore, ISESCO Director General met with the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Defense, Dr Mohammad Maliki Osman, and briefed him about ISESCO’s mission, activities, and special relations with Jamiyah Singapore. This meeting was held during Dr Altwaijri’s participation at the 2nd Forum of Heads of Islamic Cultural Centers and Associations outside the Islamic World which was organized by ISESCO in cooperation with Jamiyah Singapore.

On the morning of 18 October 2017, in St Petersburg, the Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Mr Ilyas Umakhanov, received ISESCO Director General, and together they discussed cooperation relations in cultural fields. On this occasion, Mr Umakhanov expressed his thanks to ISESCO Director General for his effective participation in the 137th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, held in St. Petersburg. For his part, Dr Altwaijri expressed his satisfaction with his participation in this important meeting, and offered Mr Umakhanov ISESCO Medal, in recognition of his efforts to promote cultural relations between his country and the Islamic world.

During this audience, the two parties agreed to sign a cooperation agreement between ISESCO and the Russian Committee for Solidarity and Cooperation with the Peoples of Asia and Africa chaired by Mr Umakhanov.

On 30 October-14 November 2017, ISESCO Director General participated in the 39th General Conference of UNESCO, which kicked off at its headquarters in Paris. On 6 November, ISESCO Director General delivered an address at the Conference’s plenary session during which he stated that peace building hinges upon a solid basis of education in its fullest sense, and argued that while peace is constructed in the minds, the minds are, in turn, built with rewarding good education. He further explained that UNESCO has therefore big responsibilities to shoulder, especially in today’s critical global context marked by growing tensions and escalating armed conflicts, political crises and economic problems in many countries, coupled with a remarkable slowdown of the development in the majority of the countries of the South, depriving millions of children of their right to pursue a descent education in a normal atmosphere of security and stability.

Director General’s activities outside the Seat Country

ISESCO - celebrates World Arabic Language

8 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Director General’s activities outside the Seat Country At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Guinea, Mr Alpha Condé: The Director General gives an address at an official ceremony held in Conakry on the occasion of the World Arabic Language Day and of the selection of Conakry as Book Capital for the year 2017 ISESCO Director General and Azerbaijan Culture and Tourism Minister co-chair 2nd meeting of Azerbaijan National Commission for ISESCO On the afternoon of 22 December 2017, in Baku, ISESCO Director General and the Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of ISESCO General Confe- rence, Mr Abulfaz Garayev, co-chaired the 2nd meeting of Azerbaijan National Commission for ISESCO to review the ongoing prepa- rations for the celebration of Nakhitchevan as the Asian region’s Capital of Islamic Culture for 2018 and explore ways to promote cooperation between ISESCO and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

At the invitation of the President of the Republic of Guinea, Mr Alpha Condé, the Director General, took part, as a guest of honor, in the official ceremony held on 18 December 2017 in Conakry on the occasion of the World Arabic Language Day and the selection of Conakry as Book Capital for the year 2017. In an address he delivered during the ceremony, the Director General stressed that the objective sought by the organizing committee to commemorate the World Arabic Language Day in Guinea is also one of the goals pursued by ISESCO for all the Member States, which is to raise popular awareness, especially among intellectuals and students of universities in various educational and teaching institutions, to the importance and status of the Arabic language.

Arabic is, indeed, the language of the Holy Quran, the Prophet, peace be upon him, and of the Islamic civilization which has immensely contributed to the human civilization.

On this occasion, the Director General paid tribute to a group of educational and cultural figures in Guinea, in recognition of their considerable efforts to spread Arabic and their active role in publicizing Islamic culture. These figures are: Dr Koutoub Mustapha Sano, Advisor to the President of the Republic for Diplomatic Affairs, Elhadj Ibrahim Camara, expert, researcher and educational supervisor specialized in the teaching of Arabic to non- Arabic speakers, Annasr Al-Islami Association, the Association of Arab Schools Federation and the Arabic Language Department in the University of Lansana Conte.

9 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 11 October 2017, the Director General took part in a seminar held by the Arab-European Studies Center in Paris, on the occasion of the silver jubilee of its creation. During a working session titled “cultural and media challenges facing the Arab world and the role of center studies in confronting them”, held as part of the Paris 5 Dialogue, the Director General made a presentation in which he underlined that studies and research centers (think tanks) are factories of thoughts that guide policies and define options to address challenges and face mutations experienced by states and people in every age.

He added that producing thoughts can be described as the genuine heavy industry as it ponders on issues related to States’ public policies in all walks of life, and endeavors to find solutions to problems resulting from the evolution of human societies, both as they develop or as they regress. He also maintained that these centers are the cradle of constructive ideas and efficient means to address all kinds of challenges, especially the cultural and information-related ones which are only an effect of political and economic challenges and a consequence of suc- cessive crises. The Director General noted that any cultural or information challenge is necessarily the product of social, regional or international changes, arguing that addressing these chal- lenges, either by responding and ad- dressing, or monitoring and analyzing, is the essence of the missions of studies centers specializing in political, strategic, rights-based, intellectual and information issues.

He stressed that studies centers have a paramount role in facing all of these challenges as their core mission consists of research, studies, pros- pection, assessment and follow-up, and their task is based on the research conducted by intellectuals, academics, rights experts, political and strategic experts. He added that these centers also act as a source of thoughts that looks into all fields and undertakes to probe and analyze them in order to iden- tify the problems, aspects of dangers, and underlying causes in a bid to resolve and redress them in service of the noble human objectives.

He concluded that only the intellectual missions discharged by studies centers are able to confront the cultural and information challenges, be it within or outside the Arab world, insisting that these centers provide the tools to counter the danger of terrorism in all its forms, which is today threatening the entire world. In order to overcome this destructive culture, the Director General added that all weapons need to be used, including the cultural and infor- mation weapons, which are a double- edged weapon able to kill and revive; destroy and build; and wreck and reform.

Director General’s academic activities Director General participates in Seminar on “Paris 5 Dialogue”

10 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Director General’s academic activities The Director General takes part in international Conference on the role of media in combatting hate speech ISESCO Director General addresses the 137th session of Inter-Parliamentary Union, St. Petersburg On 17 October 2017, ISESCO Director General took part in the 137th session of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), held in St. Petersburg, the Russian Federation, at the invitation of Mr Ilyas Uma- khanov, Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, wherein he presented a paper dubbed “the Role of Cultural Pluralism in Promoting Interregional and Interethnic Dialogue”.Inhispresentation,ISESCODirectorGeneralpointedthat cultural pluralism is a constant feature of human societies because people have different cultural orientations and backgrounds, in the same way as they have different beliefs, races and languages.

He noted that being a natural trait, difference generates pluralism in all aspects of life, and is known in international literature as cultural diversity and described by UNESCO as “creative”. He showed that respecting cultural pluralism is what enriches cultural diversity. He further explained that cultural diversity, as agent of development, expands the range of opportunities available to each individual, and a driving force of development, not only from the vantage point of economic growth, but also as a prerequisite for a sound emotional, affective, moral and spiritual life. Cultural pluralism, he said, also requires dialogue as a means for understanding and rapprochement among cultures and civilizations, and for peaceful coexistence among peoples, ethnicities, and regions.

He stressed that dialogue is not a renunciation of constants or a wavering of positions. Rather, it is a means to bring views closer together on issues that, if left without a dialogue conducive to understanding, would give rise to clashes to prevail over the relations between the parties involved. Such is one of the positive facets of dialogue among civilizations that highlights a shining human model of tolerance, coexistence and cooperation, the Director General concluded.

On 23 -24 October 2017, the Director General took part in the 4th Conference held by the OIC-affiliated Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (OIC-IPHRC), in Rabat, on the theme “The Role of Media in Combatting Hate Speech”. The Conference was held in cooperation with the Moroccan government and the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Human Rights. At the Conference’s opening session, the Director General gave an address, in the presence of the Moroccan State Minister for Human Rights, the OIC Secretary General, the representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, IPHRC Chairperson, and other leading political, rights and media figures.

In his address, Dr Altwaijri noted that the phenomenon of hatred and Islamophobia is surging in our world despite the considerable efforts made over the last three decades to promote inter-cultural dialogue and alliance between civilizations. He added that the situation has moved from joint action aiming to consolidate these noble values and ideal principles, to cooperation to face these despicable phenomena which propagate the discourse of hatred and racism in a way that undermines world peace and security. In this regard, Dr Altwaijri stated that ISESCO has been granting, based on its fields of competence, as part of the objectives defined in its Charter and in a bid to bring its contribution to international efforts to fight the discourse of hatred, utmost importance to correct the inaccurate information about Islam and Islamic civilizations of the western media.

It has also been carrying out activities meant to address the phenomenon of Islamophobia and stereotypes of Islam and Muslims spread by the western media, with a perspicacious information vision and from a legal perspective in order to achieve the goals contained in its relevant reference documents.

11 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ISESCO Director General participates in international Conference in Baku on “Islamic Solidarity and Interfaith Dialogue” Director General’s academic activities The Director General took part, on 21 December 2017 in Baku in an inter- national conference dubbed “2017- Islamic Solidarity Year: Interfaith and Intercultural Dialogue”, co-organized by the Caucasus Muslims Office and the State Committee on Work with Religious Organizations in the Republic of Azerbaijan.

At the opening session of the Conference, held in the presence of Mr Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and a host of political, intellectual and academic figures in addition to members of the Azerbaijani government, the Director General gave an address in which he emphasized the importance of the Confe- rence timing.

He noted that this impor- tant Conference was held at this timely context marked by such clear manifes- tations and deep sense of Islamic soli- darity as epitomized by the general mobilization to the legitimate cause of Al-Quds Al-Sharif, and by the reaffir- mation of its prominent standing in the consciousness of Muslims as an integral part of the religious, historical and civi- lizational heritage of Muslims, in parti- cular, and humanity at large. He also praised the firm position of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the good offices of President Ilham Aliyev in favor of stronger Islamic solidarity and further under- standing, harmony, tolerance and coexis- tence among the peoples of the Islamic Ummah to face challenges to its progress and prosperity that prevent it from acquiring the strength and means to protect the Islamic world’s supreme interests, preserve its legitimate rights, and contribute alongside the international community to establish peace and secu- rity in the world.

The Director General stated that one of the manifestations of Islamic solidarity is to champion Muslim Peoples’ just causes to put an end to foreign occu- pation of some regions in the Islamic world, such as the Azerbaijan province of Nagorno-Karabakh, which is still oc- cupied by Armenia in total defiance of the resolutions of the United Nations’ Security Council and General Assembly. He underlined that the Muslim Ummah’s strength lies in its unity, solidarity and cooperation with peace lovers throughout the world. The Director General also talked about educating new generations about Islamic solidarity, stating that it is Member States’ duty to infuse the spirit of Islamic brotherhood, Islamic solidarity, harmony and loyalty to the Islamic civi- lization in the rising generations.

He stressed that instilling the spirit of Islamic solidarity and the conviction that it is the surefire way to Islamic world prosperity in the younger generations will, to a great extent, achieve the lofty objectives de- fined in the commemoration of this year as the year of Islamic solidarity.

12 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Director General’s academic activities ISESCO Director General lecturing at Baku State University, Republic of Azerbaijan On 22 December 2017, ISESCO Director General delivered, at Baku State University, Republic of Azerbaijan, a lecture on the theme “ISESCO’s Contribution to Shaping the Future of the Islamic World” in the presence of the University’s Rector, faculty, an elite of figures from the realm of academia, science and culture and students. In the beginning of his lecture, Dr Altwaijri gave an overview of the current state of affairs, stressing that today’s world is going through a critical stage which will usher into a new historical era where humanity will be facing tough challenges that will be difficult to cope with and to eventually overcome.

“Among such challenges whose precursors are already bearing on modern societies is looking ahead to lay the ground for the future. This is a very complex process called ‘shaping the future’ in futurology”, he added.

He also said that those challenges and all associated difficulties originated in the disrupted balance of values, principles and the international law system, which had resulted in an atmosphere of uncertainty in international politics. He indicated that working towards the educational, scientific, cultural and communication development of the Islamic world as part of the pursuit of these goals requires concerted efforts and the mobilization and provision of resources. ISESCO Director General underlined that the chal- lenges faced by the Islamic world are further compounded by others that were no lesser in gravity, such as the prevalence of sectarian conflicts, doctrinal fanaticism and religious strife tearing Muslims apart and that sectarian clashes, which are no longer discrete or undeclared, are on the rise, gravely jeopardizing the spiritual and cultural unity of the Muslim Ummah and creating tension and mistrust within Muslim societies.

Against this backdrop, Dr Altwaijri maintained that the first step in building the desired future of the Islamic world is to eradicate illiteracy in all its forms. He added that this also entailed developing and improving the quality of education by adopting modern and world class educational systems, starting with the training of teachers. He showed that fighting cor- ruption in general is also the first step in addition to reinforcing economic complementarity among countries of the Islamic world, expanding intra-Islamic trade, and the exchange of professional technical, financial and administrative expertise.

He also said that there are three clues to changing the conditions of the Islamic world through a wise Islamic approach, and using this approach as a starting point to draw an outline of the future in addition to modernizing educational systems, developing the educational process and supporting scientific research in all the fields of knowledge, and modernizing public lifestyles in general. He also talked about the strategic planning of the future as ISESCO has placed the strategic planning for the development of the Muslim world among its priorities. He noted that ISESCO has developed seventeen (17) strategies which, combined together, represent a global development strategy in its fields of action.

Concluding his lecture, he said that the future of the Muslim Ummah is created in the lecturing halls of universities and think-tanks, shaped by innovative minds, and edified by the determination of people who are accountable before Allah (SWT) then before their own conscience and their communities.

13 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Director General’s media activities Russian Channel One conducts interview with ISESCO Director General On 18 October 2017, the Russian Channel One held a television interview with ISESCO Director General wherein he talked about the importance of inter- cultural dialogue in fostering under- standing and establishing peace among peoples and ethnicities. He also stressed the necessity to build a new world order based on respect for cultural and religious diversity, justice and equality with a view to weathering the current period characterized by the prevalence of conflicts, extremism, violation of peoples’ rights and denigration of their religious and cultural values.

He highlighted ISESCO’s sustained action towards dissemination of a culture of justice and peace and respect for human dignity. ISESCO Director General commended the decree by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdu- laziz Al Saud, to set up “the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Complex for the Prophet’s Hadith” to be based in Al Madinah Al Munawwarah and whose members will include an elite of Hadith scholars from all over the world, all of whom are appointed by virtue of a Royal decree, including the president. On this occasion, ISESCO Director General said in a statement to the OIC Union of News Agencies (UNA): “This is a momentous and a very important decision that reflects the great interest of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, in serving Islam at all levels.” He also underscored that combining between serving the Two Holy Mosques and the Holy Quran, through King Fahd Complex for the Printing of the Holy Quran and its translation into world languages, that the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz established; and this Complex dedicated to the Prophet’s Hadith is an honor for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which carries out its responsibilities towards Islam and Muslims across the world.

By the same token, Dr Altwaijri stated that the choice of Al Madinah Al Munawwarah as a seat city for this academic Complex was a judicious one, adding that the complex was established at an opportune time, in light of the dire need for scholars, students and resear- chers to study and spread the noble Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through the scientific methods adopted by Hadith scholars, and in compliance with the Hadith science, as the second branch of Islamic culture after the Quran science. The Director General also pointed out that this Complex would lay the foundations for a scientific renaissance based on sound rules that would benfit the Islamic world at large.Dr Altwaijri affirmed that serving the Hadith science through collection, classification, verifi- cation and research was a necessity imposed by the present intelectual, scien- tific and cultural circumstances of the Islamic world, marked by various aspects of a shallow Islamic thought void of any established rules of Islamic scholarship and which adopt inappropriately authentic texts based on forged and weak Hadith or deviant interpretations of authentic Hadith, leading to confusion, doubt casting, and propagation of faith deviations which are at odds with religious discourse.

In a statement to UNA: ISESCO Director General commends establishment of “Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Complex for the Prophet’s Hadith”

14 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Director General’s media activities “Al Ahram” conducts interview with the Director General On 13 November 2017, the Egyptian newspaper, Al Ahram, published an interview with the Director General conducted by the journalist Mahmoud Annabaoui, head of the newspaper in Jeddah. In this interview, Dr Altwaijri talked about the documents and reports adopted by the 10th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, held in Khartoum on 21-23 November 2017, on the theme “Towards Sustainable Cultural Development of Future Cities in the Islamic World”.

