Middle
East
Mediterranean

MEM

Summer Summit
Lugano, Switzerland

The Seminar

20 - 28 August 2020

The Forum

29 - 30 August 2020

The Idea

The Middle East Mediterranean region is characterised by high political tension, conflicting interests, ruins, climate challenges, and forced migration. Nevertheless it is also a laboratory of plural identities and new models of citizenship, aiming towards a peaceful coexistence.

The MEM Summer Summit is composed of two parts: an eight-day Seminar and a two-day Forum.  It is designed as an intellectual and human exchange across borders, cultures and languages. It seeks to create friendships, enduring networks, and ideas. 

The Summit offers a safe space of dialogue for young change-makers to lay out a vision for their common future by starting from present. Coming from public and private institutions, non-profit organisations, social enterprises, media, art and culture, they evaluate, and develop novel approaches to tackle persisting problems.

The Forum

The Forum is the culmination of the MEM Summer Summit. The high-profile two-day event brings together leaders, decision-makers, and intellectuals to discuss pressing issues of the region, ranging from geopolitical configurations to migration’s dynamics and climate change.

Young change-makers have a unique opportunity for an exchange of views with senior representatives and presenting their ideas.

The Programme 2019

Bettina Müller
MC and presenter, Journalist RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera

Myassa Djebara
MEM Young Change-Maker 2018 and Co-presenter

Hatim El Otmani
MEM Young Change-Maker 2018 and Co-presenter

 

Saturday 24 August

Boas Erez
Rector, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

Marco Borradori
Mayor, Lugano, Switzerland

Manuele Bertoli
State Councilor, Republic and Canton of Ticino, Switzerland

Marina Carobbio Guscetti
President of the National Council, Switzerland

Cultural heritage – in its material, immaterial and natural dimensions – plays a vital role for social and economic development. The Middle East Mediterranean region is home to an extraordinarily rich heritage (over 50 sites are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List), a valuable instrument for dialogue between different cultures, traditions, and identities. The challenge now being faced consists in turning it into something that can be shared and enjoyed responsibly and sustainably by everyone of us, and in safeguarding it from conflicts, climate change, and mass tourism. Tourism is affected by continuous ups and downs in a region whose remarkably rich and heterogeneous culture naturally attracts substantial tourist flows. Political instability and security issues have led to a slump in tourism in some countries of the region, to the detriment not only of the economy, but also of the condition of the cultural sites themselves.
Speakers presented the programmes and interventions of UNESCO, as well as the initiatives undertaken by the European Union in support of the idea of a shared heritage, such as “cultural routes” and sustainable and responsible tourism.

Lazare Eloundou Assomo
Director, Culture and Emergencies, UNESCO, France

Yves Ubelmann
President and Co-founder, Iconem, France

Stefano Dominioni
Executive Secretary, Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA); Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, Luxembourg

Suzy Hatough
Director, Middle East Travel and Tourism Development Network, Middle East University, Jordan

Eduardo Santander
Executive Director, European Travel Commission ETC, Belgium

Hanaa Said S. Mcdady
Young change-maker

Lorenzo Cantoni
Moderator – Prorector and Professor, UNESCO Chair, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

Several historical and structural reasons have been cited for the absence of democracy in the Arab world: external influences; oil; top-down ideologies (Arab nationalism, followed by political Islam); and the dominance of armies. Yet, since 2011, popular mass movements in many countries have tried to get rid of autocracy, as has most recently been the case in Algeria and Sudan. The panel analysed how the four factors mentioned have played out in different countries in the past, and how much they continue to matter in the different States that have aspired or still aspire to achieve democracy. Similarly, panellists assessed both implications and prospects of the rise of a new democratic order, as well as the peculiarities, the variables and constants of the transitional phases in the various countries. The uprisings of 2011 and more recent ones have yielded different results in Tunisia, Algeria, and Egypt. The experts on the panel looked carefully at these results and illustrate them by highlighting local and global dynamics of the whole region.

Ishac Diwan
Professor, PSL – Paris Sciences et Lettres, École normale supérieure, France

Karin Kneissl
Ambassador; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Analyst, Austria

El Mouhoub Mouhoud
Professor, University of Paris Dauphine PSL, France

Safwan M. Masri
Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, Columbia University, USA

Rolla Scolari
Journalist, Italy

Majd Nassaralah
Young change-maker

Lorenzo Cremonesi
Moderator – Journalist and Middle East Correspondent Corriere della Sera, Italy

In this panel, two ministers and some designated spokespersons engaged in a dialogue on global and regional issues that are the focus of public attention and concern, and affect the present and the future of the younger generations.  Involving a plurality of voices and different generations, the young spokespersons discussed their visions of the Middle East Mediterranean region, and presented their proposals to Ignazio Cassis, Head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and Carmelo Abela, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Malta.

