Casa Árabe in Same institution, a different approach

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1 CASA ÁRABE

2 Casa Árabe in 2012 Casa Árabe is a convergence space where the Arab world and Spain meet. It plays a pivotal role as facilitator and mediator in international relations and carries on the functions of a knowledge production site. Speeches, lectures, workshops, business meetings, exhibitions, publications, films and thematic weeks have served to establish an active public diplomacy, which is based on a wide network of experts and protagonists. The institution s geographic location, with two great headquarters in Madrid and Cordoba, as well as the role Spain plays in the European Union and in the Mediterranean, place Casa Árabe in a privileged position to promote economic links, to channel cultural dialogue and to analyze those sociopolitical changes which Islamic and Arab countries are undergoing. Casa Árabe in Madrid Casa Árabe in Córdoba Same institution, a different approach With the turn of the government in Spain and the appointment of a new director general, Eduardo López Busquets, the goals of the institution were redefined during the second quarter of Although the role of transmitter of contemporary Arab realities is still essential for the institution, economic diplomacy has gained ground, due to the favourable environment for synergies and business agreements. Besides, this combines with the new budget ceiling stated by the consortium entities which form Casa Árabe, for which a new narrative and specific actions were required. In that sense, together with the Mediterranean basin, the focus has shifted to the Arab Gulf countries, where there s an increased presence of Spanish companies and professionals. 2

3 All along 2012, several changes and reorganizations within Casa Árabe s activity guidelines and strategic priorities have taken place. Specifically the Education area, including the Arabic Language Centre, merged with the Socioeconomic and Business program to give birth to the new Training, Economy and Business area, aimed at offering a more cohesive program to the youth and to professionals in order to support the internationalization and the consolidation of Spanish businesses in Arab countries. Likewise, the Media Library, the Documentation Centre, Publications and the Culture areas were merged into the Culture and New Media department, sharing resources and activities related to the creative contemporary Arab processes. Finally, several research lines developed by Casa Árabe s think tank were gathered under the area of Governance and Democratic Transitions, aimed at analysing the ongoing social political changes in the MENA [Middle East North Africa] region. The new period at Casa Árabe entails an active contribution to the internationalization process, both through courses and training programs, and through the establishment of spaces for meeting and analysis. Different agents and public and private institutions linked to business, education or the academic or cultural world can exchange their knowledge and experiences and are able to set out cooperation lines and launch joint projects. The integration of Casa Árabe s programs and activities with those of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) is a strategic element, as well as with those from the embassies of Arab countries in Madrid and the different institutions composing Casa Árabe (the regional governments of Andalusia and Madrid, and the city councils of Madrid and Cordoba). The activities are structured along three main lines of work and have impact on both headquarters: Cordoba and Madrid. 3

4 Training, Economy and Business: Keys to growth in crisis times Within the context of the current political transformation in Arab countries and the financial crisis in Europe, having an information and analysis tool which also serves for training and reflecting is essential, as it may also enable solutions to the current problems and challenges. The Spanish export sector and the internationalization of Spanish enterprises have been the key growth vectors in past crises and they are also playing that role nowadays, especially in the Arab countries, given their development needs and their potential growth. All this within a context where the hydrocarbons markets are still benefitting from a period of expansion. From this stance, it is imperative to develop and improve those specific linguistic and professional skills related to the human capital which will articulate the opening and internationalization efforts. Youth education and training are the guarantee for the improvement of competitiveness and the international positioning of Spanish business in the future. Learning Arabic close to the Retiro park: Arabic Language Centre In order to attract a younger and professional audience to the Arabic Language Centre (CLA for its Spanish acronym), several changes have been made in the services offered, such as online registration, renovation of the CLA website, a Teachers Hall space and a broader educational offer. Besides standard modern Arabic and Moroccan dialect, which have been offered from the start, since October 2012 we have introduced Egyptian and Levantine Arabic courses as well as in company courses, tailor made and available upon request either from companies or individuals. During 2012 the CLA stood firmly as a reference institution to learn Arabic in Madrid, not only due to the high registration rate (an average of 400 students each quarter) but also to the quality of the teaching team, supported by a continuing education for trainers and the development and elaboration of learning material, namely the publishing of the Basma collection. Regarding the academic professional area, in collaboration with Spanish and foreign universities, Casa Árabe has taken part in the organization of two congresses on Arabic didactics: the International Moroccan Arabic Congress 5th Edition: From oral practice to teaching (April 2012) and Arabele2012, 2nd International Congress on Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language (September 2012), a European and global relevant meeting in this field of pedagogic specialization. 4