The Director General talked about the ongoing changes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with a view to consolidating an Islam of middle stance and moderation, and the role of ISESCO in contributing to the achievement of this project. He also discussed the cooperation relations between Al Azhar and ISESCO in the cultural and scientific fields of common interests, as the two institutions had already co-organized several academic seminars that had strong echoes and ISESCO participated in the Islamic confe- rences held by Al Azhar Al-Sharif. The Director General also said that spreading a culture of justice and peace, redressing the stereotypes about Islam and Muslims and consolidating the values of moderation and middle stance fall within ISESCO’s fields of competence under which the Organization made remarkable efforts to face violent extremism, radicalism through educational and cultural pro- grammes seeking to build balanced personalities.

Regarding ISESCO’s participation in or- ganizing a workshop to draft guidelines for journalists on professional treatment of terrorist events, he stressed that ISESCO strives to correct the inaccurate ideas spread by the western media about Islam and the Islamic civilization, and is giving utmost importance to address the phenomenon of Islamophobia and stereotypes about Islam and Muslims in the western media. In the same vein, Dr Altwaijri explained that ISESCO is adopting an integrated two-approach methodology. The first approach consists of developing the professional and technical expertise of journalists working in news organizations in and outside the Islamic world; and empowering them to defend their interests, cultural specificities and information mission while respecting international laws and conventions related to the freedom of opinion and expression and non-defamation of religions.

The second approach consists of organizing activities meant to promote awareness on the need to strike a balance between freedom of expression and the respect for religious sanctities. In this regard, ISESCO endeavors to correct the educa- tional manuals taught to Muslims living outside the Islamic world, through the ISESCO-affiliated “Supreme Council for Education and Culture for Muslims Out- side the Islamic World”, and through “the Islamic Centers and Cultural Associations for Muslims Outside the Islamic World” which hold their annual meetings on a regular basis upon the invitation and under the supervision of ISESCO.

Dr Altwaijri noted that western media‘s double standards in handling terrorist acts are unfair to Islam and Muslims, because terrorism is a cross-continental phenomenon even if the international community has not yet reached consensus on its penal definition. The reason for that, he explained, is that often, radical groups involved in terrorist acts wave misleading Islamic slogans, which lead to accusations against Muslims whenever a terrorist act is committed, as a result of the surge of anti-Islamic trends and hatred and hostility in some western media and decision-making circles. Therefore, ISESCO releases statements condemning terrorism and its perpetrators, whenever it deems appropriate, and is keen of stressing the innocence of Islam from all forms of terrorism.

He also mentioned ISESCO’s achi- evement regarding the transcription of 35 African languages in Quranic script, noting that field studies are conducted to implement the same project in Central Asia, in cooperation with the Islamic Development Bank to include the Asian national languages of Muslim people. He added that ISESCO is also granting particular attention to preserving and protecting the Arab-Islamic identity of the Palestinian heritage and to extend educational and cultural services to support the relevant institutions, es- pecially in Al-Quds and in the occupied Palestinian territories in general.

He noted that activities in this realm are carried out in coordination with the Ramallah-based Palestinian National Commission for Education, Culture and Sciences. Dr Altwaijri maintained that the Strategy for Bringing Muslim Madhahibs Closer Together, prepared by ISESCO and adopted by the Islamic Summit Conference held in Putrajaya, Malaysia, in 2003, is part of the efforts made by the Organization to preserve the cultural and civilizational heritage of the Islamic world and overcome the causes of division, enmity and hatred within the Islamic Ummah. He explained that this Strategy has not yet been given due interest in light of the surge of sectarianism in some parts of Islamic countries, especially in the Middle East, which alarmingly puts world peace and security at risk.

15 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ISESCO Director General calls upon world states to recognize Al-Quds as capital of the State of Palestine ISESCO Director General called upon peace and justice loving world states to recognize Al-Quds as capital of the State of Palestine, in response to President Trump’s decision, which violates the international law and the relevant Security Council resolutions. The Director General reaffirmed that Al-Quds will remain an Arab Palestinian city which cradles Islamic and Christian sanctities, and whose history can be neither altered nor distorted.

He also underlined the necessity to stand by the Palestinian people to safeguard their inalienable historical and sovereign rights.

He stressed the status of Al-Quds as an Arab city and a land where Muslim and Christian sanctities outnumber those of any other religion. In this regard, ISESCO Director General urged Member States to take resolute actions to address the impli- cations of this serious shift in the US Administration’s policy towards the Palestinian cause, and its repercussions on Muslim sanctities and the rights of the Palestinian people. ISESCO had warned against serious implications if the American admi- nistration follows through with its decision to move its embassy to the occupied Al-Quds. The Organization stated that such step ISESCO had earlier condemned the decision of the American president, Donald Trump, to recognize Al-Quds as the capital of Israel and to move his country’s embassy to the city.

In a press statement, ISESCO Director General said that this decision is a violation of UN resolutions, which consider Al-Quds as part of occupied Palestinian territories. By the same token, he also deemed such a move as a contradiction to the principle of a fair settlement of the Palestinian cause and a threat to peace and security in the region.

will trigger angry reactions from the Muslims of the world who will consider it as a provocation of their religious sentiments and a total bias in favor of the occupation in Palestinian territories. In this regard, ISESCO urged the US administration to work for a fair final solution for the Palestinian cause in conformity with the UN resolutions and international law, instead of opting for this provocative decision that would only stir up tensions, further complicate the situation and undermine world peace and security.

Statements

16 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 3-4 October 2017, ISESCO’s 38th Executive Council was held at the Organization’s headquarters in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco.

Addresses were delivered at the opening session by Dr Boubakar Doukouré, Chairman of ISESCO’s Executive Council, and Dr Altwaijri, ISESCO Director General, in the presence of a host of ambassadors of various Arab and Islamic countries accredited to Morocco; Member States’ representatives to the Council; directors and experts of the General Directorate; representatives of regional and international organizations; and delegates of Moroccan, Arab and international media. The Council’s agenda to ISESCO and the facilitations of the competent parties in the Kingdom of Morocco to enable the Organization to fully discharge its mission.

He said that over 2016 through the first half of 2017, the Organization has gone through phases of balanced progress, thus coming close to achieving all the objectives set out in its Action Plan for 2016-2018 under which it has implemented a variety of programmes and activities. “Thanks to Allah and to the efforts of its community and the Member States’ increasing confi- dence in its General Directorate, ISESCO has gained a prestigious status among Islamic solidarity bodies as well as among the featured the discussion of the Report of the Director General on ISESCO’s Activities for the Year 2016; the Financial Report of the Director General and Closing Accounts, Report of the Audit Company and Report of the Financial Control Committee; and the Report of the Director General on the Member States’ Contributions to the Organization’s Budget and on Redressing the Organization’s Financial Situation for the Year 2016.

Other items on the Council’s agenda included the Draft Medium Term Strategic Plan for 2019-2027, the Draft Broad Lines of the Three- Year Action Plan for 2019-2021 and the Project for the Estab- lishment of “ISESCO Centre for Space Sciences and Remote Sensing”.

ISESCO Director General expressed his appreciation for the generous support of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco regional and international organizations enjoying high credibility, excellent reputation and active involvement in international affairs”, he added. In addition, Dr Altwaijri stated that ISESCO had made 352 achievements in education, science and culture in 2016, amounting to 87% of the scheduled activities, in addition to 170 achievements under the General Policy heading. In the same vein, Dr Altwaijri said that all those achievements had been made amid a difficult regional and international context, which had affected joint Islamic action in general.

However, the Organization managed, he added, to forge ahead with its civilizational mission of development, based on well-planned action, rational governance and priority given to the programmes of the Action Plan. ISESCO holds 38th Session of its Executive Council in its headquarters, Rabat Executive Council

17 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 17 The Organization’s Executive Council adopted the Draft Medium Term Strategic Plan for 2019-2027, hailing the content and directions of the Plan characterized by renewal, inclusiveness and realism in anticipating educational, scientific, technological, cultural, social and communication priority issues; and highlighting the challenges to be addressed to consolidate gains on the one hand, and to meet sustainable development goals as part of joint international and Islamic action, on the other. The Council invited the Director General to present the Draft Strategic Plan to the forthcoming session of the General Conference, with a recommendation for approval.

The Council also adopted Draft Broad Lines of the Three- Year Action Plan for 2019-2021, and invited the Director General to prepare the Draft Action Plan and Budget for 2019-2021, based on the Broad Lines adopted and present it to the forthcoming session of the Council for adoption prior to its final submission to the General Conference for approval. The Executive Council then adopted the Report of the Director General on ISESCO’s Activities for the Year 2016, praising the Director General’s steady efforts to expand areas of cooperation with international and regional organizations as well as Islamic and Arab institutions as part of programmes’ implementation; and commending the content of the Report which features remarkable activities covering the Organization’s areas of competence and areas of intervention under its Action Plan.

The Council also adopted the Financial Report of the Director General and Closing Accounts, Report of the Audit Company and Report of the Financial Control Adoption of Financial Report of the Director General and Closing Accounts, Report of the Audit Company and Report of the Financial Control Committee for the Year 2016, along with the Draft Medium Term Strategic Plan for 2019-2027

18 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Committee for the Year 2016. Likewise, the Council adopted the Report of the Director General on the Member States’ Contributions to the Organization’s Budget and on Redressing the Organization’s Financial Situation for the Year 2016, calling on the Member States having failed to pay up their budget contributions and those in arrears to settle their contributions and arrears at their earliest convenience, in order to honor their commitments and enable the Organization to discharge its duties. In the same context, the Council invited the Director General to continue coordination and consultation with the Member States in arrears, in order to collect those arrears, and mandates him to agree on practical mechanisms for payment thereof and consider writing off the arrears of insolvent States, in line with the relevant resolutions and decisions adopted by the General Conference and the Exe- cutive Council.

It welcomed the understandings concluded by the Director General with a number of Member States regarding the payment of their arrears to the Organization’s budget, and agreed to submit this Report, with a recommen- dation for approval, to the forthcoming General Conference. Finally, the Council decided to hold its 39th session in October 2018 at ISESCO headquarters in Rabat, or in any Member State that will host the forthcoming session of the General Conference.

19 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Ministerial Conferences On 25-26 October 2017, at ISESCO headquarters in Rabat, the 7th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers (ICEM), convened under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco and the effective presidency of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection. The Conference was organized by ISESCO and the General Authority of Meteorology and Environ- mental Protection of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Coope- ration (OIC), under the slogan: “Towards an Effective Islamic Cooperation to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals”.

At the opening session, H.R.H. Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, read out the royal message addressed by King Mohammed VI to the Conference. Afterwards, addresses were given by Dr Altwaijri, ISESCO Director General; Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadhly, Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chair of the 6th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers; Dr Yousef bin Ahmad Al-Othaimeen, OIC Secretary General; and Mrs Aminata Maïga Keïta, Consort of the President of the Republic of Mali. Mrs Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, President of the Republic of Malta, also sent a recorded message addressed to the Conference, which was screened at the opening session.

The opening session was attended by a number of ministers from the Moroccan Government, environment ministers from OIC Member States, several ambassadors accredited to Rabat, representatives of a number of international and regional organizations concerned, political and academic figures, and representatives of local, Islamic and international media outlets. The Conference discussed the Draft “Guidance Document on Green Cities and their Role in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals”; the Draft Programme for the Celebration of Islamic Capitals of the Environment and Sustainable Development; the Report of the Fourth Meeting of the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment; the Report of the Director General on ISESCO’s Efforts in the Fields of Environment and Sustainable Development between the 6th and 7th ICEM Sessions; the Report on ISESCO’s Efforts in the 22nd Conference of the Parties on Climate Change and Preparation for the 23rd Session of the Conference; the Progress Report on the Creation of the OIC Water Council and its Terms of Reference; the Progress Report on the “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Award for Environmental Management in the Islamic World”; and the Report on the Creation of the Joint Committee on the Executive Work Plan for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the Member States.

The Conference also discussed the Report on the Creation of an OIC Joint Commission for Sustainable Development (OIC-CSD); the Draft Amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment; and the Draft Rules of Procedure of the Conference. At the close of the Conference, the members of the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment were elected and the date and venue of the 8th session were set.

Under the high patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco: ICEM holds its 7th session at ISESCO headquarters, Rabat

20 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 In a message to the conference, which was read out on his behalf by H.R.H. Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environment Protection, King Mohammed VI of Morocco called for considering developing su- stainable mechanisms and taking effective measures to address the growing climate issue, which is not only challenging climate experts but is, above all, a real problem for current and future generations.

His Majesty also stressed the necessity to come up with integrated strategies likely to ensure food security and preserve biological diversity by reconsidering existing policies in all the sectors concerned.

The King expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to ISESCO, under the stewardship of Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, and through him, to the Organization’s staff and experts, for their untiring action to coordinate and promote joint Islamic action and to give substance to inter-Islamic solidarity and cooperation. Addressing the Director General, His Majesty stated, “Today’s conference, one of the periodic meetings held by the Organization, provides a good oppor- tunity to take stock of environmental challenges and to go ahead with consultation and the exchange of experiences on the issue of climate change, its consequences and risks, which pose a real threat to all countries across the globe, including Muslim sister nations”.

The King also noted that Morocco, as is the case in other Muslim countries, has witnessed in recent decades an eco- nomic boom in a number of key socio- economic sectors, which has resulted in countless negative impacts on the environment, stressing that Morocco made environmental protection one of the top national priorities. In the same vein, the King maintained that the 2016-2030 National Strategy for Sustainable Development that Morocco adopted in consultation with all national stakeholders, clearly reflects the country’s determination to continue its efforts to promote green sustainable development.

His Majesty also added that this strategy aims, in particular, to lay the foundations for a comprehensive green economy by 2020, improve natural resource management and development, support the conservation of biodiversity and revamp governance in the area of sustainable development, arguing that this commitment marks a turning point in the Kingdom’s energy policy and is expected to confirm Morocco’s position as a leader in the field.

“In order to strengthen inter- Islamic partnerships, in my message to your Third Conference; I suggested the creation of an Islamic Academy for the Environ- ment and Sustainable Deve- lopment”, stated the King. In this regard, he reaffirmed Morocco’s commitment to create this institution by expressing readi- ness to host the Academy and its bodies and allocating a plot of land in Rabat, which meets all the requirements for the success of this project and making the Academy’s facilities “consistent with green building design and construction standards.” His Majesty added, “I am confident that the creation of this Academy will enhance the capacities of Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and help them attain the Sustainable Development Goals within the agreed timeframe, which is before 2030”, stressing the need to build on this project in joint action and use it as a benchmark on environmental issues, making sure the specific natural and cultural characteristics of the Islamic world are duly taken into consideration.

“This project should promote skills and innovation, contribute to scientific re- search and serve as one of the basic elements for the achievement of sustai- nable development for the benefit of Isla- mic countries”, added King Mohammed VI. His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco expresses his appreciation of ISESCO’s efforts to coordinate joint Islamic action and promote solidarity and cooperation among Member States

21 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 21 forum for dialogue and research on major global issues in order to preserve the environment and adequately address climate change that is affecting the planet’s safety. By the same token, ISESCO Director General noted that the theme of the 6th session of the Conference “Climate Change: Future Challenges for Sustainable Development” complemented this session’s theme, explaining that while the former one made an accurate diagnosis of that global phenomenon, the latter prescribed the scientific treatment of that ailment, through mobilizing efforts and promoting Islamic cooperation in that vital area.

He confirmed that the ultimate goal was to achieve sustainable comprehensive development which could not complete its full cycle unless it was supported by a well-preserved clean environment that provided the scientific means to effectively deal with climate change, as part of an intensified and fruitful international cooperation to address ensuing environmental risks. In the same vein, he pointed out that fifteen years had elapsed since the convening of the first session of the Conference in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and that the founding documents adopted by the Conference at its previous six sessions had constituted an integrated framework for joint Islamic action in the field of the environment, drawing up a roadmap for Member States to develop national policies on environmental protection.

ISESCO Director General com- mended the message of His Majesty King Mohammed VI to the participants, read out by Her Royal Highness Lalla Hasnaa, as it contained “sound ideas, forward-looking vision and judicious directives regarding environmental issues.” He also said that the theme of the current session of the Confe- rence reflected the basic task to be carried out by the Con- ference to achieve its main objective, indicating that the “Promotion of Effective Islamic Cooperation to Achieve Sustai- nable Development Goals” should have been at the forefront of con- cerns, particularly at that juncture in which the world has turned greater attention to environmental issues in gene- ral and to climate change in particular.

He pointed out that the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 23) that took place in November in Bonn, Germany, after last year’s session (COP 22), held in Marrakech in November to which ISESCO had contributed the documents issued by that Conference, was a successful Conference that the Kingdom of Morocco has managed to turn into an international Conference Gold Shield offered to King Mohammed VI of Morocco ISESCO Director General affirms Royal message to Conference contained forward-looking vision, sound ideas and judicious directives regarding environmental issues At the close of the opening ceremony of the 7th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers, the Director General, offered the Conference Gold Shield to His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco, in recognition of his sustained support to ISESCO’s efforts in the promotion of joint Islamic action in its fields of competence and in appreciation of his patronage of the Conference.

