CEOSS newsletter–December 2013
CEOSS General Director Meets with U.S. Secretary of State
Dr. Rev. Andrea Zaki, CEOSS General Director met with U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, in the context of a meeting with civil society organizations who were represented by the Islamic preacher Amr Khaled, and Angie Haddad, vice president of the Conservative Party, and legal expert Bahey El Din Hassan.
During the meeting, Kerry stressed the need for economic support to Egypt, and that the people after two revolutions must move to democracy, confirming the existence of a positive U.S. -Egyptian relations and his eagerness to see the Egyptian people living peacefully.
Zaki added:” We stressed during the meeting our support to the road map, which has the support of all Egyptian people, and the steps to support the democratic path, and that the referendum is a referendum on the stages after June 30, not only on the Constitution”. Kerry expressed dissatisfaction with the current climate of violence in Egypt. Kerry’s speech was unique and never uses the term “military coup”, but only addressing the Egyptian people.
CEOSS Discusses the Vision of People with Disabilities in the New Egyptian Constitution
CEOSS held a conference entitled “Vision of People with Disabilities in the New Draft Constitution” on Monday 28 October 2013 at its premises in Cairo.
The conference comes after several meetings organized by CEOSS with a number of governorates including Cairo, Qalubeya, Beni Suef and Minia , along with two workshops to discuss the constitutional amendments for people with disabilities with the presence of their representative in the Constitutional Committee, Dr. Hossam El Massah. During these meeting, they discussed Article 61 and proposed some ideas to modify it in order to cope with the needs of people with disabilities. More than 150 people with various disabilities participated in the conference to put forward their vision of their own articles in the Constitution.
This meeting comes within the framework of CEOSS project entitled “Towards sustainable socio-economic and civic inclusion and participation for Egyptian Persons with Disabilities.”
The meeting tackled a number of inquiries and recommendations that the attendees thought must be taken into consideration in the new law. They made the necessary amendments and formed the article 61 concerning rights of people with disabilities in this meeting. The recommended article was presented to the Constitutional Committee and was almost identically put within the new Constitution.
It is worth mentioning that CEOSS has held several seminars and round tables aiming at raising the awareness of different groups and discussing the New Draft Constitution.
CEOSS Discusses a New Vision of Social Peace in Minia and Assuit
In the framework of CEOSS FID programs and activities and in cooperation with the Egyptian Family House as well as the government of Minia and Assuit, CEOSS held two meetings on “Social Peace … A New Vision of the Society in a Post-Revolutionary Context”. The meetings were attended by Dr. Ziad Bahaa El-Din – Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs and Minster of International Cooperation, Minia and Assuit Governors, a number of public and political leaders in Minia and Assuit as well as a group of writers, intellectuals, religious leaders and media professionals. Topics discussed included different aspects that encourage social peace such as achieving social justice, activating the law and the constitution, and the role religious leaders can play to promote dialogue and citizenship.
Dr. Rev. Andrea Zaki said that building values of international peace start from social peace through promoting citizenship, coexistence and equality values. These values should be shared through education curriculum and in the different government bodies with transparent accountable laws that have no bias.
Dr. Ziad Bahaa El-Din commended, in his speech, CEOSS role and the Egyptian Family House as institutions supporting social peace and dialogue. The governor of Assiut and the governor of Minia stressed that Egypt is a country of peace and tensions in the country will be gone soon.
CEOSS Discusses National Cohesion
CEOSS FID organized a conference in 13 and November 14, entitled “National Cohesion”. Attended by a group of intellectuals, university professors, religious leaders, media professionals and dozens of FID members in several provinces of Upper Egypt.
After the opening session, which discussed the concept of national cohesion, participants were divided into groups to discuss social justice, co-existence and Islamic-Christian Relations , the situation of violence and finally legislation and law.
In the last session of the conference facilitators presented the most important recommendations, such as spreading the culture of social justice and public participation, and the need to control and adjust the laws and activate them. Participants also stressed the need for launching initiatives in villages and activating the role of cultural houses and the use of art. They added that religious institutions should assume a greater role to eliminate violence and resist extremist ideology.