5 Courses to increase awareness Among the activities to train and to support internationalization and the promotion of Spanish projects in Arab countries, as well as their sustainability and success, the 2012 guideline of courses aimed at increasingawareness towards the Arab Muslim culture, economy and business in Arab countries stands out. There are specific courses taught to those companies expanding to Saudi Arabia, to those carrying out infrastructure projects in that country, to companies part of the Mecca Medina High Speed Railway Consortium (formed by INECO, Renfe, Adif, Talgo, OHL, Copasa, Indra, Dimetronic, Cobra, Inabensa, Imathia and Consultrans), as well as to enterprises with projection and ongoing projects in the Gulf area. Casa Árabe s Economy and Business Bulletin: Promoting Spanish projects and economic intelligence In 2012 the print version of the Economy and Business Bulletin stopped being published, so it could become a more interactive and dynamic digital instrument and more compatible withthe Economy and Business website. Both reference tools are consolidated as concrete and accurate information providers on economies of the Arab countries organized according to sectors and countries as well as on economic and business relations between Spain and those nations. The Bulletin is sent electronically to more than 7980 contacts in its Spanish version (corporations, professionals, public officers, institutions, associations, universities and general audience) and to 629 in its Arabic version. In 2012, more than 6000 unique visitors accessed the website, visiting of its pages from 84 countries. The Bulletin s Spanish Arabic bilingual characteristic makes it a unique tool to promote Spanish entrepreneurial projects in Arab states, contributing to strengthen Spain s country brand as a synonym of experience and technology in the performance of highly added value endeavours. The fields of engineering, transport and railway, architecture, water management, renewable energies, exports of up market products, fashion, biotechnology, gourmet products within the food and agriculture sector or high level cuisine are particularly emphasized. Workshops and Business Meetings In order to fulfil the objectives of contributing to youth training and of offering interaction and meeting spaces for Arab and Spanish economic agents, Casa Árabe hosted in its headquarters in Madrid the first Meeting on Youth Employment Creation in the Mediterranean Region. It took place during the first semester and gathered experts and representatives from foundations, educational institutions, associations, trade unions and corporations operating on the area. The meeting was organized by Education for Employment in Europe (EuropEFE) and was supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation and the International Labour Organization (ILO). It provided a platform to publish those factors and determining elements of the youth unemployment problem in the Arab countries, as well as to search for solutions, evaluating different initiatives and projects to support youth people on their transition from education to the labour market. Several relevant Arab corporations from Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia and Yemen took part in this event, due to their involvement in EFE s training programs. Among the business meetings organized along the second semester of 2012, there is one to be highlighted because of its symbolical meaning and impact, as well as for its institutional and business backing. The Spain Algeria Economic Forum: Investment Opportunities in Algeria, was held at CaixaForum in Madrid and among the attendants were the Algerian Minister of 5

6 Industry, SMEs and Investment Promotion, Chérif Rahmani; the Spanish Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, José Manuel Soria; the Trade Secretary of State and president of the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), Jaime García Legaz; and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Gonzalo de Benito. On the 50 th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations, this event highlighted the interest and support which Spain s Administration unanimously pays to Spanish Algerian relations. More than 300 companies and Spanish professionals attended the event and it was endorsed by the Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organizations (CEOE) and private firms, such as CaixaBank, Cepsa, Gas Natural Fenosa, Iberdrola and Isolux Corsán, and also the Algerian Air Algérie and Sonatrach. There are thematic weeks organized in collaboration with the embassies of the Arab countries concerned. The Tunisian Sessions, which took place in December, included conferences and cultural events, but also workshops on tourism and a business meeting. They were held thanks to the collaboration of the Tunisian Foreign Investment Promotion Agency (FIPA), the Tunisian National Tourism Office (ONTT) and Tunisair. As a closure for 2012 and within the framework of the agreement signed with the Moroccan Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services, Fathallah Sijilmassi, the Secretary General of the Union for the Mediterranean, gave a speech on The economic outlook and business opportunities in Arab countries of the Mediterranean. He explained the different programs and initiatives which are being implemented in this new stage to support SMEs activities, employment promotion, as well as an improvement on women and youth s mobility chances all over the Mediterranean Basin. In 2013 Tunisia will host the launching of the initiative MED4Jobs. José Luis Pardo, the Deputy Director General for External Relations and EU Business Affairs, took part in this event on behalf of Spain s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation,. 6