The Gold Shield was received on behalf of His Majesty the King by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foun- dation for Environmental Protection.

22 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 The 7th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers closed with the adoption of many documents and projects that aim to activate environmental protection and promote sustainable development in the Islamic world. In this regard, the Confe- rence adopted the Report of the 4th Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment and urged the Member States to complete the appointment of focal points for the Bureau to facilitate the follow-up to the implementation of the decisions, reso- lutions and recommendations of the Executive Bureau and the Islamic Confe- rence of Environment Ministers.

It also adopted the Report of the Director General on ISESCO’s Efforts in the Field of Environment and Sustainable Deve- lopment between the 6th and 7th ICEM Sessions. By the same token, the Confe- rence adopted the Report on ISESCO’s Efforts in the 22nd Conference of the Parties on Climate Change and Prepa- ration of the 23rd Session of the Confe- rence and lauded ISESCO’s efforts devoted to activating the “Islamic Decla- ration on Environment Protection and Sustainable Development and its pro- motion under the framework of the Islamic World’s participation in the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change COP21 in Paris.

Furthermore, the Conference adopted the “Progress Report on the Creation of the OIC Water Council and its Terms of Reference”; commended the efforts put by the OIC General Secre- tariat and the Islamic Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water towards creating this Council, developing its sta- tutes and defining its terms of reference and working mechanisms; and invited the Member States to support this Council in the implementation of water-related programmes in such a way as to enhance water resources management and climate change adaptation in the Islamic world. Likewise, it invited the OIC General Sec- retariat and ISESCO to coordinate water- focused joint Islamic action in order to uphold the Council’s action in light of the “Strategy for Integrated Management of Water Resources in the Islamic World” and the “OIC Water Vision 2025”, in such a way as to contribute to ensuring water security for Islamic countries.

Moreoever, the Conference adopted the Progress Report on the Creation of the Islamic Academy for the Environment and Sustainable Development; thanked the Kingdom of Morocco for its sustained efforts towards the implementation of this major academic and developmental project, as well as for the administrative and technical measures taken, within the framework of the new conception of the Academy towards providing its head- quarters and developing its organizational structure and action programme; and invited the competent party in the King- dom of Morocco to coordinate with ISESCO for pursuing the necessary practical measures for the creation of the Islamic Academy for the Environment and Sustainable Development.

In addition, the Conference adopted the Report on “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Award for Environmental Management in the Islamic World”; reiterated its thanks and gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques for the creation of the Award and for his kind consent as to expanding its scope to cover the Islamic world and entrusting its General Secretariat to ISESCO in order to entrench the broad concept of environmental management and promote sustainable development in Islamic countries. In the same vein, the Conference agreed that a new category under title “Honoring the Best Environ- mentally friendly Islamic City” be added to the Award’s four categories in a bid to encourage the development of green cities in the Islamic world in line with the Guidance Document on Green Cities and their Role in Achieving Sustainable Development.

ICEM adopts various documents and projects aimed at giving substance to environmental protection and promoting sustainable development in Islamic world

23 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 23 The Conference also adopted the updated version of the “Report on the Creation of the Joint Committee on the Executive Work Plan for Natural Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the Member States” and adopted the proposal made by the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment to set up the Committee, under its supervision, composed of the OIC General Secretariat, ISESCO, Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

In the same vein, it adopted the Pilot Programme on Capacity-building in Natural Disaster Risk Reduction and Management in the Member States for 2018-2019 and invited the OIC insti- tutions concerned to cooperate with the Joint Committee to convene an Expert Meeting in order to define Member States’ priorities and capacity-building activities in line with the said Pilot Programme, and submit a report on the subject to the 8th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers. In another vein, it called for building on the “Guidance Document on Green Cities and their Role in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals” in the development of relevant national plans; commended the ongoing efforts in the Member States having opted for sustainable urban planning and deve- lopment, and urged the rest of Member States to prioritize sustainable urban development in their national policies and take the necessary legal measures to regulate green building projects, in line with the best international practices and in anticipation of the steady growth of cities in the decades to come.

By the same token, it recommended fostering cooperation and exchanging successful experiences in green urbanization and enhancing the climate resilience of existing cities. It also invited Member States to adopt smart and sustainable city policies in construction, energy, transportation, waste recycling and water use, protect forests and prevent their exploitation for urbanization purposes, and build the capacities of local governments in this field. Moreover, the Conference adopted the Report on “The Creation of an OIC Joint Commission for Sustainable Deve- lopment (OIC-CSD)” and called for merely activating the existing relevant OIC and its affiliated institutions’ mechanisms with regard to directing joint Islamic action efforts towards encouraging sustainable development among Member States, and working towards highlighting these efforts within the UN System, the regional and international forums as well as specialized conferences on environment and sustai- nable development, in order to achieve sustainable development goals and enable the neediest Member States to benefit from the expertise and potential available in this field.

Likewise, it adopted “The Programme on the Celebration of Islamic Capitals of Environment and Sustainable Development”, the criteria for selecting these capitals and the broadlines of the celebration Programme; and invited Member States to adhere to this Programme and work towards taking the necessary measures for making their cities environmentally friendly as per the “Guidance Document on Green Cities and their Role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals”, and in line with the best international practices in this field. It also welcomed the endeavors of the Executive Director of the UN Environment Assembly to dispatch a qualified team of international experts to conduct a field study on the state of the environment in the occupied Palestinian territories, including Eastern Al-Quds, pursuant to the request submitted by the State of Palestine, and in accordance with the procedural guidelines of environmental assessments and called on the Executive Director to act towards dispatching the abovementioned experts team to conduct the said study in the event of a refusal by the Israeli occupation authorities to cooperate by issuing a written approval to facilitate the team’s mission and its entry to the occupied Palestinian territories, including Eastern Al-Quds and invited the competent parties to support this resolution in the relevant international forums in appropriate ways.

In conclusion, the Conference decided to hold the 8th Session of the Conference at ISESCO headquarters, in October 2019 and thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for allocating a fixed budget for the con- vening of each session of the Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers and the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment. Conference Shield offered to First Lady of Mali At the close of ICEM’s opening session, the Director General offered the Conference Shield to Mrs Aminata Maiga Keïta, the First Lady of Mali, President of the “AGIR pour l’Envi- ronnement et la Qualité de Vie” Organization, in appreciation of her country’s efforts in supporting ISESCO to enhance joint Islamic action in its fields of competence.

24 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 At the close of its seventh session, the Islamic Confe- rence of Environment Ministers, adopted the Draft Rabat Declaration on Environment Protection and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals, which stressed the importance of a renewed commitment by Member States to supporting the international agenda for sustai- nable development, in accordance with the regional and international principles and instruments, in order to channel all national and international efforts into sustainable development, while taking into account the importance of mustering political will as a precondition to any progress in this connection; and focusing more on filling the existing gaps by honoring the financial and technical commitments, establishing national structures for sustainable development or strengthening those existing in every Member State to implement sustainable development plans and programmes, upholding them with internal follow-up bodies to optimize implementation, and involving civil society organizations and the private sector in the implementation of sustainable development plans, given their crucial role in this regard.

It also called for enhancing the existing international institutional frame- work relating to the environment and sustainable deve- lopment, adopting a comprehensive and integrated pers- pective on sustainable development, which encompasses all human rights in terms of equality, cultural rights and disparity reduction, among others, in a bid to preserve the universal cultural, civilizational and religious heritage. The Conference also called on the United Nations agencies and regional and international organizations to regularly 7th ICEM adopts Draft Rabat Declaration on Environment Protection and Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

25 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 25 revise the relevant international covenants and instruments in order to enable all States to address the pressing social, economic and environmental challenges of sustainable development.The Declaration also called for concerted efforts by the international community in order to put an end to occupation and civil wars in a number of Member States, together with all the consequent damage to the environment and sustainable development infrastructure, the increasing numbers of refugees and the displaced, and the destruction of historical monuments and civiliza- tional and cultural heritage, based on fair principles of joint action in accordance with Principle 23 of the Rio Declaration, which specifically states that the environment and natural resources of people under oppression, domi- nation and occupation shall be protected, bearing in mind the unfeasibility of sustainable development in the absence of security, peace and stability.

By the same token, the Declaration stressed the need for activating the recommendations of the Paris and Marrakesh Conferences of the Parties on Climate Change, particularly with regards to the support funds as part of North-South solidarity to address the effects of this phenomenon; and underscored the need for developed countries to assume their environmental responsibilities, take resolute measures in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, and pay more attention to the degra- dation of biodiversity and natural habitat around the world, which causes even more economic loss than global warming according to UN relevant reports, through managing water and air pollution and disposal of dangerous pollutants in watercourses, as they lead to water depletion and disrupt biodiversity.

In the same vein, the Rabat Declaration called on the United Nations institutions and the relevant regional and international organizations, particularly the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), development banks, donors and national, regional and global funds to support the Executive Plan for the Imple- mentation of ISESCO’s Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, which aims to strengthen Islamic countries’ capacity for disaster reduction and reco- very; improve understanding of risks and ensure access to data; and promote disaster risk funding and insurance strategies.

The conferees announced the adoption of the “Guidance Document on Green Cities and their Role in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals”, and launched the “Programme for the Celebration of Islamic Capitals of the Environment and Sustainable Development” to be supervised by ISESCO, in addition to a prize dedicated to green cities as a fifth category of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Award for Environmental Management in the Islamic World, chaired by the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection and whose General Secre- tariat is entrusted to ISESCO.

The Declaration also stressed the need to adopt green economy as a mechanism of sustainable development and ensure a smooth transition to it, particularly in the context of poverty eradication and institutional upgrading of Member States’ economies, bearing in mind that poverty reduction and improved income distribution are among the most important economic goals advanced by Islam; and called for a dynamic interaction between socio- economic processes and environmental priorities within the framework of the Islamic concept of sustainable deve- lopment which guarantees the rights of present and future generations.

Likewise, the Declaration placed particular emphasis on developing strategies and policies to guarantee energy sustainability as a key driver for accomplishing economic and human development, improving living conditions and basic services, and achieving human development through education and training in the different areas, while promoting scientific research in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology, together with the transfer of expertise

26 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 in technological and industrial areas and promotion of the use of new technologies in energy operating systems.

In the same vein, the Declaration affirmed the importance of the “green jobs” opportunities that green economy creates in many economic sectors, such as renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, ecosystem rehabi- litation and protection, ecotourism, waste management and other sectors that can contribute to reducing youth unemployment. In this context, the Declaration stressed the need to develop policies to support small and medium enterprises – considered as a major generator of job opportunities – to help them cope with the demands of green economy, given its potential for poverty reduction, especially in rural areas, through preserving natural resources and optimizing their utilization in agricultural and non-agricultural income-generating activities, and accor- dingly reducing rural exodus and improving livelihoods in local communities.

It also underscored the vital importance of water to sus- tainable development processes, environmental protection, food security, poverty eradication and transition to green economy, and its indispensable character for human health and well-being, and called for increased awareness about the pressure on fresh water resources, which might result in crises between Member States and between countries with shared trans-boundary resources. Against this backdrop, the conferees renewed their commitment to improving the water situation in Member States and taking more technical and legal practical measures under the Strategy for Management of Water Resources in the Islamic World, the OIC Water Vision 2025, and the programmes of action of the OIC Water Council established by the OIC Water Ministerial Conference; and recommended enforcing the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification.

The Declaration also reaffirmed that the water issue is inextricably linked to food security which is a real concern in the majority of Member States, amid a context marked by rapid degradation of soils, freshwater, oceans, forests and biodiversity, and growing pressure of climate change on available resources, which requires a profound change in the structure of joint action dedicated to the food and agriculture system in such a way as to provide food to the ever increasing numbers of people suffering from food shortage in the various Member States.

In addition, it emphasized the need to raise awareness of the importance of eradicating poverty to achieve sustai- nable development goals, based on capacity building and human resources upgrading through education, training and development of skills, while opting for the most economically and technically appropriate applications and projects to eradicate all form of poverty; and encouraging cooperation between all stakeholders inside and outside Member States for the implementation of comprehensive programmes to this end as part of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

27 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 27 Finally, the Declaration recommended concrete measures to address the consequences of population growth in Member States, despite the decreasing trend registered at the global level, by focusing on awareness-raising, education of women and girls, and raising awareness of the importance of family affairs management, child care and population growth control; and warned against the precarious health conditions in poor and marginalized areas, deteriorating sanitation services, escalating pollution and lack of waste management practices, the steadily rising rural exodus and the rapid unplanned urbanization and its impacts on the quality of the population envi- ronment in cities.

Members of Islamic Executive Bureau for Environment elected The members of the Islamic Executive Bureau for the Environment were elected and is, thus, composed of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a Chair, ISESCO as the Secretariat, and nine Member States namely, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the State of Kuwait, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania (for the Arab region); the Republic of Uganda, the Republic of Togo, the Federal Republic of Nigeria (for the African region); and the Republic of Indonesia, the Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Maldives (for the Asian region). The OIC General Secretariat will also attend the Bureau’s meetings.

28 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Ministerial Conferences On 21-22 November 2017, the 10th session of the Islamic Confe- rence of Culture Ministers (ICCM) was held by ISESCO, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of the Sudan, and in coordination with the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), under the high patro- nage of the Sudanese President, Field Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, on the theme “Towards a sustainable cultural development of future cities in the Islamic world”. The Conference was attended by the ministers of culture of the OIC Member States along with a host of experts and representatives of the Arab, Islamic and international organizations concerned with cultural affairs.

Following the welcoming address of Mr Al-Tayeb Hassan Badawi, Minister of Culture of the Republic of the Sudan, addresses were given by ISESCO Director General; Ambassador Hesham Youssef, OIC Assistant Secretary General; and Sheikh Hamad Al Ma’amari, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Heritage and Culture for Cultural Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman, representative of the President of the 9th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers. In the same vein, the Sudanese President, Field Marshal Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir, gave the conference’s keynote address in which he welcomed the culture ministers and the delegations taking part in the Conference.

He also stressed that culture is the best shield against racism, terrorism, radicalism and extremism, underlining that the role of culture in consolidating moderation in the world. The Sudanese head of state noted that the Sinnar project is a prelude to a comprehensive economic, social and cultural renaissance, praising the role of cultural cities in conso- lidating political stability and uniting the social fabric. In his address, Dr Altwaijri stated that the Conference is held amid a serious regional and international context characterized by growing challenges, conflicts and strife that threaten the security and stability of Islamic countries.

He added that this situation is all the more exacerbated by rising extremist, sectarian and terrorist trends, declining human values, rising violations of international laws, and mounting anti-Islamic campaigns staged on baseless allegations. “In order to address such challenges and dangers, it is important to culturally immunize Muslim societies, promote Under the high patronage of the Sudanese President: 10th ICCM held in Khartoum

29 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 29 their self-protection and immunize them against assimilation, while preserving solidarity among Muslims everywhere. ISESCO Director General also expressed his confidence in the leaders of the Member States’ clear-sightedness and concern for the cohesion and integrity of the Ummah, and for the sustai- nability of joint Islamic action as a comprehensive development process aimed at preserving the components of the Islamic identity. He added that it will be a strong support for us to continue our work with the necessary dedication to ensure the Islamic world’s progress and prosperity.

Moreover, the Director General maintained that this Conference is being held in celebration of Sinnar as the 2017 Capital of Islamic Culture, under the theme “Towards a sustainable cultural development of future cities in the Islamic world”, stating that it reflects the essence of cultural action and the dimensions underlying the cultural mission ISESCO is called to fulfill, and mirrors the Organization’s civilizational vision that governs its action in the realm of culture. “This theme is in tune with the constant changes in the social and developmental functions of culture and is consistent with the new human concepts of cultural action at the international level.

In the same vein, Dr Altwaijri stressed that making concerted efforts towards promoting sustainable cultural development for the cities of the future is a prerequisite for comprehensive In addition, the Director General stated that ISESCO had given particular attention to maintaining harmony between the ninth session of the Conference which was held in Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, in 2015 and this current tenth session. In this regard, he explained that if the previous session was themed as “Towards a Middle Stance Culture Favouring Muslim Societies’ Development”, this Conference’s theme proceeds from the premise that the sustainable development of future cities lies at the heart of the advancement of Muslim societies in its general sense, stressing that the current session of the Conference is building on the outcomes of the previous sessions in such a way as to ensure full integration and consistency.

