BARCELONA, – The Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) announced selecting the city of Alexandria as the first capital of culture and dialogue in the Mediterranean region for the year 2025, alongside Tirana (Albania).
In a statement issued Wednesday the UfM said the Mediterranean Capitals of Culture and Dialogue Initiative, co endorsed by the 43 member states of the UfM, seeks to highlight the diversity of the region and promote mutual understanding through a year-long program that includes cultural and educational activities in each city.
The statement pointed out that Alexandria, known as the “Pearl of the Mediterranean” is considered a melting pot of cultures and traditions, an ideal location to launch the initiative and also a historical center of culture and civilization linking Europe to both Africa and the Middle East.
The program will include concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, sporting events and guided tours, as well as conferences on topics related to youth and the digitization of culture, the image of Alexandria in Arabic literature and the future of libraries with the development in artificial intelligence, the statement said.
The Egyptian coastal city will also participate in cooperative exchanges with its colleague Tirana, it added.
For his part, UfM Secretary-General Nasser Kamel, said, “In an era witnessing political divisions and tragic conflicts, the Mediterranean Capitals for Culture and Dialogue Initiative comes as evidence of the power of culture in building bridges and promoting the dialogue that we desperately need.” While it is important to acknowledge the differences that make us unique, we must now… Now more than ever, we find beauty, resilience and strength in our shared identity as Mediterranean countries, especially since the region is full of limitless potential, but only together can we truly flourish,” the statement said.
For her part, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation, Rym Ali, said, “At this important juncture in the history of the Euro-Mediterranean region, we are pleased to declare Tirana and Alexandria as the capitals of culture and dialogue in the Mediterranean region for the year 2025. This is an important stage in our journey towards strengthening Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. We congratulate Alexandria and Tirana for leading the way in “This is a crucial endeavor in the midst of difficult times,” it added.
The Union’s statement explained that – within the framework of this initiative – every year two cities from the north and south will be chosen as capitals of culture and dialogue in the Mediterranean region. The door is open to receive nominations for the 2026 edition until July 5, 2024.