Opening the doors to democracy and freedom of expression - that was yesterday. Today, the main priority for many governments in the region is enforcing law and order. Fear of Islamic extremism is being used to justify restrictions to rights such as freedom of expression. Media professionals and dissidents have been hit especially hard and critical voices have all but disappeared. Disadvantaged groups, such as rural populations, women, young people and refugees, barely have a voice in public discourse. It is their rights and participation in particular, that DW Akademie wants to strengthen with the help of sustainable projects.
In Tunisia for example, DW Akademie is guiding community and local radio stations as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work with people in rural areas. In Egypt, DW Akademie projects support young women in and through the media, because equality is essential for social development and growth. In the Palestinian Territories, DW Akademie is promoting media activities in schools so that young people can approach information critically and openly express their opinions. To this end, workshops focus on training teachers across the country as well as community journalists in East Jerusalem. And in Lebanon, DW Akademie is training young refugees to become community journalists and is helping them create the first online community platform in the Shatila refugee camp. The aim: to offer new hope and prospects to the victims of undemocratic regimes and conflict.