Carmelo Abela
Minister, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Republic of Malta

Ignazio Cassis
Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation (FDFA), Switzerland

Mostafa Pakdel Majd
Young change-maker

Kamal Akaya
Young change-maker

Asma Mokhtari
Young change-maker

Firas A. Y. Taher
Young change-maker

Berat Kjamili
Young change-maker

Roberto Antonini
Moderator – Journalist, RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera, Switzerland

Tarik M. Yousef
Director, Brookings Doha Center, Qatar; Board Member, Central Bank of Libya, Libya

Gilles Kepel
Moderator – Professor and Scientific Director of the Middle East Mediterranean Freethinking Platform, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland; PLS Paris Sciences et Lettres-École Normale Supérieure, France

Film director Amos Gitaï, in conversation with film historian Olmo Giovannini, discussed the concept of ‘border’ and the thematic and formal questions he has had to tackle during his professional career. The theme of borders lends itself to exploring further questions related to mobility. Sometimes invisible, borders in some areas of the Middle East Mediterranean end up being so physically massive that they are impossible to cross. Does cinema stand for a symbolic space or a symbolic crossing of all borders? This is one questions that were answered by the Israeli film director, who has turned cities, borders, territories, and insuperable limits into key leitmotifs of his cinema.

Amos Gitaï
Filmmaker and Author, Israel

Olmo Giovannini
Film historian, Communication Officer at the Dicastero cultura, sport ed eventi, City of Lugano, Switzerland

 

Sunday 25 August

The health and well-being of populations are significantly influenced by socio-economic, environmental and cultural conditions as well as by inequalities. The so-called “social determinants of health” describe the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. Several surveys and studies have shown that these social determinants are closely connected with health conditions, which are generally worse in disadvantaged socioeconomic environments. Inequality is widely recognised as a major obstacle to development. The reduction of inequalities within and among countries is central to the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. The Middle East Mediterranean region is afflicted by various long-term humanitarian crises, the displacement of population, and gender inequality. The situation in some countries of the Middle East Mediterranean region is so critical that it makes it very hard to guarantee every citizen access to healthcare.  In the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan, for instance, there are major mental health problems. This complex topic was debated by experts from the World Health Organisation, politicians, and diplomats.

Pio Wennubst
Vice Director General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland

Benedetto Saraceno
Psychiatrist, Director Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse of WHO, SG Lisbon Institute for Global Mental Health, Italy and Portugal

Maha El-Adawy
MD and Director, Health Protection and Promotion, WHO Office Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt

Souad Abderrahim
Mayor of Tunis, Tunisia

Rabih El Chammay
Psychiatrist, Saint Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon

Hichem Touahria
Young change-maker

Emiliano Albanese
Moderator – Professor, Università della Svizzera italiana; Director, WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Mental Health, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Often, regional co-operation is both the objective and the instrument of projects that involve actors from different countries and different sectors of a region. There have been several success stories, including the CERN SESAME project, launched in Jordan in 2017, which brought together the Palestinian National Authority and Israel, with Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan, and Turkey. The panel discussed various forms of diplomacy – scientific, cultural, and artistic – used to promote intercultural dialogue. The discussion focused on the Sommet des deux rives, the AtWork project of the Moleskine Foundation, and on the projects supported by the Union for the Mediterranean, a consortium of 43 member states.

Herwig Franz Schopper
Advisor, Experimental Physicist, Former Director General CERN and Founding Father of SESAME, Middle East, Jordan

Elena Korzhenevich
Co-Founder and AtWork Program Director, Moleskine Foundation, Italy

Enrico Granara
Minister Plenipotentiary, Coordinator Euro-Mediterranean Multilateral Activities, Directorate General for Political and Security Affairs, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation MAECI, Italy

Cristian Chiavetta
Environmental Engineer and Industrial Researcher, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development ENEA, Italy

Derek Lutterbeck
Deputy Director and Holder of the Swiss Chair, Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies, University of Malta MEDAC, Malta

Maher S. M. Dudeen
Young change-maker

Rolla Scolari
Moderator – Journalist, Italy

This panel has been designed to bring together the results of the dialogue and comprehensively to express various visions emerging from the participatory and multivoiced work carried out by the young change-makers during the Seminar.