7 Governance and Democratic Transition: analyzing current affairs, contributing to development The second pillar in Casa Árabe s activity plan is Governance and Democratic Transitions (GTD), which is headquartered in Cordoba but impacts in Madrid and the rest of Spain. It is defined as an observatory of social and political phenomena affecting the Arab region. After the revolutionary processes, Arab societies and governments face the task of establishing and consolidating democratic systems and regimes, promoting an active civil society and setting transparent working institutions. Taking Spanish experience as an asset, Casa Árabe offers assistance providing knowledge, creating communication channels and supporting those new agents who are to guide and to take part in this crucial stage for the Arab countries. Behind the GTD lies a team of researchers who analyze transformations in the region, and share those discoveries with other colleagues and institutions alike, to offer consultancy services to public and private institutions. All along the first semester of 2012, a set of conferences was held on the Arab Springs evolution, which covered several subjects, from the political change in Egypt to the new role Qatar is playing, or to the situation in Palestine and the role of other non Arab countries such as Iran and Turkey. There is one especially relevant workshop to be marked: the Aspen Mediterranean Initiative (AMI), which was organized in Cordoba from October 22nd to 24th by the Spanish branch of the Aspen Institute and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Cordoba. Among the participants there were also business men, professionals and policy makers from the North of Africa and the Middle East. Casa Árabe Auditorium in Madrid In addition, several lectures on different topics have been held to introduce diverse approaches, including the historical and cultural dimension, in order to contextualize the challenges for development in the region. Among these lectures, the Colonial Heritage from the Spanish Protectorate: Tetuan s case, the capital of the Spanish Protectorate in the North of Morocco (by Abdelouahab Idelhadj, professor at the Abdelmalek Essaadi University of Morocco); Arab Development Challenges: Towards a Developmental State in the Arab Region (by Paolo Lembo, Officer in Charge of the Regional Centre in Cairo, United Nations 7

8 Development Programme, UNDP); The Holy See, Christians and the Arab Awakening (by George Irani, professor of International Relations at the American University of Kuwait); The failure of the Green Movement in Iran (Farian Sabahi, professor at the University of Turin); and Prejudices and Affronts: Islam Image on the Media (Othman al Rawaf, professor at the King Saud University). Casa Árabe Auditorium in Córdoba Institutional collaborations and publications The GTD area contributes to dynamize relations with similar institutions to create synergies and to promote the role of Spain and transfer knowledge of its experience regarding political transition, both to Arab leaders and civil society. Casa Árabe contributes with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) to support the MASAR program (Programme to Accompany the Processes of Democratic Governance in the Arab World), a regional multidisciplinary initiative planned by the AECID to contribute to underpin the ongoing democratization processes through strengthening institutions which guarantee stability of political systems which arose out of the Arab Spring or from those which had already started before their democratic transitional processes. As a Promoter Observation Entity (POE), Casa Árabe has taken part in research projects such as Persistence of Authoritarianism and Political Change Processes in the Middle East and North Africa: Consequences over Political Regimes and the International Scene, and the R&D&i project School, Community and Interculturality: a Study on Inter Cultural and Inter Agent Processes due to the Cultural Diversity Management in the Educative Centers, financed by the Ministry of Science and Innovation ( Spanish National R&D&i Plan). Finally, and although Casa Árabe s publishing activity has diminished in 2012, the effort of presenting a thorough analysis on current affairs remains important. Thus, the publishing of the book Los movimientos islámicos transnacionales [Transnational Islamic Movements], in collaboration with the publishing house Bellaterra, and the biannual printing of AWRAQ. Journal of analysis and ideas about the contemporary Arab and Islamic world. Awraq entered a new stage in 2012, standing as the narrative support to the multidisciplinary work developed by the institution and tackling several matters related to the Arab and Islamic world from a critical and diverse stance. In the second semester of 2012, the fourth issue of the magazine on Turkey and the Arabs was published. 8