He underlined that the serious challenges which could be very dangerous in some regions, compel the Islamic world to face them with science and planning, mature awareness and joint action within Islamic solidarity for the sake of the Islamic world’s progress and prosperity.

The Conference, held as part of the celebration of Sinnar as the 2017 Capital of Islamic Culture for the Arab region, examined the “Document on the Guidelines Related to Culture and the City”, “the Guidance Study on Cultural Indicators of Development”, “the Draft Islamic Declaration on Safeguarding Cultural Heritage in the Islamic World” and “the Amended Version of the Cultural Strategy in the Islamic World”. human development, given that the city policy will significantly enhance quality, efficiency and productivity provided that the cultural component, in its deep sense, is strictly observed.

“This is termed in the latest literature of political science as city/urban governance which is but one of the manifestations of good governance.

He stated that the Conference is considered a substantial contribution to the edification of the future as, it builds on the expertise accumulated since its first session as well as on the founding reference documents it has adopted over its history, most notably the “Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World” whose amended version was examined by the Conference in the light of the current developments in the fields of culture and in its general domains that are closely related to sustainable and com- prehensive development.

As part of its agenda, the Conference discussed the Director General’s Report on the Implementation of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World and the Final Report of the 15th Meeting of the Consultative Council in Charge of Implementing the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World.

In addition, Member States presented their national reports on their efforts to implement the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World. Moreover, the Conference saw the election of the members of the Consultative Council in Charge of Implementing this Strategy and members of the Islamic World Heritage Committee, as well as the setting of the date and venue of the 11th session. On the second day of the conference, participants headed to Sinnar to attend the official celebrations of the Sinnar as the 2017 Capital of Islamic Heritage for the Arab region, where the Cultural and Information Center, the Sinnar Museum and the Heritage and Tourist Village was inaugurated.

30 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ICCM Gold Shield offered to the Sudanese President 10th ICCM adopts “Khartoum Declaration” At the close of the opening session of the 10th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers in Khartoum, ISESCO Director General offered the Conference Gold Shield to Field Marshal Mr Omar Hassan AhmadAlBashir,PresidentoftheRepublicof the Sudan, in appreciation of his patronage of this Conference and in recognition of his sustained support to ISESCO’s efforts in the promotion of joint Islamic action in education, science, culture and communication.

The 10th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers adopted the “Khartoum Decla- ration” wherein it stressed the importance of fostering cooperation and coordination with the various cultural stakeholders and officials in charge of city policy, including local authorities, parliamentarians, muni- cipal councils, civil society authorities and businesses to meet the sustainable cul- tural development requirements for future cities. The Declaration also called for renewing the cultural policy of the city by providing adequate conditions to encou- rage intellectuals and artists towards more creativity, innovation and renewal to make of the city a cultural hub par excellence; and legal support to creative people to develop new cultural and artistic forms in line with the cultural identity and civiliza- tional belonging.

By the same token, it stressed the need to develop the city’s cultural centers and improve cultural training and rehabilitation under its education, artistic and cultural programmes dedicated to women, children and the youth; preserve, rehabilitate and value the city’s cultural heritage, introduce it to the largest number of citizens, and ensure sound planning for its transfer to future generations; provide new spaces for young people in cities to freely display innovative and creative cultural activities (spaces, appropriate buildings, parks, etc); and commit to providing a minimum of culturalfacilities in every city, and schedule a number of creative and artistic activities in museums, municipal libraries, theaters, homes for arts, and cultural and artistic festivals.

In addition, the Declaration high- lighted the need to develop an integrated policy to support books and public lib- raries (clear legislation concerning publi- cation, distribution and respect for intel- lectual property); develop a national brand of excellence to be awarded to historical and ancient cities based on clear conditions; and encourage cities having received the excellence brand to establish a national network of historical cities.

31 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 31 The Declaration also called for anchoring cultural governance through strengthening participatory democracy in managing the city’s cultural affairs; developing a long- term common vision for sustainable cities; promoting cooperation among cultural stakeholders and officials in municipalities and neighboring cities, in such a way as to ensure the creation of new and flexible forms of cultural governance; and disseminating and enhancing a culture of good governance in management of the city’s cultural affairs.

Moreover, the Declaration recommended promoting local cultural management for sustainable development so as to ensure highly effective cultural management and evaluation of sustainable development- related projects at the local level; strengthening partnership and coope- ration among government departments in charge of managing cultural affairs and local communities to achieve sustainable development; adopting the local cultural mediation mechanism in conflict reso- lution in urban areas; creating local job opportunities through the creation of new professions of culture and heritage; and supporting local products of traditional craftsmanship through qualification, marketing and preservation of traditional knowledge; and incorporating cultural plans and projects in the heart of sustainable development strategy at the local level.

By the same token, the Declaration called for developing renewable and sustainable local cultural economy, which relies on promoting a local product-based cultural economy to create more job opportunities without a negative impact on cities’ sur- rounding environment; supporting local cultural industries and creating emerging cultural enterprises; and encouraging the creation of markets and fairs of high quality local cultural products and encouraging the city’s residents and non-residents to visit them.

The Declaration also urged Member States to promote awareness of the protection and safeguarding of cultural heritage of cities’ natural assets; raise cultural aware- ness about green economy and green cities; promote cultural and environmental tourism in the city; and grant incentive awards to the best literary and artistic works on the protection of natural assets of cities.

Furthermore, the Declaration recommended supporting a culture of responsible consumption and choice of new cultural lifestyles through bringing culture to bear on awareness-raising about the impor- tance creating environment-friendly cultural spaces in cities; encouraging children and creative young people to use some of the city’s recycled waste in creative artistic works; and promoting new cul- tural models to highlight lifestyles adopting rational energy and water use, and im- proving their quality in cities. It also called for promoting cultural heritage and easing access thereto, developing mobility routes within cities in such a way as to highlight cultural heritage, its beauty and access thereto; and creating cultural walkways inside historical centers in cities.

The Declaration also urged Member States to foster a culture of equality and social justice through supporting open and mutually reinforcing cultural groups; implementing cultural programmes and projects for poverty and vulnerability reduction; ensuring access to public servicesinthefieldofculture;encouraging social openness and education on the culture of citizenship, equality and equity; and adopting the cultural outreach policy that ensures access to cultural structures and shows.

As for the Project of Islamic Culture Capitals, the Declaration called for launching a major cultural project marking the cele- bration of every selected cultural capital. This project should continue beyond the duration of the festivities in order to serve as a driving force for other sectors in the achievement of sustainable development in the city. It also called for ensuring that cultural weeks are launched every year in other historical cities in Member States concurrently with the celebration of Islamic culture capitals; and encouraging the private sector to invest in constructive culture as part of the programmes of the Islamic culture capitals.

32 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 10th ICCM adopts several reports, resolutions and documents aimed at achieving a sustainable cultural development in the Islamic world The Conference concluded its 10th session with the adoption of a number of reports, resolutions and documents aimed at achieving a sustainable cul- tural development of future cities in the Islamic world. In this regard, the Conference adopted the “Islamic Declaration on Safe- guarding Cultural Heritage in the Islamic World” and called for redoubling efforts and strengthening the practical measures related to the preservation and protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage, in light of the relevant international instruments, while urging Member States to adopt the “Open National Heritage Days” to enable citizens to visit historical monuments, heritage landmarks and museums free of charge, in such a way as to raise awareness of the importance of heritage and education on heritage preservation.

It further called on ISESCO to activate and publicize the contents of the Islamic Declaration on Safeguarding, Cultural Heritage in the Islamic World, and promote wise and sustainable investment in it. The Conference also stressed the pivotal role of ISESCO in preserving cultural heritage in the Islamic world as it is a specialized organization super- vising the Islamic World Heritage Com- mittee and the contribution of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture (IRCICA) as a centre reporting to the OIC and specializing in research in Islamic history, art and culture.

Besides, the Conference proclaimed 2019 a Year of Heritage in the Islamic World, in conjunction with the cele- bration of Al-Quds Al-Sharif as Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019, and urged its competent parties to schedule acti- vities and events for the benefit of Al-Quds Al-Sharif to mark the 50th anniversary of the burning of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

In the same vein, the Conference invited the competent parties in the Member States with cities celebrated as Capitals of Islamic Culture for 2019 to twin these capitals with the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif and host a one-week event dedicated to the Holy City as part of the celebration’s annual schedule. In addition, the Conference adopted the Director General’s Report on the Imple- mentation of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World. It re-entrusted ISESCO, as part of its mandate as an Islamic specialized body, to continue the implementation of the Cultural Stra- tegy for the Islamic World, in co- ordination with the OIC General Se- cretariat and cooperation with its relevant subsidiary organs, Member States, and the regional and international organizations concerned; and invited it to regularly update the Strategy whenever necessary.

It also commended ISESCO’s efforts to achieve cultural development in the Islamic world and boost joint Islamic cultural action, as well as its continued support for the implementation programmes of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World for the benefit of the Member States and Muslim communities outside the Islamic world. The Conference also adopted the amended version of the Cultural Stra- tegy for the Islamic World and invited Member States to draw on the contents and general guidelines of the adopted amended version of the Cultural Stra- tegy for the Islamic World in their national cultural plans, while redoubling efforts to publicize it in the cultural circles and civil society bodies concerned in the Member States.

By the same token, it invited ISESCO Director General to devote educational, scientific and cultural programmes and activities for the benefit of Member States and Muslims outside the Islamic world, based on the contents and guidelines of the adopted amended version of this Strategy, in particular with regard to the new cultural issues and needs arising from international and regional changes. The Conference further invited ISESCO and the OIC General Secretariat to submit the amended version of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World to the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers and to the Islamic Summit Conference for adoption and approval.

Moreover, the Conference adopted the Document on the Guidelines Related to Culture and the City, and called for further attention to the development dimension of culture in city policies as well as to the cultural dimension of sus- tainable development in Member States, by widely publicizing the contents of this document and boosting coordi- nation with the government sectors concerned and the local authorities of cities and territorial communities. It also invited the competent parties in the Member States with cities cele- brated as Capitals of Islamic Culture to launch a major cultural project on this occasion and to extend the scope of the celebration of Islamic culture

33 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 33 capitals as to include other cities, through the organization of festivals and cultural weeks in parallel. It further invited ISESCO Director General to launch the “Islamic Culture Capitals Best Cultural Project Award” and to announce the winning project, starting from the 11th session of the Conference. In the same vein, the Conference invited ISESCO to activate the content of this document by implementing activities and programmes aimed at assisting the competent parties in Member States to renew their city policies based on the city and culture concept.

Furthermore, the Conference adopted the Draft Guidance Study on Cultural Indicators of Development, and called for widely publicizing the contents of this document in the relevant sectors, while giving more attention to the cul- tural indicators of development in the preparation and implementation of national cultural development policies and plans. In this connection, the Confe- rence invited ISESCO to activate the contents of this document by imple- menting activities and programmes aimed at the adoption of cultural indi- cators and statistics in the cultural development plans and programmes of Member States, and to provide reliable cultural statistics to help the competent parties in Member States achieve the desired cultural development.

In addition, the Conference listened to the statements and reports of the heads of the participating delegations as regards the implementation of the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World and commended the efforts of Member States and their cooperation with the international and regional organizations in the various fields of culture towards achieving the intellectual and civilizational revival of the Muslim Ummah. It also invited the Member States to continue their efforts to implement the resolutions of the Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers in such a way as to respond to the needs, priorities and public policies of the Member States in this area.

Moreover, the Conference adopted the Final Report on the 15th Meeting of the Consultative Council in Charge of Implementing the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World and its recommen- dations, and welcomed the request of the Republic of the Sudan to establish the Sinnar Regional Centre for Dialogue and Cultural Diversity as a cultural institution operating under the aegis of ISESCO and to be funded by the Sudanese Government, as per the conception proposed by the Republic of the Sudan. It also invited the Organization to expand this experience jointly with the Member States whose cities will be celebrated as Capitals of Islamic Culture, within the framework of “ISESCO Centres for Islamic Culture Capitals” Project.

The Conference approved the amend- ment to the Rules of Procedure of the Consultative Council in Charge of Implementing the Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World, along with its renaming to “the Consultative Council for Cultural Development in the Islamic World”. In conclusion, the Conference decided to hold its 11th session in the Republic of Tunisia on 28 November 2019, on the occasion of the selection of Tunis as the Arab region’s second Capital of Islamic Culture for 2019. It also welcomed the selection of Al Muharraq instead of Manama as the Arab Region’s Islamic Culture Capital for 2018, pursuant tothe request of the Kingdom of Bahrain and welcomed its request to hold an extraordinary session of the Conference on 28 November 2018.

34 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ISESCO Director General offers 10th ICCM Shield to Sudanese First Vice President, Prime Minister Adoption of the appointment of the members of the Consultative Council for Cultural Development in the Islamic World and IWHC members The Director General offered the Shield of the 10th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers (ICCM) to 1st Lt. Gen. Bakri Hassan Saleh, First Vice President, Prime Minister of the Republic of the Sudan, in recognition of his personal supervision of and follow up to the successful implemen- tation of the festivities marking the celebration of Sinnar as the Arab region’s Capital of Islamic Culture for 2017, as well as his follow up to the projects implemented on this occasion, most notably, the Heritage and Tourist Village, the Museum, and the Sinnar Cultural and Information Center.

The 10th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers (ICCM) adopted the ap- pointment of the members of the Consultative Council for Cultural Development in the Islamic World for a two-year term, renewable once. The Council is henceforth made up of these members: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Kingdom of Bahrain, King- dom of Morocco, Union of Comoros, RepublicofTajikistan,RepublicofTurkey, Republic of Kazakhstan, Republic of Togo, Republic of Sierra Leone, and Republic of Niger.

It also comprises ex-officio members, namely Republic of the Sudan, (Chair of the 10th Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (seat country of the OIC), Kingdom of Morocco (seat country of ISESCO), Republic of Senegal (President of COMIAC), State of Palestine (land of Al-Quds Al-Sharif), and ISESCO which undertakes the functions of the Council’s Secretariat. The Conference also adopted the ap- pointment of the members of Islamic World Heritage Committee (IWHC) for a non-renewable four-year term and entrusted ISESCO with its Secretariat. The IWHC is henceforth comprises these members: State of Kuwait, Re- public of Iraq, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Republic of Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Uzbekistan, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, and Federal Republic of Nigeria.

35 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 23 November 2017, ISESCO and the Government of the Sudan, represented by the Federal Ministry of Culture, initialed in Khartoum, Republic of the Sudan, a cooperation agreement on the creation of the “Sinnar Regional Center for Intercultural Dialogue and Diversity”. The agreement was signed for ISESCO by its Director General, and for the Government of the Republic of the Sudan by Mr Taieb Hassan Badaoui, Minister of Culture.

Under the agreement, the Government of the Republic of the Sudan undertakes to allo- cate equipped headquarters and an annual budget for the Center and provide the needed local staff and supplies.

For its part, ISESCO commits to appoint a director and two local experts for the Center, in consultation with the Federal Ministry of Culture. ISESCO shall also pay the salaries and provide technical support to prepare the Center’s programmes and implement its action plans. The Center aims at promoting awareness on issues related to cultural diversity, inter- civilization dialogue and the germane orientations, efforts and initiatives, in addition to consolidating cultural dialogue between ISESCO African Member States, promoting the genuine positive image of Islam and enshrining human rights and the respect of religions and intercultural dialogue.

On 25 October 2017, at the close of the opening ceremony of the 7th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers, at ISESCO headquarters in Rabat, under the supervision of Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Hasnaa, President of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection, ISESCO and the Foundation signed a cooperation programme for the years 2018-2019. The programme features a number of educational, scien- tific, cultural and communi- cation activities in the field of environmental protection in Member States, as part of the follow-uptotheimplementation of the cooperation agreement signed by ISESCO and the Foundation in 2007.

The cooperation programme was signed for ISESCO by its Director General, Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, and for the Foundation by its President Delegate, Mr Lahoucine Tijani. Cooperation Activities ISESCO/Mohammed VI Foundation for Environmental Protection cooperation programme signed ISESCO and Government of the Republic of the Sudan initial cooperation agreement for creation of regional center for intercultural dialogue and cooperation in Sinnar

36 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 10 November 2017, at ISESCO headquarters in Rabat, a MoU was signed between ISESCO and the State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under the President of the Republic Of Azerbaijan. The MoU was co-signed for the Organization by its Director General and for the Agency by its President Mr Inam Karimov. The MoU aims to develop the delivery of public services in Member States in the fashion of Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized “ASAN xidmet” new model which won the UN Public Service Award. The MoU also provides for the imple- mentation of many projects and programmes for Member States in the coming years.