Myassa Djebara
MEM Young change-maker 2018 and Co-presenter

Hatim El Otmani
MEM Young change-maker 2018 and Co-presenter

Mohamed Adnene Ben Hajd Yahia
Young change-maker

Khadija El Alami
Young change-maker

Gibran Kokou Freitas
Young change-maker

Abdalfatah Tallouzi
Young change-maker

Gilles Kepel
Moderator – Professor and Scientific Director of the Middle East Mediterranean Freethinking Platform, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland; PLS Paris Sciences et Lettres-École Normale Supérieure, France

Boas Erez
Moderator – Rector, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

Boas Erez
Rector, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

Full programme of the Forum 2019: 

MEM_Summer_Summit_2019_Forum_Programme

Speakers and Presenters 2019

The Presenters

BETTINA MÜLLER

MC and Presenter

Journalist, RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera

MYASSA DJEBARA

Co-presenter

MEM Young Change-Maker 2018

HATIM EL OTMANI

Co-presenter

MEM Young Change-Maker 2018

The Speakers

Souad_Abderrahim_2

SOUAD ABDERRAHIM

Mayor of Tunis, Tunisia

Abela_Carmelo_2

HE CARMELO ABELA

Minister, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Republic of Malta

EMILIANO_ALBANESE_2

EMILIANO ALBANESE

Professor, Università della Svizzera italiana; Director, WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training in Mental Health, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Antonini_Roberto_2

ROBERTO ANTONINI

Journalist, RSI Radiotelevisione svizzera, Switzerland

MANUELE_BERTOLI_1

MANUELE BERTOLI

State Councilor, Republic and Canton of Ticino, Switzerland

Marco_Borradori_2.jpg

MARCO BORRADORI

Mayor, City of Lugano, Switzerland

Lorenzo_Cantoni_2

LORENZO CANTONI

Prorector and Professor, UNESCO Chair, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

olmo_giovannini_2

OLMO GIOVANNINI

Film historian, Communication Officer at the Dicastero cultura, sport ed eventi, City of Lugano, Switzerland

MARINA_CAROBBIO_GUSCETTI​_2

MARINA CAROBBIO GUSCETTI

President, National Council, Switzerland

Ignazio_Cassis_2-1.jpg

HE IGNAZIO CASSIS

Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland

Cristian_Chiavetta_2

CRISTIAN CHIAVETTA

Environmental Engineer and Industrial Researcher, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development ENEA, Italy

Cremonesi_Lorenzo_2

LORENZO CREMONESI

Journalist and Middle East Correspondent, Corriere della Sera, Italy

ISHAC_DIWAN_2.jpg

ISHAC DIWAN

Professor, PSL – Paris Sciences et Lettres, École normale supérieure, France

Dominioni_Stefano

STEFANO DOMINIONI

Executive Secretary, Council of Europe Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes (EPA); Director of the European Institute of Cultural Routes, Luxembourg

RABIH_EL_CHAMMAY_4

RABIH EL CHAMMAY

Psychiatrist, Saint Joseph University, Lebanon

El-Adawy_Maha_2

MAHA EL-ADAWY

MD and Director, Health Protection and Promotion, WHO Office Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt

Eloundou Assomo_2

LAZARE ELOUNDOU ASSOMO

Director, Culture and Emergencies, UNESCO, France

Boas_Erez_2.jpg

BOAS EREZ

Rector, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland

Gitai_Amos_2

AMOS GITAÏ

Filmmaker and Author, Israel

Enrico_Granara_2.jpg

ENRICO GRANARA

Minister Plenipotentiary, Coordinator Euro-Mediterranean Multilateral Activities, Directorate General for Political and Security Affairs, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation MAECI, Italy

Hatough_Susy_2

SUZY HATOUGH

Director, Middle East Travel and Tourism Development Network, Middle East University, Jordan

Nasser_Kamel_2

NASSER KAMEL

General Secretary, Union for the Mediterranean UPM, Spain

Kneissl_Karin_2

KARIN KNEISSL

Ambassador; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Analyst, Austria

Gilles_Kepel_2

GILLES KEPEL

Professor and Scientific Director of the Middle East Mediterranean Freethinking Platform, Università della Svizzera italiana, Switzerland; PLS Paris Sciences et Lettres-École Normale Supérieure, France

Korzhenevich_Elena_2

ELENA KORZHENEVICH

Co-Founder and AtWork Program Director, Moleskine Foundation, Italy

Lutterbeck_Derek_2

DEREK LUTTERBECK

Deputy Director and Holder of the Swiss Chair, Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies MEDAC, University of Malta, Malta

Safwan-Masri_2.jpg

SAFWAN M. MASRI

Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development, Columbia University, USA

Mouhoub_Mouhoud_2

EL MOUHOUB MOUHOUD

Professor, University of Paris Dauphine PSL, France

07.03.2018, , ,  -  .   004ITB07032018.JPG.