9 Culture and New Media: spearhead in cultural dialogue The third pillar of Casa Árabe s projects is the Culture and New Media department (CNM), which has a pioneering position in the promotion of Arab culture among Spanish speaking audiences. With a number of cinema series directed by experts and a diverse catalogue of exhibitions on contemporary art and educational topics, the CNM also hosts the first European Media Library specialized on Contemporary Arab creation. Moreover, since 2012 the area is responsible for those activities related to publishing news and book launches. Exhibitions at Casa Árabe: a window to avant garde and heritage Casa Árabe s exhibitions are guided by two criteria: on the one side, to guarantee the artistic quality and the context pertinence; on the other, to expand networks for artists and curators. Besides hosting exhibitions at our headquarters in Cordoba and Madrid, Casa Árabe is promoting itinerancy through different Spanish and European cities began with the exhibition Graffiti of the Revolution: Politics and citizen creation, which gathered over a hundred street paintings and graffiti pictures from different Arab countries that have undergone revolutionary processes. Its aim was to show the protest through the prism of social creativity expressions on public spaces. After Graffiti of the Revolution, Madrid became the showcase for the Jameel Prize The Jameel Prize, organized in collaboration with the London Victoria and Albert Museum and the support of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI), provided the ten final pieces of work of this renowned prize, which is awarded to those artists whose works and contemporary creations are inspired by Islamic art and culture. 9

10 In the meantime, Cordoba hosted during the first semester the exhibition Orient Breezes. The Spanish Commercial Poster ( ), which was later shown at the UNED University campus in Melilla and then at Fundación Legado Andalusí in Granada. In April, Cordoba welcomed the photography exhibition From Qurtuba to Cordoba, which showed the finalist images from the first photography contest From Qurtuba to Cordoba. The contest was designed by Casa Árabe with the aim of identifying the local heritage linked to the city s Arab and Muslim past. During 2013, this exhibition is to travel to the Gulf countries. As a complementary element to this exhibition, Casa Árabe organized the series of lectures Qurtuba: Unveiling the archaeological Cordoba. It highlighted the Arab Islamic archaeological heritage to raise awareness amongst citizens, promoting respect and paying attention to this legacy. Those lectures were included within the citizen program We are all Archaeology, and were done in collaboration with the Sisyphus Research Group of the Archaeology Department at the University of Cordoba. The year ended up with the exhibition Abel s Sons. Images of the Syrian Bedouins. In October, it was Madrid s turn to inaugurate the exhibition Gardens of Sand. Commercial Photography in the Middle East , which gathers the first images of countries from the Middle East taken by European travellers at the turn of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century. This exhibition is a Canopia and Turner project whose curator is the photography historian and museum curator Clark Worswick. Towards the end of the last semester, several activities took place related to the Arab presence on the Western coasts of Africa, especially in Mozambique. Arab Cinematographies: Knowledge through the Seventh Art Casa Árabe s film program is a reference point for those keen on getting closer to the Arab world. We offer a series of long feature films, short films and documentaries, which are acknowledged not only in Spain but also in Latin American countries which have benefitted from past itinerancies. In 2012 Casa Árabe took advantage of those efforts made in preceding years and also tried to satisfy the demands of the audience by replaying successful former seasons. In Madrid, the programmed screenings were EuroBa and Panorama of Contemporary Arab Documentary Cinema. Experiences and Testimonies; whereas in Cordoba we screened Oriental Fantasies in Spanish Cinema, Passions Laberynth: love and desire in Arab cinema and Urban Cartographies: the city in contemporary Arab cinema. There were also new seasons such as The Independence of Algeria in the Cinema and Arab Cinema Latest Blockbusters; in fall it was the turn of Connected to the amplifier. In 2012 Casa Árabe s film program has also carried on collaborating with Documenta Madrid, providing the selection of documentaries A Year of Spring. 10

11 An important change regarding our cinema is that, like other public institutions, Casa Árabe has set a ticket fee to be paid in order to cover basic maintenance costs. Through the online ticket purchase, the public can get the tickets in advance and with a discount. Workshops: bringing Spanish audiences close to Arab cultural diversity The CNM workshops complement the linguistic training offered by the Training, Economy and Business area, introducing several elements which explore the Arab culture, such as Calligraphy courses taught by Said Mesari or Khaled al Saai; the workshop Orientalism: The depicted Moor by Rogelio López Cuenca; the Darbuka workshop by Hanie Sabbagh Alkarme; the Arab cuisine by Juan Orellana; Music of the Arab world, taught by Brigitte Vasallo; and to the children audience, Games market. Other formats have included the performanceworkshop Sensedpoetry, in collaboration with Cosmopoetry, International Poetry Festival of Cordoba and the workshop Showcooking regarding Arab cuisine. Music and performances Cultural activities at Casa Árabe tend to include music, a far reaching intermediary in terms of cultural dialogue. In 2012, the following concerts took place: Sinouj, African Mediterranean jazz band; Muhsilwan, within the framework of the European Music Day; El Refda, in the program of the Algerian Week; Eduardo Paniagua s performance as part of the Tunisian Sessions. In Cordoba, Casa Árabe hosted a guitar concert, Heart Beats from the Middle East, by the composer and guitar player Fernando Pérez; Caravana, a musical performance included in the Flamenco White Night and also a concert by the Tunisian jazz group Fawzi Chekili Quartet, within the framework of the Guitar Festival of Cordoba. 11