The signing ceremony was attended by Mr Azad Jafarli, the Agency’s Chief of Staff, Ms Irada Amiraslavona, Head of the Agency’s Public Law Department, and Mr Tarik Ismail Oglu Aliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the King- dom of Morocco. It is worth mentioning that the Agency, established by virtue of a presidential decree on 13 July 2012, is the executive branch’s central body which supervises the management of the ASAN xidmet service centers and coordinates the tasks of the staff of State agencies for employment, organization of electronic services and improvement of management systems.

On 11 December 2017, at ISESCO headquarters in Rabat, a MoU was signed between ISESCO and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Tunisia. The MoU was co-signed by ISESCO Director General, and Mr Slim Khalbous, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Tunisia.

The MoU aims to develop and facilitate cooperation activities in areas of mutual interest, including the allocation of seats in Tunisian, Arab and Islamic university institutions for researchers from all levels (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD) to be nominated by ISESCO, in accordance with the required and mutually agreed academic criteria; the development of scientific research in all fields by providing the necessary tools and assistance for conducting, translating and publishing academic studies and researches; and the support of the participation of faculty and young researchers in the academic forums to be organized by the two parties.

The MoU also provides for cooperation in organizing seminars, forums, training sessions and workshops in areas of mutual interest; improving good governance; faci- litating the openness of university institutions to their local and regional environment; promoting cooperation and partnership among higher education and scientific research institutions and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship. MoU between ISESCO and State Agency for Public Service and Social Innovations under President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed MoU between ISESCO and Tunisia Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministry signed

37 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 37 On 27 October 2017, a programme of cooperation for 2018- 2019 between ISESCO and the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC) affiliated to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) was signed at the close of the international workshop held at ISESCO headquarters, in Rabat, on the theme “the Role of the Youth in Facing Migration Challenges”. The programme was signed for ISESCO by its Deputy Director General, Dr Amina Al-Hajri, and for the Forum by its President, Ambassador Elshad Iskandarov.

The cooperation programme features the organization of the Africa Youth Solidarity Forum in Kampala and Dakar; ISESCO- ICYF-DC Youth Intercultural Camp in Amman and Rabat; and a symposium on Youth Mobility and Exchange: Models, Assets and Perspectives in Baku and Istanbul. The programme also provides for cooperation between ISESCO, through its Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW) and the Forum in the implementation of the Model OIC On 15 December 2017, at the close of the opening session of the international symposium on “Teaching Arabic to non- Arabic Speaking Children: Reality and Future Prospects” which ISESCO hosted at its headquarters in Rabat, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between ISESCO and the Inter- national Association of Institutions of Teaching Arabic Language for Non - Arabic Speakers.

The MoU was signed for ISESCO by its Director General and for the Association by its President, Dr Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Obeid. The Memorandum aims to promote cooperation between the Organization and the Association through implementing and funding educational projects, programmes and activities pertaining to teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers, particularly in the field of supporting the establishment of educational centers and institutes and the creation of academic and research chairs at universities. Other areas of cooperation include allocating awards of recognition to individuals and institutions and granting scholarships to students and researchers.

International Academic Programme (MOIC); the Muslim Future Thinkers Forum (MFTF); and the Youth and Student Exchange Programme. For the record, ISESCO and the Forum had signed cooperation agreement in Baku in 2006. MoU between ISESCO and International Association of Institutions of Teaching Arabic Language for Non-Arabic Speakers signed ISESCO/ICYF-DC cooperation programme signed

38 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Implementation of the “Tafahum” Project for Students Exchange among several universities of ISESCO Member States The “Tafahum” Student Exchange Project among several universities in ISESCO Member States was implemented in the period between 18 September and end of December 2017.

The project, carried out by ISESCO in partnership with the Francophonie University Agency (AUF) and the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), benefited 18 Master’s students in science and technology, engineering, business administration from Morocco’s Abdel- malek Essaadi, Mohammed V and Ibn Tofail universities, Senegal’s Cheik Anta Diop University, Côte d’Ivoire’s Felix Houphouet Boigny University and Nouakchott University in the Islamic Republic in Mauritania. The programme, adopted by the 7th Islamic Conference of Higher Education and Scientific Research Ministers held in Rabat in December 2014, aimed at reinforcing academic cooperation between Islamic world universities, bringing together scientific communities and exchanging experiences and good practices in training and scientific research.

ISESCO participates in several cooperation parties’ activities • ISESCO took part in a workshop on “Non-tariff Barriers in Member States of the Organization of Islamic Coope- ration”, held by the Islamic Center for Trade Development and the COMSEC Coordination Bureau, in cooperation with the Moroccan Ministry in Charge of Foreign Trade in Rabat on 24-25 October 2017. The workshop aimed at defining and analyzing non-tariff barriers to trade and their effects on trade in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. ISESCO was represented in the Workshop by Dr Ahmed Said Ould Bah, Director of External relations and Cooperation.

• ISESCO took part in the 10th session of the OIC General Assembly of the Sports Union for Islamic Solidarity, held in Ryiadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 20 November, 2017. The meeting adopted the Union’s new action plan and a set of resolutions and recommendations in its fields of compe- tence. ISESCO was represented at this session by Dr Abid Sayf Al-Hajiri, Director of ISESCO Regional Office in Sharjah.

• ISESCO participated in the meeting of the academic board of the African Local Government Academy, and in the 1st session of the African Forum of Territory Managers and Training Insitutions at the local level, held by the United Cities and Local Governemnts of Africa (UCLG Africa), on 18-21 September 2017 at the Rabat International University. ISESCO was represented at the meeting and the forum by Dr Ahmed Said Ould Bah, Director of External Relations and Cooperation. • ISESCO took part in the third Annual Coordination Meeting of the OIC subsidiaries and institutions which convened at the headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on 3-4 December 2017.

The meeting aimed to assess the programmes and activities carried out so far as part of the OIC 2015-2025 Action Plan and promote the means to consolidate cooperation and coordination between the OIC institutions to support Member States’ efforts in priority fields for the years to come. The meeting brought together representatives of the specia- lized and subsidiary institutions and the standing committees of the OIC. ISESCO was represented by Dr Ahmed Said Ould Bah, Director of External Relations and Cooperation, who presented a report on ISESCO’s activities and efforts as part of the implementation of the OIC Ten Year-Action Plan in its field of competence.

• ISESCO took part in the 6th Islamic Conference of Health Ministers, held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from 5 to 7 December 2017. Several health ministers from OIC Member States and representatives of of regional and international specialized institutions and organizations took part in the meeting. The agenda of this session included items related to means of consolidating health and advancing health systems as part of the OIC “Strategic Action Programme on Health for 2014-2023”. ISESCO was represented at this Conference by Dr Ahmed Said Ould Bah, Director of External Relations and Cooperation.

39 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 39 Education Activities On 15 December 2017, ISESCO hosted at its headquarters in Rabat, an academic colloquium, which it organized in cooperation with the International Association of Institutions of Teaching Arabic Language for non-Arabic Speakers as part of celebrating the World Arabic Language Day, in response to the growing interest and increased appeal for learning Arabic language among its non-native speakers in a bid to serve Arabic language and reinforce its teachning to non-native speakers as a tool of communication, dialogue and exchange of knowledge among civili- zations and cultures, as it is a language that consolidates diplomatic relationships and strengthens trade and economic ties between Arab countries and the rest of the world and its ability to keep abreast of developments in all fields.

The objective of the colloquium was to contribute to spreading Arabic language among its non-Arabic speakers, conso- lidating its role and status as a global language that contributes to building a world based on the values of dialogue, coexistence and peace and monitoring, assessing and redressing the situation of teaching Arabic to non-native speaking children. The colloquium further examined the ways to develop the teaching Arabic to non-native speaking children, use of technological innovations to facilitate Arabic language teaching and learning; examined the difficulties and obstacles facing Arabic teaching to non-Arabic speaking children; help find solutions and consolidation of communication and coopeation between researchers, partners and institutions with the aim of unifying efforts and exchanging expertise related to teaching Arabic to its non-native speaking children.

At the opening session, the Director General gave an adress in which he stressed that the first step to promote Arabic language either in or outside the Arab world should start in early child- hood, in the kindergarten and at the first grades of primary schools. He pointed out that ISESCO has re- peatedly called on officials, experts and all those interested in education affairs and its effects on development in Member States to grant more importance to Arabic Language in legislations, national policies, education systems, administration, cultural industries, scien- tific research institutions and information and communication bodies.

He also underlined the importance of language in preserving various cultural identities against hazards of alienation and absorption by the globalization wave. The Director General further argued that spreading Arabic language among various peoples of the world no matter what their languages, cultures and religions are seeks essentially to promote awareness of authentic Islamic values. Further, Dr Altwaijri, expressed ISESCO’s commitment to support the efforts and initatives seeking to reinforce the status of Arabic and promote its educational, scientific, cultural and information mis- sions be in Arabic-speaking nations, in its Islamic environment or in the world in general.

As apart of celebrating World Arabic Language Day: ISESCO and the International Association of Institutions of Teaching Arabic Language to non-Arabic Speakers hold academic colloquium on “Teaching Arabic to non-Arabic Speaking Children”

40 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 15 December 2017, at the close of the opening session of the international symposium on “Teaching Arabic to non- Arabic Speaking Children: Reality and Future Prospects”, held at the headquarters of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) in Rabat, Dr Abdullah Bin Saleh Al Obaid offered the Director General the shield of the International Association of Institutions of Teaching Arabic Language to non-Arabic Speakers.

On this occasion, Dr Abdulaziz Altwaijri offered ISESCO medal to the President of the Association in recognition of his role in developing Arabic language and contributing to teaching this language to its non-native speakers. International Association of Institutions of teaching Arabic Language to non-Arabic Speakers offers its shield to ISESCO Director General Part of the participants at the opening session of the academic symposium A group photo of the participants in the academic symposium

41 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 41 On 30 October-12 November 2017 in Libreville, Republic of Gabon, a new phase of the technical and financial support extended by ISESCO, in partnership with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), to women in vulnerable situation was launched. The Programme benefited twenty women, working in sewing and embroidery from all around Gabon, received sewing and embroidery machines to set up their own micro-enterprises. They also received a professional and technical training to consolidate their capacities in this field.

ISESCO was represented in imple- menting this project by Dr Seydou Cissé, Expert at the Education Directorate. It is worth mentioning that the imple- mentation of the ISESCO-BADEA Co- operation Project was initiated in 2013 in a bid to fight poverty and vulnerability in African countries. So far, a group of women from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Togo, Niger, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Sene- gal, Gambia, Mali and Chad benefited from this project.

For the record, since its implementation in 2013, this project has aimed to fight poverty and vulnerability in African Member States. ISESCO and BADEA co-implement programme to support women working in sewing and embroidery in the Republic of Gabon

42 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 9-13 October 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the World Organization for Renaissance of Arabic Language (WORAL) and in coordination with ISESCO Educational Center in Chad, Njamena, Republic of Chad, held the Fourth training session on the deve- lopment of education orientation prog- rammes in Chad and Cameroon.

The session aimed at familiarizing male and female participants with education orientation systems in Arabic education in Chad and Cameroon, the specificities of good education leaders in education orientation and their role in enhancing innovation and cooperation between teachers and school staff. It also aimed to introduce the participants to the role of education supervisors in assessing the performance of teachers, assessment tools and designing good education questions and teacher evaluation sheets. The training session, supervised by Dr Al Jili Ali Al Bachir Muhammad from the Sudan, and Dr Muhammad Lakbir Mekki Abdullah from Chad, benefitted 15 teachers and education supervisors from Chad and Cameroon.

This session was overseen on behalf of ISESCO Dr Ali Muhammad Qamar, Director of ISESCO Eduational Center in Chad. On 13-17 November 2017, ISESCO, through its Regional Educational Center in Chad, in cooperation with the World Organization for Renaissance of Arabic Language (WORAL) and coordination with the Ministry of National Education and Civic Promotion of Chad, held the 5th Training Session for education super- visors in Arabic education in Chad and Cameroon, in N’Djamena, Republic of Chad. The training session, held after a series of others organized all along 2017, aimed at introducing to education supervisors in Arabic education in Chad and Ca- meroon the basics and mechanisms of statistical data collection, processing and analysis, training them to use schools statistics findings, such as graphs, charts and standards deviation to enable them to prepare programmes that help them follow up on students, teachers, equipment and school mate- rials in an accurate and academic way and retrieve exams’ and contests’ results through a specific programme prepared for this purpose.

A total of 15 female and male parti- cipants from Chad and Cameroon took part in this training session held under the supervision of two applied statistics education experts, namely: Dr Abde- louahab Dafaa-Allah Ali, from the Re- public of the Sudan, and Mr Faisal Othman Soulaymane, from the Republic of Chad.

Dr Ali Muhammad Qamar, Director of ISESCO Regional Educational Center in Chad, represented ISESCO in this activityandsuperviseditsorganizational aspects. Holding Fourth training session in developing education orientation programmes in Chad and Cameroon ISESCO Regional Educational Center in Chad hosts 5th session of Training Programme in Arabic Education in Chad and Cameroon

43 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 43 On 23-30 July 2017, in Dakka, Republic of Bangladesh, ISESCO, in coordination with the Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO, organized a training session on the use of ICTs to develop Islamic traditional education schools for the benefit of 35 teachers.

In view of the importance of this session, in terms of its content and the target category, the Education Minister of Bangladesh, Mr Nurul Islam Nahid, and a group of officials from his Ministry attended the opening session together with Mr Mohamed Sohorab Hossain, Secretary General of the Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO and member of ISESCO’s Executive Council.

The session was aimed at developing the educational expertise and applied technical skills of teachers of Islamic traditional education, improving their basic abilities to use ICTs in different education contexts by integrating multi-media educational materials and adopting technology in education and learning processes. The participants were also introduced to using some applications like word-processing and presentation slides design programmes for teaching purposes. The pesentations made by the participants and supervisors dealt with the importance and efficiency of integrating ICTs in teaching Fiqh, Sunnah and Qur’an sciences in original education schools.

The participants were also familiarized with the basic educational uses of the Internet, such as web surfing, efficient information searching,communication through the Internet, the use of electronic mail as a tool to communicate between teachers and students, between teachers and their colleagues, between teachers and the administrative staff and with the outside world. Two local ICTs experts supervised the session, along with ISESCO’s representative in the session, Mr Aziz El Hajir, programme spe- cialist at the Directorate of Education, who talked about the importance of ICTs in education and the Organization’s aspirations in this field.

On 23-27 October 2017, the High Institute of Teachers’ Training, Dato’ Razali Ismail in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia, hosted a regional workshop held by ISESCO in cooperation with the World Orga- nization for Renaissance of Arabic Language (WORAL) and the Malaysian Education Ministry on workshop on teaching methods of religious subjects in Arabic in Malaysia and neighboring countries, which was supervised by ISESCO Educational Center in Malaysia. The opening session was attended by the Director of the Islamic Education Department in the State of Kuala Terengganu, repre- senting the Malaysian Education Ministry; the Vice-Rector of the International Islamic University College Selangor; and the Director of ISESCO Educational Center in Malaysia.

The session benefitted 74 teachers of religious subjects from Malaysia, Indonesia, Sultanate of Bruneii Darussalam, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and the Philipines. Training session on ICTs use in developing Islamic traditional education schools in Bangladesh Regional workshop in Malaysia on developing teaching methods of religious subjects in Arabic

44 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 2-4 October 2017, ISESCO and ALECSO, in coordination with the Kuwait National Commission For Education, Science and Culture, held the sub-regional meeting of expert officials on the “Development of Pre-school Education Materials and Programmes” in Kuwait City.

The session aimed at introducing the world’s latest studies and experiences in the area of developing academic contents of pre-school education programmes and materials, and means to meet the education materials standards to match the needs of the pre-school age category, in addition to displaying workable new ideas meant to develop education programmes and materials, exchanging expertise and learning about successful experiences in this field. The meeting’s agenda included items on education and teaching novelties in determining the contents and objectives of pre- school education programmes and materials, teaching novelties in countries participating in the meeting, the technical and environmental conditions that need to be met by pre-school education institutions, means to handle developed education materials in such a way as to meet the conditions set, newest administrative and education modes and the training of staff working in pre-school education.

The meeting brought together 25 participants from among education experts and counsellors and officials in charge of pre- school education curricula from the public and private sectors from Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, Sutanate of Oman and Lebanon. ISESCO was represented at the opening of the meeting by Dr Saud Hilal Al-Harbi, Under-Secretary of Educational Curricula and Research Department in the State of Kuwait, member of ISESCO Executive Council. At the final statement of the meeting, the participants called on Member States to enact new laws and legislations on compul- sory pre-school education and its inclusion in the educational structure.