EDUARDO SANTANDER

Executive Director, European Travel Commission (ETC), Belgium

Saraceno_Benedetto_2

BENEDETTO SARACENO

Psychiatrist; Director Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse of WHO, SG Lisbon Institute for Global Mental Health, Italy and Portugal

Schopper_Herwig_2

HERWIG FRANZ SCHOPPER

Advisor, Experimental Physicist, Former Director General CERN and one of the Founding Fathers of SESAME, Middle East, Jordan

Rolla_Scolari_2

ROLLA SCOLARI

Journalist, Italy

Yves_Ubelmann_2.jpg

YVES UBELMANN

President and Co-founder, Iconem, France

Magariaf_Tarik_2

TARIK M. YOUSEF

Director, Brookings Doha Center, Qatar; Board Member, Central Bank of Libya, Libya

Pio Wennubst

PIO WENNUBST

Vice Director General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), Switzerland

 

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish?

T. S Eliot, The Waste Land, 1922

The Exhibition

The exhibition Broken cities. A virtual journey from Syria to Iraq proposed an imaginary route to four cities laid waste by conflicts whose violence has over recent years turned them into theatres of war. Pictures of Damascus, Aleppo, Palmyra, and Mosul told their story, a fragmentary story, of this devastation. The landscape of ruins, in Marc Augé’s words, “cannot reproduce the past in its integrity; rather, it alludes intellectually to a multiplicity of ‘pasts’, somehow metonymically, it supplies our eye and our conscience with a dual proof of a lost functionality and an impressive actuality” (Marc Augé, 2003).

Lines from T.S. Eliot’s poem The Waste Land (1922) and others from The Suspended Ode by Imru’ al-Qays (6th century), invited the viewer to a moment of silence, stillness, and meditation, outside time. The exhibition layout was structured in three stages:

Stage one

Stage one displayed photographs by Iconem, a French start-up. Interspersed with literary quotations, these photographs revealed unusual views of the cities and invited the viewers to raise questions about the rubble, the ruins and the meaning of time. It is in the eye of the beholder that the fragments will come to life and take on meaning. The pictures showed piles of rubble: wreckage present of ruins past.

Stage two

In stage two, the documentary Mosul year zero by Roberto Antonini and Philippe Blanc beared testimony to what is left of Mosul, three years after the Isis Caliphate and one year’s fighting. The voices of witnesses are heard over the images, narrating their sad tales of loss and destruction. Besides the documentary, a number of freeze-frames represented crumbled landscapes of Mosul, as well as of Damascus, Aleppo, and Palmyra.

Stage three

Stage three consisted essentially in an immersive cam, the work of e-REAL Logosnet, whereby visitors were able to watch videos produced by Iconem and by Unesco. With extremely striking images, this all-absorbing experience engulfed the eye of the visitors, who found themselves suspended between past and present, here and there, destruction and reconstruction.

Focus

Streaming of the Forum 2019

Day 2 – 25 August 2019

Day 1 – 24 August 2019

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Media Coverage

All the news about the MEM Summer Summit 2019, covered by RSI (Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana), are available here:

https://www.rsi.ch/news/dossier/mem/

A selection of the media coverage of the MEM Summer Summit and related themes is available here:

Forum Registration

By registering, the public was entitled:

• To attend all programme sessions
• To visit the exhibition Broken cities. A virtual journey from Syria to Iraq
To enjoy the networking coffee breaks

Language

English, French, and Italian with simultaneous interpretation.

It is better to debate a question without settling it, than to settle a question without debating it.

Venue

Palazzo dei Congressi

The Forum of the MEM Summer Summit 2020 will take place at Palazzo dei Congressi. It is centrally located, right next to the splendid municipal park, Parco Ciani and its villa, directly on the lake shore.

Practical Information

By train: Lugano is one of the principal stops on the main European North-South route and can be reached from many cities in the northern and southern part of Europe by direct day or night train connections. Check trains and updated departure times from/to Lugano here.

By plane: The quickest way to get to Lugano from most places abroad, will be through a number of airports listed below: 

  • From Milano Malpensa: There are frequent direct bus connections to Lugano (travel time 1hr). These are the main providers operating from Malpensa Airport Terminal 1 and Terminal 2: GiosyTours, LuganoServizi, and JetBus.
  • Lugano Airport is served by Swiss International Air Lines. From the airport, you can take a shuttle bus to the centre of the city or a taxi.
  • Zurich Airport: As an alternative you might consider flying to Zurich and use the train to travel to Lugano (overall, a 2h journey). There is a direct, hourly train from Zurich main station to Lugano. It is a chance to experience the longest train tunnel in Europe by passing under the Gotthard.

For citizens of the following countries, only a valid passport is required to travel in Switzerland: Americas (except Belize, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia and Peru), Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Passport holders from other countries should consult the relevant visa requirements.

Please note that the general visa and entry procedure is described in detail in this information sheet.

The Lugano region is well-known for the beauty of its landscape, lake, mountains and Mediterranean vegetation.

For further information: https://www.luganoregion.com/en

Contact us

For general information about the MEM Summer Summit, please contact:

MEM@usi.ch
tel +41 (0)58 666 4950

Policies

Please find the Personal Data Policies below: 

Personal Data Policies