12 Likewise, in accordance with the experimental trends of the art world, the CNM area hosted Exploring Paradigms: Genre, Modernity and Tradition, a video show created by a group of artists who were granted artistic residences by Delfina Foundation; Aegri Somnia, a performance organized by the In Sonora Festival, Showcase of Interactive International Sound Art, which consisted in the juxtaposition of music and video, with the electronic sounds of the Munma Project (Jawad Nawfal) and archive photographs of the city of Beirut by Engram (Caroline Tabet); The adventure of the flute and the string, a simultaneous calligraphy and music performance, an artistic dialogue between the calligrapher Khaled Al Saai and the oud player Hames Bitar; and also From Mayrit to Madrid. Poetry and Music, a poetry reading accompanied by music. Literature and other written words Disseminating books and publications related to the Arab world is at the core of Casa Árabe s mission. Such activities in 2012 included the launching of the following literature and essay pieces: Tánger en primera persona [Tangiers in first person], by Carlos Hernández; España en África. La ciencia española en el Sáhara Occidental ( ) [Spain in Africa, Spanish Science in Western Sahara ( )], by José Antonio Rodríguez; Naciones negras y cultura [Black Nations and Culture]; The Paper Woman, the latest novel of the English writing Lebanese author Rabih Alameddine; Tomorrow I Will Be Twenty Years Old, by Alain Mabanckou in collaboration with Casa África and El Aleph Editores; Árabes de cuentos y novelas. El inmigrante árabe en el imaginario narrativo latinoamericano [Arabs of Tales and Novels. The Arab Immigrant in Latin American Narrative Imagination], by Rigoberto Menéndez; El Nilo Azul. Testimonio de un mundo olvidado [The Blue Nile. Testimony of a Forgotten World[; Tiempo diplomatic [Diplomatic Time], by Manuel Montobbio; El Corán de Toledo (The Quran from Toledo]; Arab Society in Revolt, coedited by Cesare Merlini and Olivier Roy; The Disoriented, by Amin Maalouf, who attended the launching and book signing; and a poetry soiree with Badia Kashgari. 12

13 Apart from books, there were also magazines and reports such as the 38 th issue of Andalucía en la Historia, in collaboration with the Centro de Estudios Andaluces and A Mapping of Translation in the Euro Mediterranean Region, published by Transeuropéennes and the Anna Lindh Euro Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures. Media Library: a Laboratory in Movement Casa Árabe s Media Library is a permanent physical and digital space designed to spread current Arab artistic, political and social affairs. It is also a gathering point for analysing and codifying reflections on the different Arab and Muslim realities. The main challenge has been to transform the Media Library into a virtual space instead of a physical one. Such a relevant challenge is important to guarantee the respect towards intellectual property whilst promoting the dissemination and projection of culture.. Through its web platform it gathers works made by creators and researchers from a wide range of contemporary creative fields, as well as politics and economics, thus enabling a dialogue and the opportunity to exchange information, which place it at the vanguard on databases of its kind both in Spain and in Latin America. During 2012, the Media Library website improved its design, making it more intuitive to access documents and binding the two previous databases. The Media Library supports cultural activities by highlighting its collections and own resources related to the topics tackled by Casa Arabe`s exhibitions. In 2012 these were: urban art with Graffiti of the Revolution: Politics and citizen creation; the contemporary Islamic art with the Jameel Prize 2011, for which the link Library.casaarabe.es/jameelprize/index.html was set; the figure of Emir Abd el Kader with Emir Abd el Kader: a Man, a Destiny, a Message and ancient photography with Gardens of Sand. Commercial Photography in the Middle East In addition, the documentation space has been consolidated through the creation of three new sections: economy, politics and society (with periodical unreleased publications in Spain which feed the web catalogue) and a section focused on literatures, which contribute to cultural dialogue. Simultaneously, the project of setting a Media Library at Casa Árabe in 13