They also stressed the importance of holding periodic meetings and intensifying cooperation mechanisms through relevant workshops and meetings. Further, they recommended keeping abreast of the latest developments in pre-school education, supporting it with the latest modern techonological and communication tools and creating an information platform to exchange information, statistics, and indices and update them periodically among Member States of ISESCO and ALECSO through inaugurating an interactive window on the website of one of the two organizations.

On 18-22 October 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the World Organization for Renaissance of Arabic Language (WORAL), and in coordination with the Chairmanship of the Islamic Community in Bosnia and Herzegovina, held a sub-regional workshop on means to develop Arabic language skills among non-Arabic speaking students, in Sarajevo, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As many as 30 education officials and Arabic teachers from Bosnia- Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia took part in the workshop. The workshop featured many presentations on the following themes: “Planning Arabic lessons to non-Arabic speaking learners”, “The role of new ICTs in developing language lessons”, “Developing listening, conversation, reading and writing skills” and “Evaluation of proficiency levels in Arabic for non-Arabic speaking students”.

An expert specialized in the curricula of teaching Arabic to non- Arabic speaking students supervised the workshop. ISESCO was represented by Mr Adel Bouraoui, Programme Specialist in the Directorate of Education, who contributed in the academic supervision of participants.

ISESCO and ALECSO hold in Kuwait experts meeting on development of pre-school education materials and programmes Workshop in Sarajevo on teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers

45 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 45 On 17-19 September 2017, ISESCO and ALECSO, in coordination with the Egyptian National Commission for Edu- cation, Science and Culture, held a sub- regional meeting in Cairo on Successful Experiences and Best Practices in Non- formal Education and Literacy in Arab Countries. The meeting aimed to diagnose the si- tuation of non-formal education and literacy in the participating Arab countries; take stock of the successful experiences in the field of non-formal education and literacy at the Arab, Islamic and inter- national levels; define adult education objectives and needs; examine means to produce and organize education contents in light of these objectives; explore the means to develop and evaluate the adopted curricula and consolidate the professional capacities of non-formal education literacy teachers.

The meeting was attended by education experts and officials in charge of non- formal education and literacy in Arab countries where illiteracy rate exceeds 18% (Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, the Sudan, Yemen and Iraq). ISESCO was represented in the meeting by Dr Hossam El Mellahy, Secretary General of the Egyptian National Com- mission for Education, Science and Culture who also delivered ISESCO’s adress at the opening session. On 10-11 October 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environment Protection, and coordi- nation with the Senegalese UNESCO and ISESCO National Commission and the Ministry of National Education of the Republic of Senegal, co-organized a regional meeting on the promotion of environmental awareness at schools through teaching tools and methods as part of “the Ecological Schools” Programme, in Dakar.

Thirty experts of environmental education and officials education staff, education and civil society stakeholders concerned with environmental issues from Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania and Morocco took part in the meeting. The meeting aimed at developing the educational expertise and the technical thematic skills among educational environment experts. The opening session was chaired by Mr Ngari Faye, inspector at the Dakar Academy, on behalf of the Education Minister, Senegal, and Mr Dia Mamadou, of the Senegalese National Commission for UNESCO and ISESCO.

During two days, the workshop discussed and analyzed several environment-related issues and reviewed local and regional achievements in developing education and technological tools in addition to education activities to promote awareness of environ- mental issues. The participants also pondered the creation of a network of individuals and experts interested in the area of envi- romental protection and the achievement of sustainable deve- lopment. Presentations made during the workshop dealt with education materials developed by the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environment Protection as part of the “Ecological Schools” Programme on which a documentary was screened.

In addition, a practical workshop was held to establish a networking between experts of environmental education and present the recommen- dations and the necessary education practical proposals to develop, unify and improve the education tools related to aware- ness promotion on environment protection.

The meeting was co-supervised by ISESCO’s representative, Mr Aziz El Hajir, Programme Specialist at the Directorate of Education, and the delegate of the Mohammed VI Foundation for Environment Protection, Mrs Itimad Zair, in charge of education tools at the Foundation’s Environmental Education Center. ISESCO and Mohammed VI Foundation for Environment Protection hold in Dakar regional meeting for environmental education experts ISESCO and ALECSO hold sub-regional meeting in Cairo on literacy and non-formal education in Arab region

46 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 The “Qabas Min Noor Charity Asso- ciation” from the Arab Republic of Egypt won the 2017 ISESCO Prize for Literacy and Non-Formal Education, which ISESCO has dedicated this year to civil society organizations and NGOs in Arabic-speaking Member States.

The Prize was awarded to the asso- ciation in recognition of its outstanding contribution and leading achievements in literacy and non-formal education in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

Since its inception in 2006, the Qabas Min Noor Charity has offered a wide range of charity and development ser- vices under its education and learning programme aimed at improving the living standards of vulnerable people and combating poverty. The Association’s work also features post-literacy activities. Through its “Allama Bilqalam” Literacy and Anti-dropout Project, the Association provides job opportunities for some beneficiaries, in cooperation with the Social Fund for Development, the General Authority for Literacy and Adult Education and various donors in the Arab Republic of Egypt.

It is worth mentioning that ISESCO awards its Literacy Prize each year to civil society associations operating in this area, alternately, in Arab, French and English-speaking Member States. The Prize’s 2016 edition, dedicated to French-speaking Member States, was awarded to the “Soumeiya Centre for Women and Girls Literacy” in the Republic of Mali.

Egyptian civil society association wins 2017 ISESCO Prize for Literacy and Non-formal Education

47 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 47 ISESCO takes part in international symposium on education funding On 5-7 December 2017, ISESCO took part in an international symposium on education funding held by the Conference of the Ministers of Education of French-speaking Countries (CONFEMEN) inRabat,KingdomofMorocco,inthepresenceofseveraleducation ministers, technical and financial partners and representatives of the private sector, civil society and international organizations.

The symposium aimed to discuss several issues related to education funding, in a context of fund scarcity, lack of safety, increased demand for education as a result of demographic growth in developing countries, growing migration to developed countries in addition to the surge in unemployment rates among the youth and the rise of poverty and climate changes. ISESCO was represented at this symposium by Mr Najib Rhiati, Supervisor of the Education Direc- torate, and Dr Seydou Cissé, expert at the same directorate. • On 13-14 October 2017, ISESCO took part in the First National Colloquium on Literacy held by the National Literacy Agency in the Kingdom of Morocco at the Conference Center in Skhirate (south to Rabat).

The Colloquium aimed at giving different actors in the sector of literacy the oppor- tunity to discuss the situation of illiteracy in Morocco and agree on an integrated vision to update the strategic approach and develop the literacy system in Morocco. Participants discussed a number of issues related to the governance of literacy programmes, literacy systems and software engi- neering, training of the staff working in the field of literacy, and balancing supply and demand in the field of literacy. ISESCO was represented at the Colloquium by Dr Seydou Cissé, Expert at the Directorate of Education, who supervised the third workshop on the planning literacy programmes.

• ISESCO Regional Educational Center in Chad took part in an expert meeting held in Tunis on 5-11 November 2017 to adopt a project of teaching Arabic language to non-Arabic speakers in the Republic of Chad. The project will be implemented in cooperation between the Chadian Ministry of National Education and Civic Promotion, the Center for the Training of Instructors and Pedagogic Inno-vation in Tunis, and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). During the implementation period, between 2018 and 2021, a set of training sessions will be held in Tunis and N’djamena for university professors, teachers at education institutes and translators (Arabic-French) to develop bilingual programmes.

An important number of education supervisors and inspectors will also receive a training on teaching Arabic and modern teaching methods.

Training workshop in Tunis on countering violence in schools On 22-24 November 2017, ISESCO organized a sub-regional training workshop in Tunis on countering violence in schools and promoting the values of tolerance through teachning methods. The workshop aimed to identify the causes and consequences of violence in schools, propose methods, means and mecha- nisms to avert schools from violence and violent extremism. It was also an opportunity to open dialogue between different educational stakeholders on the major role of schools in preventing violence and encouraging cooperation between the parties concerned to develop a stra- tegy to fight against violence in schools.

The workshop was attended by twenty representatives of ministries of education, teachers, school principals, parents asso- ciations, civil society organizations, teacher unions and youth associations from the following Member States: Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. ISESCO was represented in the work- shop by Mrs Mariama Niang, Programme Specialist at the Directorate of Human and Social Sciences, who made a presentation on “The Role of ISESCO in Fighting Against Violence in Schools”.

48 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 23 October 2017, at its headquarters in Rabat , ISESCO hosted the 2nd Meeting of the Higher Committee of the King- dom of Saudi Arabia Award for Environmental Management in the Islamic World, under the chairmanship of Dr Khaleel bin Mosleh Al Thaqafi, President of the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chair of the Award’s Higher Committee, and Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, ISESCO Director General, Secretary General of the Award.

In his address, Dr Altwaijri expressed his thanks to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, for his unwavering support for this prestigious Award, and for the parties in charge of the Award in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, particularly the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and the General Authority of Meteorology and Environmental Protection, and the Award’s Committee Chair for their close cooperation with the General Secretariat and the members of the Award’s Higher Committee for accepting the invitation to attend the meeting.

The meeting discussed and approved the report of the Award’s jury (edition 2016-2017); the progress report which was sub- mitted to the 7th Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers; the proposal to add a fifth category of the “Environmentally- Friendly Islamic City” and the arrangements for the Award’s second edition (2018-2019). The Award covers four categories, namely: best research, achievements or practices in environment and sustainable development, particularly those addressing specific environ- mental issues of concern to or may potentially benefit the Muslim world; best practice in environment and sustainable development projects or activities in the public sector in the Member States; best practice in environment and sustainable development projects or activities in the private sector in the Member States; best leading practices or activities in the environment and sustainable development in non-governmental organizations that can be replicated in the Member States.

The award is valued at $280,000 handed to the winners every two years at the opening session of the Islamic Conference of Environment Ministers.

In addition to its Chair and Secretary General, the Award’s Higher Committee comprises the following members: Dr Mahathir Mohamad, ex-Prime Minister of Malaysia, ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador; Mr Pa Ousman Jarju, Director of the Country Programming Division at the South Korea-based Green Climate Fund; Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission in Pakistan; Dr Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al Tuwaijri, ex-Assistant Secretary General for Economic Affairs at the League of Arab States; and Dr Ibrahim Ozdemir, Founding Rector of Hasan Kalyoncu University in Turkey.

For the record, the 1st Meeting of the Committee, held in Jeddah on 26-27 September 2016, had adopted the Award’s organi- zational structure, media plan, jury and logo.

It had also launched the Award’s web portal. Science and Technology Activities ISESCO hosts 2nd Meeting of Higher Committee of KSA Award for Environmental Management in Islamic World

49 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 49 Workshop in Kazakhstan on scientific engineering equipment maintenance and repair On 2-6 October 2017, ISESCO and the Commission for Science and Technology on Sustainable Deve- lopment in the South (COMSATS), in cooperation with Al Farabi National University in Kazakhstan, held a national workshop in Almaty, Republic of Kazakhstan, on repair and maintenance of scientific engi- neering equipment in universities, research institutions, and small in- dustrial companies, as part of the Astana Expo 2017.

Technicians and researchers in science and engineering from scien- tific research institutions and small industrial companies in Kazakhstan took part in the workshop.

The workshop aimed at introducing participants to the techniques of repairing damaged scientific equip- ment, developing the professional capacities of the staff working in scientific equipment repair and main- tenance, in addition to facilitating the exchange of information and expertise between researchers, tech- nicians and engineers working in engineering equipment repair and maintenance in Kazakhstan. For the record, ISESCO and COMSATS co-organized several workshops in the following Member States: Nigeria (2016), Ghana (2013 and2015),SultanateofOman(2015), Iran (2014), the Sudan (2004, 2005 and 2013), Tunisia (2012), Egypt (2011), Senegal (2010) and Syria (2005).

On 15-21 October 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the World Renewable Energies Network (WREN), held an international seminar on photovoltaic applications and challenges of rene- wable energies in Brighton, United Kingdom. The workshop saw the participation of a number of experts from ISESCO Member States, university professors and researchers and representatives of American, European and Asian rene- wable energies companies and organi- zations from the USA, Italy, Hungary, Sri Lanka, France and the United Kingdom. The seminar’s agenda included items related to the role of renewable energies in meeting the world demand for elec- tricity, with a focus on latest techno- logies in industrialization, construction, transport and water resources mana- gement, with a special interest in climate change and energy rationalization.

ISESCO was represented this seminar by Dr Ali Sayegh, President of the World Renewable Energy Congress, WREN Director General.

International seminar in UK on renewable energies On 25-27 September 2017, ISESCO held a national training workshop on cottage industry for rural women in Kampala, Republic of Uganda, as part of Kampala’s celebration as the African Region’s Islamic Culture Capital for 2017. The workshop aimed at increasing rural women’s chances in finding an income- generating work to contribute to social development, enhance economic capa- cities, fight poverty and empowering rural women. The workshop benefitted 40 women from various rural regions in Uganda. Dr Aicha Bamoun, Programme Spe- cialist at the Directorate of Science and Technology, supervised the work- shop on behalf of ISESCO.

ISESCO holds training workshop in Uganda on cottage industry On 27-29 September 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the Kazakhstan National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, held a series of lectures on green buildings and energy saving, in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan. Held as part of the Astana Expo 2017, these lectures on future energies aimed to promote awareness on the need to save energy and rationalize energy use, publicize the concept of green buil- dings and their role in saving energy in addition to their effects on environment and improvement the populations’ living standards.

ISESCO was represented in the super- vision of these lectures by the Kaza- khstan National Commission. Series of lectures in Astana on green buildings and energy saving organized

50 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 18-20 December 2017, ISESCO participated in a regional workshop on sustainable development and use of sea resources, held by the Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment of the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden (PERSGA) in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Several captains and post managements officials from Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and the Sudan took part in this workshop.

ISESCO was represented at the workshop by Dr Abdelmajid Tribak, Expert at the Directorate of Science and Technology. The workshop discussed the importance of sea transport regulations, both those outlined in the international laws and in the specific legislation of each state, in port management and controlling sea traffic in the regional and international territorial seas in addition to improving ports processing conditions, the key documents check system of boats nationality, crews, the nature of loads and the environmental and economic consequences on ports performance in facilitating transport and promoting trade exchanges and various types of transport.

Regional workshop on sustainable development and use of sea resources: port state control Holding a meeting to publicize Initiative of Biosphere Reserves in Arab and African Regions On 17-19 October 2017, ISESCO, UNESCO and ALECSO held a conference in Agadir (Southern Morocco) to intro- duce the Initiative of the Biosphere Reserves as a climate change observatory and sustainable development laboratory in the Arab and African regions. The meeting was held in cooperation with the High Commission for Water and Forestry and the Secretariat of State in Charge of Water at the Moroccan Government.

The meeting brought together 70 experts and officials in charge of reserves and the sector of water and forests from over 20 Arab and African countries, in addition to experts from UNESCO, ISESCO and ALECSO and delegates of international financial institutions and other organizations concerned.

The participants were introduced to the ISESCO-UNESCO Joint Initiative on the Biosphere Reserves and examined means to implement the initiative in the Arab and African regions, the prospects of officially launching the UNESCO-ALECSO Joint Initiative on Biosphere Reserves during the 23rd session of the Conference of Parties (COP 23). Dr Abdelmajid Tribak, Expert at the Directorate of Science and Technology, represented ISESCO at the meeting by delivering ISESCO’s address and moderating one of the sessions.

51 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 51 ISESCO takes part in First Meeting of OIC Water Council ISESCO participate in Eighth World Science Forum on “Science for Peace” On 15-16 November 2017, ISESCO took part in the First Meeting of the OIC Water Council, held by the Turkish Water Institute (SUEN) in Istanbul. The meeting discussed the Council’s Action Plan as part of the OIC Water Vision for 2025, and ISESCO Strategy for Mana- gement of Water Resources in the Islamic World and imple- mentation mechanisms. The meeting also made an assessment of the Member States’ needs and capacities to facilitate mutual cooperation; implementation of joint activities to build capa- cities.

It also proposed innovative technological solutions; development of training programmes between research and training institutes in Member States in order to identify most urgent water issues and find best technological solutions thereto, find out about the best practices to manage water resources and mobilize resources to implement sanitation projects, adapt to negative effects of climate change on water resources and water-related disasters like drought, floods and diseases and develop water infrastructure, especially in the least developed OIC Member States.

The meeting was attended by minister members of the Council, liaison officials in the OIC Member States, representatives of bodies affiliated to the OIC: the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), COMSTECH; ISESCO, the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), in its capacity as an observer at the Council; repre- sentatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA); and the Islamic Network for Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM). ISESCO was represented at the meeting by Dr Abdelmajid Tribak, Expert at the Directorate of Science and Technology.