“I Demand My Rights” Festival
Under the slogan (I demand my Right), CEOSS launched a festival for children at risk on Tuesday, November 26th at ITSA Center in Minia with the participation of 400 children from the project working areas in Minia and attended by the concerned representatives from the government and partner organizations.
At the beginning of the celebration, children were divided into different groups in different workshops to formulate and produce works that express the demands of the collective rights of working children and children with disabilities . during these workshops, a meeting with representatives of partner organizations and government officials was held to provide a brief summary of the history of CEOSS and its work in poor communities with marginalized groups. Then there was a show about the project’s objectives and achievements in Minia.
At the end of the day a play was preformed bout the rights of children with disabilities and working children in education, health and community integration in the presence of all the participants of the children, associations, and government officials . Finally, the government officials distributed souvenirs to all participating children.
CEOSS Holds A New Round of the Egyptian German Research project
Under Over the last ten years, CEOSS in partnership with Evangelische Akademie Loccum have organized several rounds for the Egyptian – German Dialogue in different crucial issues based on important concerns and regional challenges to both countries.
This year the two partners decided to use a new methodology of producing research at “Gottingen University” as well as organizing public debates covered by both Egyptian and German media. The conference was attended by 26 German and Egyptian professor representing well known Universities in Egypt like, Azhar University & Cairo University, as well as senior researchers from: Al Ahram Centre for strategic political studies with the new methodology of Research entitled : Stages of Political transformation after revolutions – The impact of Religious freedom on Pluralism and social cohesion.
The program was held from 24 – 29 November 2013, and was attended by 9 Egyptian Researchers tackling topics such as Freedom of belief and the Law, Development of Constitution and minorities, Citizenship and management of religious diversity, and Understanding of the Religious Map after January 25th Revolution in Egypt. Research Teams were formed of four Egyptian and four German researchers for each topic. They are in progress for the idea of documenting and publishing developed research papers to be of use for a diverse pool.
CEOSS Production Wins the Jury Prize at the National Film Festival for Short and Animated Films
A CEOSS Production “Wrong.. Inappropriate .. Off Limits” discussing sexual abuse of children , won the Jury Prize at the National Film Festival for short and animated films. It is a 7-minute animation movie that was produced jointly with the Curriculum Department and the Media Production Unit in CEOSS.
The movie was produced within the training toolkit targeting those working in the field of reproductive health. The movie is one of the tools that are used directly with target groups such as children, especially those with disabilities.
The film deals with the idea of protection from sexual abuse simply and directly using folktale and songs that attract children, and also the lyrics of the songs are clear and to deliver the message easily and effectively.
“A Dream for my Country” Festival
Under the slogan (A Dream for my Country), CEOSS launched a festival for children at risk at the same time last year, coinciding with the celebration of the festivals of childhood.
Because it is not only a slogan for CEOSS, but also a message that we all believe in, CEOSS decided to re-launch the festival on December 14th at Sinbad Amusement Park with the participation of 400 children from the project working areas in Qalubeya and Cairo and attended by the concerned representatives from the government and committees of protection at Dar Al-Salam ,Caliph and Shubra Al Khaimah areas.
CEOSS Mobile Units for Persons with Disabilities
Within CEOSS “Employment and Training Mobile Unit” (ETU), the first employment mobile unit in Egypt with the main aim of achieving economic empowerment for PWDs. It provides access to jobs in cooperation with the private sector and businessmen, raises the awareness of PWDs of their economic rights and Egyptian Laws and provide vocational and administrative training. Since its opening in June 2013, it employed over 100 individuals and trained 190.
CEOSS “Maintenance Mobile Unit, MMU started its activities in 2011 and undertook 157 campaigns serving 2370. It is the first mobile unit in Egypt and the Middle East. It is well equipped with the necessary machines and equipment to fix and maintain assistive devices and implement regular campaigns in poor communities [upper and lower Egypt].The Unit is run by technical disabled individuals.