Mariam Abdel-Gawad, a researcher at the English department, Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism, participated in the 9th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations – the first of its kind in the African and Arab region - held over two days in the city of Fez, Kingdom of Morocco. Bearing the slogan "Towards an alliance for peace: Living Together as One Humanity", the conference witnessed the organization of a youth forum titled "The Future They Want ... An Intergenerational Dialogue" in which about 250 influential young people from all over the world representing nearly 98 nationalities took part.
With the activities of the Youth Forum taking place in the "Euro-Mediterranean University" campus in the Moroccan city of Fez, the first day included a number of breakout sessions where young people were encouraged to freely express their opinions on some of the most important and concerting issues, such as violent extremism, stereotypical prejudice, the role of women in the field of cultural and faith mediation, combating prejudice and religious intolerance, cultural pluralism, and the role of sports in building peace.
The second day witnessed the opening session of the 9th Global Forum "Towards an Alliance for Peace: Let's All Coexist as One Humanity", which was attended by more than 50 ministers and heads of international organizations, as well as more than 1,000 participants from all countries of the world.
The third day – the conference's last day – witnessed the organization of several discussion sessions in which the youth were given the opportunity to freely engage in discussions with officials working in the fields of human rights, combating extremism, and promoting intolerance.
The activities of the conference ended with a closing session in which the "Fez Declaration" was announced in the presence of a number of prominent figures, including Mr. Miguel Moratinos, Higher Commissioner of the Alliance of Civilizations, delegations from all international and local organizations, and representatives of the Moroccan government.