On 7-11 November 2017, ISESCO took part in the 8th World Science Forum themed “Science for Peace” held by the Jordanian Royal Scientific Society and UNESCO under the patronage of King Abdullah II of Jordan and President Yanos Ader of Hungary, in the Dead Sea region, Jordan. The Forum brought together a host of Nobel laureates, high- ranking governmental officials, representatives of civil society organizations, experts, researchers, academics, scientists, intel- lectuals and investors representing over 100 countries. The participants discussed the following themes: “science for peace”, “the energy/water nexus: intelligent resources mana- gement for sustainability and fairness”, “science and food security: how to feed the world sustainably and equitably”, “promoting inclusion through science education, outreach and engagement”, “the opportunities and challenges of digital transformation”, “building resilience in an interconnected world”, “rebuilding broken societies through reconstruction and recovery” and “science diplomacy”.

ISESCO was represented at this Forum by the Jordan National Commission for Education, Science and Culture. An ISESCO’s presentation was made at the session on the use of innovative science education methods.

52 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 On 12-15 December 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the World Alliance of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO), at its head- quarters in Rabat, held a training work- shop to consolidate the capacities of rural-based entrepreneurs in the pro- duction and manufacturing of natural cosmetics.

The opening session was chaired by Dr Amina Al-Hajri, Deputy Director General, who delivered ISESCO’s address. The workshop was held in the presence of academics and officials in the field of scientific research and entrepreneur- ship from Oman, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, the Sudan and Morocco. The parti- cipants exchanged expertise in the manu- facturing of natural cosmetics and health- care products. The workshop ‘s agenda also featured practical trainings on the production and manufacturing of cos- metics from Halal (Islamic Sharia- compliant) products, using the common bio-evaluation of natural products.

The participants also discussed several issues associated with the following themes “research in natural products and means to develop them”, “biological evaluation of natural products used in cosmetics”, “practices of good manu- facturing” and “halal cosmetics”. The workshop was supervised on behalf of ISESCO by Dr Ismail Aly Mohamed Abdelhamid, Expert at the Directorate of Science and Technology. Training workshop on production and manufacturing of natural cosmetics

53 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Human and Social Science Activities On 11-17 October 2017, ISESCO and Al Walid Philanthropies Foundation orga- nized the Fifth Medical and Socio- Educational Caravan for children and women in several health centers in Bamako, Republic of Mali. Mrs Amina Keita Maiga, spouse of the President of Mali and founding- chairwoman of the AGIR Organization, chaired on 13 October 2017 in Bamako the caravan launching in the presence of several Malian cabinet members and officials.

AspartoftheCaravan,medicalequipment, medicines and vaccinations were handed out to health centers in some remote areas, in addition to school supplies, books and computers distributed to students at nine schools in some poor districts in Bamako.

The caravan is a model project that was first implemented in Morocco. After the first experience, it was evaluated and its implementation mechanisms were defined before being extended to the following ISESCO African Member States: Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso, while respecting each country’s national specificities, during the 2015-2017 period.

The project is part of ISESCO’s Action Plan that outlines initiatives with defined objectives to accompany reforms under- taken by health system reforms in several African Member States, be they structural reforms or executive, financial and educational ones, in order to rein- force the capacities of target populations, improve their health conditions and con- solidate measures to fight diseases. The Supervisor of the Directorate of Human and Social Sciences and Head of ISESCO Center for Promotion of Scientific Research, Dr Maha Merezak, supervised the caravan on behalf of ISESCO.

ISESCO and Al Walid Philanthropies hold 5th Medical and Socio-educational Caravan in Republic of Mali

54 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ISESCO hosts international workshop on “The Role of Youth in Addressing Migration Challenges” ISESCO participates in close of National Campaign to End Violence Against Women in Kingdom of Morocco As part of its interest in women issues and in fighting violence against women in Member States, ISESCO took part, on 21 December 2017 in Rabat, in the close of the 5th National Campaign to End Violence Against Women, chaired by the Minister of Family, Solidarity, Equality and Social Development of the Kingdom of Morocco, Ms Bassima Hakkaoui, and organized by her Mi- nistry under the theme “All Against Violence, Report it”.

The campaign adopted at its close a series of recommendations, including an appeal to end impunity in cases of violence acts against women in public institutions and utilities, activate and broaden the competence of emergency justice in cases of violence against women and develop the psychological, social and legal support units for women victims of violence. ISESCO was repre- sented at the event by Mrs Souda Maoulainine, of the Directorate of Human and Social Sciences. On 27 October, ISESCO, the UN Inter- national Organization for Migration (IOM), and the OIC Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC), at ISESCO headquarters in Rabat, held an international workshop on the theme: “The Role of Youth in Addressing Migration Challenges”.

At the opening session, Dr Amina Al- Hajri, Deputy Director General, deli- vered an address on behalf of ISESCO Director General; Minister delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of Moroccans living abroad and Migration Affairs, Mr Abdelkrim Benatiq; Chairman of Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation, Ambassador Ilshad Iskandarov; and Deputy-chief of IOM Delegation in Morocco, Mrs Theresa Botilla, also gave addresses at the opening session.

The workshop’s agenda features the discussion of ways to enhance national coordination mechanisms among actors concerned with improving coordination policies to deal with the issue of youth migration, and the role of social media in the context of youth migration Twenty five representatives of inter- national organizations, associations and non-governmental organizations active in the fields of migration and youth issues participated in the workshop.

55 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Culture Activities On 13-14 October 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the Muslim Missionary Society Singapore (Jamiyah Singapore), held the 2nd Forum of Heads of Islamic Cultural Centers and Associations outside the Islamic World, in Singapore, under the theme: “The Role of Islamic Non-Governmental Organizations in Strengthening the Culture of Peace: Challenges and Prospects”.

At the official opening session of the forum, ISESCO Director General delivered an address, in the presence of Mr K Shan- mugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law of the Republic of Singapore.

The opening session was held in the presence of the Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Dr Muhammad Abdul Karim Al-Issa; President of Jamiyah Singapore, Dr Mohamed Hasbi Mohieddine; political figures; members of the diplomatic corps accredited to Singapore, representatives of major Islamic religious organizations in Singapore, media representatives, delegations of Islamic cultural centers and associations from outside the Islamic world, southeastern Asian and the Pacific Sea countries, in addition to members of the Supreme Council for Education and Culture of Muslims Outside the Islamic World and coordinators of Islamic Cultural Action Outside the Islamic World, namely in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, representing several countries, including Argentina, United King- dom, Albania, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Australia, the Philippines, Brunei Darus- salam, Sri Lanka and Singapore.

The forum’s agenda featured seven sessions that discussed the following themes: “The Role of the Supreme Council for Education, Science and Culture for Muslims Outside the Islamic World in Promoting a Culture of Peace”, “the Role of Muslim NGOs in Promoting Peace: Country Initiatives from Canada, France and India”, “Role of Muslim NGOs in Promoting peace: Country Initiatives from Canada, France and India, “Role of Muslim NGOs in Promoting Peace; Country initiatives from Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia”, “Role of Muslim NGOs in Promoting Peace; Country initiatives from Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom”, “ The Role of Muslim NGOs in Promoting Peace: Country initiaves from Australia, the Philippines and Brunei Darussalam”, “The Role of Muslim NGOs in Promoting Peace: Country initiatives from Singapore, Sri Lanka and Pakistan” and the “Role of Muslim Youth Ambassadors of Peace in Promoting Peace”.

A roundtable discussion was also held to explore the following theme: “Towards Better Inter-Faith Relations” with the parti- cipation of ISESCO Director General; the Secretary General of the Muslim World League; and the representatives of the Buddhist, Christian and Hindu faiths in Singapore, along with the President of the Inter-religious Organization of Singapore. In the final statement of the Forum, the participants welcomed the launching of the “The Muslim Youth, Ambassadors of World Peace” Initiative, and called for adopting the mechanism of cultural mediation to enhance dialogue and peace among cultures and civilizations.

They also lauded the outcomes achieved by the “ISESCO Programme of Good Will Ambassadors”, and called on it to incubate the “The Muslim Youth Ambassadors of World Peace” Initiative to work under its aegis and coordinate with it. They also called for laying down a joint ethical charter among followers of religions that sets the frameworks of the principles of dialogue and peace in such a way as to serve co-existence, cooperation, and mutual respect. The participants also invited ISESCO to hold cultural days to disseminate information about the Islamic world in Asia, Europe, and the United States of America in cooperation with the cultural centers and Islamic associations in these regions, a cultural week for the benefit of the youth in universities in cooperation with the International Islamic University in Malaysia and workshops of dialogue with followers of religions in European universities, in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Islamic Religious Community in Italy (COREIS), to facilitate Universities’ Muslim students integration.

ISESCO holds in Singapore 2nd Forum of Heads of Islamic Cultural Centers and Associations Outside the Islamic World

56 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Closing ceremony of the celebration of Sinnar as Arab Region’s Capital of Islamic Culture for 2017 The closing ceremony of the celebration of Sinnar as the Arab region’s Capital of Islamic Culture for 2017 was held on 22 November 2017, in Sinnar, Republic of the Sudan, in the presence of the First Vice President, Prime Minister, First Lieutenant General Bakri Hassan Saleh; the Assistant to the President, Governor of Sinnar, Governor of Gezira, Mr Musa Mohamed Ahmed; the Federal Minister of Culture, Mr Al-Tayeb Hassan Badawi, and ISESCO Director General.

The ceremony was also attended by several ministers and leaders of national parties and organizations; the Head of the General Secretariat of the Celebration of Sinnar as Capital of Islamic Culture and members of its Higher Committee; heads and representatives of international and regional organizations; as well as a host of Sinnar residents.

On this occasion, Dr Altwaijri gave an address wherein he stated that Sinnar is considered as one of the ancient cities in the history of Islamic civilization thanks to its effective and influential presence in the history of the Sudan and its outstanding role in enriching Islamic culture and human knowledge. ISESCO Director General also said that the Islamic Culture Capitals Programme, whose implementation is supervised by ISESCO in coordination and cooperation with the Member States, reflects the enlightened civi- lizational vision of joint Islamic action, and is considered one of the ongoing and suc- cessful civilizational projects which the Orga- nization has implemented.

He described the Programme as a bridge between the past and the present and aims to refresh the historical memory of Muslim peoples so as to reenergize their drive to encourage them to link the present with the past. He added that it also aims to develop culture, promote literary and artistic creativity and scientific and academic excellence in order to resume a new civilizational cycle that will restore the Ummah’s position among other nations and help build world peace based on cultural fundamentals, intellectual innovations, scien- tific contribution and various achievements in human knowledge.

Furthermore, the Director General expressed his heartfelt congratulations to the Republic of the Sudan on the lifting of the unfair blockade imposed on it since 2001. He added that during that period, the Sudan was resistant despite all the challenges and restrictions and was able to maintain its independent decisions, while attaching firmly to its noble Islamic values and ideals in the face of plagues that were threatening its security and the stability of the whole region. Dr Altwaijri said that despite all the conspi- racies and the trends of extremism and terrorism that plagued many regions in the Islamic world, the Sudan remains a symbol of moderation and middle stance and a constructive element that gained the respect of the world.

The Director General also took part in the inauguration of a cultural and media center, a museum and a heritage and tourist village, as part of the festivities marking the celebration of Sinnar as the 2017 Capital of Islamic Culture for the Arab region. The inauguration ceremony was also at- tended by First Vice President of the Republic, Prime Minister, First Lieutenant General Bakri Hassan Saleh; the Assistant to the President of Sudan; the governor of Sinnar State and the governor of Gezira State, Mr Musa Mohamed Ahmed; Minister of Culture, Mr Al-Tayeb Hassan Badawi, as well as a number of ministers, leaders of national parties and organizations, the Head of the General Secretariat and the members of the Higher Committee for the celebration of Sinnar as the Islamic Culture Capital, and the heads and representatives of interna- tional and regional organizations.

57 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 57 ISESCO takes part in closing ceremony of celebration of Amman as capital of Islamic culture for 2017 International forum in Istanbul on protection of cultural heritage in Islamic world On 14 December 2017, ISESCO took part in a ceremony held in the Royal Cultural Center in Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, under the patronage of Dr Hani Al-Mulki, Jordanian Prime Minister, to mark the close of the celebrations of Amman as Islamic Culture Capital for 2017. The ceremony was also attended by Dr Nabih Jamil Shuqum, Jordanian Culture Minister, and a host of political and academic figures, in addition to intel- lectuals, cultural and artistic personalities and representatives of local Arab and international media.

ISESCO was represented at the ceremony by Dr Abdelilah Benarafa, Supervisor of the Directorate of Culture, who read out an address on behalf of the Director General. He underlined that Amman has given evidence to its ability to showcase the enli- ghtened civilizational vision of Islamic joint action, noting that ISESCO has taken an active part in supporting the general programme of the celebration of Amman as Capital of Islamic Culture for the Arab region for 2017 by implementing, a series of training sessions patronized by the Al Quds Cultural Forum, a civil society organization in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, were held, including 26 workshops for 1,035 male and female teachers from 326 schools in the governorates of Ibrid, Ajloun and Jarach and a regional workshop for workers in the archeology field on the use of modern technology to document mobile monuments, in cooperation with ALECSO and the Jordan National Commission for Education, Culture and Science.

On 1-2 November 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the Research Center for Islamic History, Culture and Arts (IRCICA), held an international forum on the protection of cultural heritage in the Islamic world in Istanbul, Republic of Turkey. The forum aimed at consolidating cultural heritage in the Islamic world and exploring means to protect it against potential harmful human and natural hazards, especially amid instability prevailing in some Islamic and Arab countries. Researchers, experts and representatives of regional and inter- national organizations took part in the forum to discuss ways to promote the role of regional and international organizations in protecting endangered cultural heritage, especially intangible cultural heritage.

The Istanbul Declaration for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Islamic World, which outlined a series of recommendations to urge Member States to protect and promote their cultural heritage was adopted at the closing session. ISESCO was represented at the forum by Dr Mohammad Younis, Programme specialist at the Directorate of Culture, who made a presentation on “ISESCO Vision and Efforts in the Protection of Cultural Heritage in the Islamic World”.

58 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ISESCO holds regional training session in Bamako on transcription of African languages in Quranic script ISESCO holds national training session on restoration and preservation of manuscripts and documents in Moroccan Sahara On 16 October-11 November 2017, ISESCO, in cooperation with the Arab-African Cultural Institute, based in Bamako, Republic of Mali, organized a training session on the transcription of African languages in the Quranic standardized script.

The objective of the session was to standardize the Quranic script and adapt it orally and technically to transcribe and develop the multiple languages of the Muslim peoples and fight illiteracy. During the session, several presentations were made on the lin- guistics, rules and grammar of African languages, covering the following themes: “introduction to phonology”, “phonology symbols of African languages accredited to ISESCO”, in addition to lectures on “education sciences”. The pedagogical aspect of the workshop included presentations on “Introduction to the Curricula”, “Introduction to Education and Psychology, Modern Education Methods”, “Theories of Teaching Reading and Writing to Children and Adults”, “Designing reading manuals for adults”, “Designing Reading and Writing Manuals for Children and Teaching Methodologies”.

Participants were also trained on the use of computers to transcribe African languages in Quranic standardized script. At the close of the session, each participant presented an academic research paper written in Arabic script on the contents of the workshop and were handed a diploma on the transcription of languages in Quranic standardized script. ISESCO was represented at the session by Dr Mustafa Ahmed Ali, a cooperating expert and the supervisor in charge of following up to the project of transcribing the languages of Islamic peoples in the Quranic script.

On 17-19 October 2017, ISESCO held in cooperation with the National Library of the Kingdom of Morocco, a training session on restoration and preservation of manuscripts and documents in the Moroccan Sahara.

The training session aimed at developing the participants’ capacities in electronic and material preservation and restoration of manu- scripts and documents and management of Islamic-Arab do- cuments in the Moroccan Sahara. The participants learned about the aspects of organizing docu- ments and manuscripts: (inventorying, indexation, digitization, etc.) and means to preserve and restore manuscripts and documents in line with modern scientific standards.

The session’s agenda featured a workshop on manuscripts cleaning, sterilization, conservation, rehabilitation and plasticization tech- niques, manuscript diagnosis, manual and machine preservation, coloring and preservation of paper and leather and manuscript sewing and binding. Members of the Jalwa Association for the Preservation of Manu- scripts and Cultural Heritage in the Moroccan Sahara took part in the training session. ISESCO was represented by Dr Ismail Traoré, Programme Spe- cialist at the Directorate of Culture.

In the final statement adopted by the session, the participants commended ISESCO’s efforts in its fields of competence and called on it to continue to hold similar training sessions on all stages of preservation and restoration techniques of cultural heritage in the Kingdom of Morocco.

Given the importance of this session in preserving manuscripts, the participants invited ISESCO to dedicate enough time to the upcoming sessions and welcomed the expansion of the training scope to all owners of manuscripts and family libraries.

59 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 59 ISESCO participates in meeting on development of visions for Arab cultural action On 28-29 November 2017, ISESCO took part in a meeting on “the Deve- lopment of Visions for Arab Cultural Action” held by ALECSO, in coope- ration with the Moroccan Ministry of Culture and Communication, in Casa- blanca, under the high patronage of King Mohammed VI, as part of the pre- parations for an Arab Cultural Summit. At the opening session, Dr Abdelilah Benarafa, Supervisor of the Directorate ofCulture,deliveredanaddressonbehalf of the Director General wherein he underlined that given the extreme impor- tance of culture and its value and weight, to examine its issues thoroughly and devise plans to promote it, modernize its means, develop its content, activate its effects on the development and prosperity of society, culture is required to be tackled in an Arab summit, or even better an Islamic one, since Arab culture extends over the Arab context and its language is the language of the Quran which federates all of the Muslim peoples.

He recalled the “Comprehensive Plan for Arab Culture”, developed by the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) a third of a century ago and the “Cultural Strategy for the Islamic World”, deve- loped by ISESCO and endorsed by the Sixth Islamic Summit Conference held in Dakar in 1991, noting that the Tenth Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers, held in Khartoum on 21 November 2017, adopted an amended version of this strategy, adding that both the plan and the strategy have addressed cultural issues from various perspectives and examined the missions entrusted to joint cultural action at the level of governments and civil society organizations.

The Director General’s address stressed that in this regard, both the plan and the Strategy made pertinent proposals on how to promote culture, as a locomotive for sustainable comprehensive development.

The presentations delivered at the meeting centered on several themes, mainly “Inter-Arab cultural relationships and Arab-global acculturation”, “Cultural policies in light of present challenges”, “Toward a strategy for the protection and further dissemination and expansion of the use of Arabic language” and “The Arab cultural heritage”. ISESCO was represented at the meeting by Mr Najib Rhiati, Supervisor of the Directorate of Education, who chaired one of the sessions, and Dr Abdelilah Benarfa, Supervisor of the Directorate of Culture.

60 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Information and Communication Activities Regional workshop in Dakar to examine implementation mechanisms of OIC Media strategy to Counter Islamophobia and Publicize Islam’s Middle Stance among African Countries On 16-17 October 2017, ISESCO and the General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), in coordination with the Senegalese National Commission for UNESCO/ ISESCO, organized a regional workshop to explore the imple- mentation mechanisms of the OIC Media Strategy to Counter Islamophobia and Publicize Islam’s Middle Stance among African Countries, in Dakar, Republic of Senegal.

The workshop aimed to publicize the OIC Media Strategy and ISESCO Programme for Training Media Professionals on Redressing Stereotypes about Islam and Muslims; develop cooperation mechanisms among media training institutions in African countries to contribute to outlining the broad lines of an executive action plan for training media professionals in African countries and developing their capacities to produce media contents that present the true image of Islam and counter the speech of violence, extremism and zealotry. The workshop brought together a host of officials of institutes and schools of media training from French-speaking Member States.

Ambassador Cheikhou Oumar Seck, Director of the COMIAC Coordination Office, and Dr Abdelhamid Salhi, repre- sentative of the OIC Information Department, also attended the workshop. ISESCO was represented by Dr El Mahjoub Bensaid, Head of the Information and Communication Center, who supervised the workshop’s organizational and academic aspects.

In the final statement of the workshop, the participants called on the OIC Member States and affiliated institutions, ISESCO and the civil society organizations to contribute to the imple- mentation of the programmes and projects included in the OIC strategy to fight Islamophobia. They also recommended reinforcing the academic mechanisms to fight Islamophobia and face the discourse of hatred, radi- calism and racism against Muslims and consolidate cooperation between media organizations in African Member States. The final statement also called for establishing a network of African Muslim reporters, under the supervision of the OIC, reinforcing cooperation between countries of the South, and coordinating their participation in international forums on the use of the media to counter the discourse of hatred, segregation and Islamophobia.

They also called for incorporating references of code of ethics in the training of journalists, deepening the knowledge of journalists from African Member States on the values and principles of Islam and the accomplishments of the Islamic civilization, noting that it should take place at ISESCO’s Dakar- based Regional Center for Media Training, in cooperation with the OIC and the Dakar Center of Information Sciences and Technology (CESTI). The participants also underlined the need to establish a net- work of institutes and schools specialized in media training in African countries and the rest of Member States to exchange expertise and develop training programmes to face Islamophobia, spread the values of tolerance and co-existence and expose the inaccuracies of media contents circulated by extremists in the Islamic world and beyond.

61 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 61 Sub-regional workshop on ways to highlight the role of women in society and promote their presence in media On 4-5 October 2017, ISESCO, through its Regional Office in Sharjah, and the OIC General Secretariat, in cooperation with the Bahraini Commission for Education, Science and Culture, organized a sub-regional workshop on the “Means to Highlight the Role of Women in Society and Promote their Presence in the Media” in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. The workshop aimed at unveiling some of the false stereotypes on women in the media, proposing practical ideas to redress this image and studying means to empower Arab women to highlight their pioneering role in achieving Sustainable Deve- lopment Goals (SDGs) in their counties.

In addition, the agenda included other items related to the activation of the role of the OIC Observatory on Women in the Media in Member States and exchanging expertise and knowledge on the role of women in society.

The workshop discussed the project of an observatory to monitor the presence of women in the media and the empowerment of women from an Islamic perspective and false images about Arab women in the media and how to redress them, and reviewed participating countries’ experience in women empo- werment and consolidation of their presence in the media and new visions on women empowerment in media organizations. The workshop brought together 25 female media professionals working in organizations active in women issues and from feminine, education and university institutions from Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Oman, Palestine, Kuwait, Egypt and Lebanon.

ISESCO was represented at the workshop by Ms Lubna Khalifa Selaibeekh, Secretary General of the Bahraini National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, who super- vised the workshop and made an address on behalf of Orga- nization at the opening session. The workshop adopted a final statement that underlined the importance of taking stock of the Member States’ successful experiences in highlighting the role of women in society by establishing a network of female media professionals, super- vised by the OIC and documenting the accomplishments of leading women. The participants also praised the goals and contents of the OIC Observatory on Women in the Media in Member States and invited civil society organizations inte- rested in women issues to take stock of its achievements.

The workshop also commended ISESCO’s efforts in the quali- fication of media professionals through its regional centers in Dakar, Khartoum and Islamabad, and invited it to organize more specialized training sessions for female and male journalists and media leaders in Member States, and conduct studies on Muslim women in the media both inside and outside the Islamic world. It also invited ISESCO and the OIC to hold joint media activities to correct false images and stereotypes about women in Western media, as part of countering Islamophobia and racism against Muslim minorities and communities in Western countries and urged governmental and national organizations in the Islamic world to work on enabling women to play their role in economic edification, social development and consolidation of political stability, by developing national strategies, laws, policies and plans related to women, the promotion of their status and consolidation of their capacities in the field of media and communication technologies.

62 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 ISESCO and OIC hold workshop on development of guidebook for journalists to cover terrorist acts ISESCO and the OIC General Secretariat (Information Department) held a workshop on “the Development of a Guide- book for Journalists to Cover Terrorist Acts” from 31 October through 2 November 2017 at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The workshop brought together the Head of the OIC Standing Committee For Information and cultural Affairs (COMIAC), representatives of the OIC General Secretariat, media experts, international law and human rights and journalists, media pro- fessionals and correspondents from the following countries: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Chad, Mali, Lebanon, Palestine and Libya.

The aim of the workshop was to look into conditions and risks of covering terrorist acts, both at the professional level and from a legal point of view; build on the experience of other countries, organizations, media outlets and correspondents during the coverage of terrorist events and adopting the draft guidebook to train journalists in the coverage of terrorist acts. The participants discussed the guidebook project which out- lines a set of measures to develop the professional capacities of reporters and essential editorial rules to hone their skills and help them conduct a better job in covering terrorist events.

ISESCO was represented at the workshop by Dr El Mahjoub Bensaid, Head of the Information and Communication Center. The participants adopted, at the close of the workshop, the guidebook’s broad lines and called on the OIC General Secretariat to add a chapter on the ethical and legal aspects associated with the coverage of terrorist events. They also invited ISESCO to hold sessions for journalists from and outside the Islamic world to train them on applying the Guidebook in covering terrorist events. They also urged the OIC general secretariat to disseminate the Guidebook, once it is adopted, to all competent parties in the Member States, journalists training institutes and centers in these countries and proposed to incorporate in journalists’ training curricula a subject-matter on how to tackle terrorist acts.

They also underlined that it is not enough to report on terrorist acts, stressing that reporters need to focus in the media coverage on open source and reliable sources, counter- check information circulated by social networks and called on journalists to give priority to the human perspective of the direct effects of terrorist acts and highlight the evident contra- diction between terrorism and human values and the fact that terrorism has no religion and nationality. The participants further insisted that Israeli occupation of and settlement in Palestinian territories, assault perpetrated against the Palestinian people and contempt for international resolutions are the most serious and dangerous manifestations of terrorism.

63 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 63 ISESCO and ALECSO hold in Khartoum regional seminar on ethical and legal dimensions of digital content on Arabic websites ISESCO and International University of Africa hold in Khartoum national workshop on audio-visual programmes anchoring On 11-12 December 2017, ISESCO and the International University of Africa co-organized, in Khartoum, a national work- shop on techniques of audiovisual programmes anchoring, as part celebrating Sinnar as Arab region’s Islamic Culture Capital for 2017.

The workshop aimed at training young radio presenters in the Republic of the Sudan and hone their skills to prepare and present good-quality radio and TV programmes, exchanging expertise between media professionals working in various audiovisual media outlets, introducing participants to know- ledge and technical conditions to develop radio and TV pro- grammes and consolidating the cultural dimension of radio and TV programmes in the Republic of the Sudan.

The workshop featured practical training on the preparation and presentation of radio and TV programmes and most recent techniques of audio-visual programmes presentation. The workshop was moderated by three audiovisual media experts from the Republic of the Sudan. Newly recruited young reporters working in the Sudanese radio and TV channels attended the session.

As part of the celebration of Sinnar as Arab region’s Islamic Culture Capital for 2017, ISESCO and ALECSO held a seminar on “Ethical and Legal Dimensions of Digital Content on Arabic Websites”’. The seminar was held at ISESCO’s Regional Center Media Training and Qualification Center, in Khartoum, Republic of the Sudan, on 9-11 December 2017, in coordination with the Sudan Academy of Communication Sciences and the Suda- nese National Commission for Education, Science and Culture. The seminar aimed at raising the awareness of editors of websites in Arab States of the importance of the ethical and legal dimensions of digital content, examining the technical and knowledge means to protect children and young people in the Arab world from the risks of non-ethical contents of electronic media messages and proposing positive and prac- tical alternatives to guarantee efficient use of websites and curb their negative impact.

During the seminar, the participants discussed the issue of websites in light of information laws, assessed Arab countries’ experience in electronic information, means to develop the contents of websites and reduce their negative impact. Editors of electronic websites and specialists of electronic laws and ethics from several countries took part in the seminar. ISESCO was represented by the Secretary General of the Sudanese National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, Mr Abdulgadir Muhammad Hassan Nour.

The opening session was chaired by Ambassador Yasser Khodr, Undersecretary of the Sudanese Information Ministry; and the Director General of the Sudan Academy for Communication Sciences, Dr Salwa Hassan Sideeg.

64 ISESCO - A Quarterly Newsletter - Issue 109 - Rabii II 1439 A.H./January 2018 Participation in second meeting of Adhoc Committee of the OIC International Award for Outstanding Media and Journalists in promoting Dialogue, Tolerance and Intercultural Harmony Co-organization of a regional training session on scientific press in Jeddah On 30 October 2017, ISESCO took part in the second meeting of the Ad-hoc Committee in charge of examining conditions and measures for the creation of the International Award for the Outstanding Media and Journalists with outstanding works in the field of tolerance and intercultural dialogue, held by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the head office of the OIC Union of News Agencies in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The meeting discussed the conditions and means to activate the Award that was created by the 11th Islamic Conference of Media Ministers held in Jeddah on 21 December 2016 at the initiative of Mr Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, Chairman of the OIC Standing Committee for Information and Culture (COMIAC). The meeting also debated the technical aspects (the organizational structure), the financial aspects (value), and the academic aspects (jury and eligibility criteria and nomination requirements).

During this meeting, ISESCO was selected as a member of the jury, owing to its outstanding experience in organizing annual prizes for education, science, culture and information.

ISESCO was represented in the meeting by Dr El Mahjoub Bensaid, Head of the Information and Communication Center, who made a presentation on implementation aspects of ISESCO’s annual prizes in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. On 19-21 September 2017, ISESCO co-organized a regional training session on scientific press, held by the Union of News Agencies of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (UNA) and the OIC Information Department at UNA’s Training Center in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This scientific specialized session was held a few days after the First Islamic Summit of Science and Technology that convened on 10-11 September 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The resolutions adopted by the Summit were reviewed during the training session. The session aimed at enabling the participants to understand the major challenges facing scientific and technological press in the world and in the Islamic world, promoting their aware- ness of the importance of scientific and technologic press, familarizing them with the issues related to the relationship between society on the one side and science and technology on the other, and consolidating scientific and technological articles writing techniques and news writing in general and mastering basic journalism techniques.

A host of journalists from several news agencies, newspapers and radio satellite TV channels from the Gulf countries took part in the training session that was supervised by Dr Abdes- samad Moutii, Professor of audio-visual information at the Rabat-based Higher Institute of Communication.

The world commemorates on 18 December of every year the International Arabic Language Day, in compliance with a resolution of the Executive Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). On this occasion, and like the previous years, ISESCO dedicated several of its activities throughout the month of December to mark this international day.

On 11-14 December, it held, in cooperation with the Sultan Sharif Ali Islamic University in Brunei Darussalam, aneducationalforumforArabicprofessors in the Universities’ faculties, under the theme “Utilizing Modern Education Approaches and Education Technologies for Comprehensive Development of Arabic Language Skills Among Non- Arabic Speaking Students.” In addition, at the invitation of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Guinea, the Director General took part as a guest of honor in the Arabic Language and Book Day held in Conakry on 18 December 2017, as part of celebrations marking UNESCO’s selection of Conakry as the 2017 World Book Capital.

On the same day, ISESCO, in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Higher Education in Malaysia, organizedanumberofactivitiesatISESCO’s Educational Center. These activities included an academic seminar on the Arabic language in Malaysia and contests for Malaysian students in the production of short education films in Arabic. In the same vein, and at its Regional Educational Center in Chad, ISESCO held a cultural symposium themed “Arabic Education in Chad and Central African Countries: Challenges and Development Prospects”, in addition to an exhibition of Arabic books and publications.

ISESCO also provided the Romanian Arab-European Institute in Bucharest with a set of its publications on Arab culture and language. ISESCO Celebrates International Arabic Language Day On this occasion, ISESCO Director General addressed the Islamic world in a message calling for giving the celebration of the World Arabic Language Day its due importance, in a way that honors this language and consolidate its presence in public life, underlining that the Arabic language is one of the foundations of the Arab identity and one of the essential specificities of the Islamic culture, given thatitisthelanguageoftheHolyQuranand the language spoken by the Prophet, peace be upon him.

It is also the language used by the most creative and prolific figures of thought, sciences, literature and culture who built the Islamic-Arab civilization all along the successive centuries. The Director General urged for opening wide horizons to the Arabic language to enable it to be the leading language in the Arab world, stressing the need to adopt national laws to protect Arabic from denigration, weakening, and marginalization, and to expand the use of Arabic in all the levels of education and various specialties. Dr Altwaijri further noted that Arabic should be adopted in the teaching of all the subject matters, including the scientific ones and the university programmes in Arab universities and faculties, while, at the same time, giving enough importance to learning foreign languages.

In the same vein, Dr Altwaijri urged the linguistic academies, scientific unions, Arab organizations, and the journalists, translators and media professionals’ unions to join efforts to adopt standardized Arabization methodologies and terminology sources. He also called on educational officials and those in charge of designing education plans and programmes in Member States to update the Arabic language teaching methods in various educational levels and take stock of the digital product, software and mechanisms to facilitate the learning and teaching processesand encouragestudents to study Arabic and master its skills.

Director General calls for adopting national laws to protect the Arabic language from depreciation and harm and for using it in all education levels and various specialities

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