14 Cordoba is gaining ground, since cultural activity will be enforced by joint work with Madrid and online consultation of our resources. Media Library in figures The Media Library had in electronic resources and 7910 computerised documents in the catalogue. The film library compiles up to 806 films, with a section on Arab music with 524 elements and 44 magazine titles both national and international. During this period there have been 3969 in person visits, a 16 per cent rise in comparison with the previous year, and 2087 virtual accesses which have visited 4115 webpages of the Media Library. Visit classification: Electronic resources searches in the Media Library Study and research in the hall 632 External information requests 82 In person information requests 159 Guided visits 47 Interested public visits 252 Internet use 1328 Casa Árabe in the Net: an indelible digital footprint In 2012 the main actions of the Communication and Press department have been geared towards the Internet, improving Casa Árabe s main website (www.casaarabe.es) in its three interfaces (Spanish, English and Arabic) as well as consolidating its position in different social networks (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube) From January to December, the website got unique visitors (more than 260 different ones a day) which visited times the website (with an average of more than 400 visits a day). This year per cent of those who visited the website were regular visitors, which is a sign showing the consolidation of the institution as a reference on its field. It can also be pointed out by listing the cities and countries from which more visits were received. In Spain, the regions from which more visits are made are Madrid, Cordoba, Barcelona, Seville, Granada, Valencia, Malaga and Alicante. Sorted by countries, among the top ten, besides Spain, we find the United States, Mexico, Morocco, France, Argentina, United Kingdom, Colombia, Italy and Germany. 14

15 An institution with an international presence Website interfaces in English and Arabic are also showing consolidation signs. Their aim is to spread Casa Árabe s work beyond our borders and also to pave the way for bringing in more contributions from international organizations. For instance, the English interface reached 8459 visits in 2012, from 6869 users who have visited pages. Data shows that per cent were new visitors, a reflection of the international impact of Casa Árabe s activities. In 2012 the website of the Arabic Language Center (http://www.casaarabe.es/p/centro delengua arabe) was launched. It adds to the other two websites: Media Library (http://media Library.casaarabe.es/) and Economy and Business (http://economia.casaarabe.es/). All three have reinforced Casa Árabe s website position as a path not only to be informed on the activities organized by the institution, but also to access its own resources or those from other specialised organisations. and social impact Regarding social networks, Casa Árabe has strengthened its position all along On Facebook (www.facebook.com/casaarabe), its community had more than 7300 members at the end of They receive daily updates on the activities which take place and also visit our website afterwards, as more than 5 per cent of the visits are due to those updates. Regarding Twitter Casa Árabe s account doubled the 2011 figure, with more than 2600 followers in Furthermore, at the turn of 2012 a new specific channel was created, showing that the institution is making an effort to spread Arab cinematography in non Arabic countries, by including both its own activities and those other initiatives from similar organizations and film festivals. In 2012, the institution s YouTube channel got views of a total of 76 videos on speeches, concerts and exhibitions organized by Casa Árabe. The three most watched videos have had more than a thousand hits, and in global users have shared 63 recordings. Over the twelve months in 2012, 35 people have subscribed to the channel s contents, which are permanently updated. Subscriptions and press Parallel to these tools aimed at informing the public, the Communication department at Casa Árabe has sent exclusive E mails and the Casa Árabe News digital bulletin, which reaches subscribers weekly. Similarly, specific actions for media have been made, contributing to spread Casa Árabe s work, like press notes, press kits, callings for briefings and press conferences, interviews with guests and participants, as well as with researchers working for the institution. 15

16 All of this is meant to enlarge the dissemination of Casa Árabe s work both inside and outside Spain, strengthening the institution s as a reference point for understanding the diverse and complex Arab contemporary realities. Consolidation and widening of institutional relations In 2012, the collaboration network with public and private institutions widened and it included, among others: the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed), the Elcano Royal Institute, the Foundation for International Relations and External Dialogue (FRIDE), the Anna Lindh Euro Mediterranean Foundation for Dialogue between Cultures (ALF), the CIDOB (Barcelona Centre for International Affairs), the School of Translators of Toledo, the International Mediterranean Studies Workshop (TEIM), the Observatory of Politics and Elections in the Arab and Muslim World (OPEMAM), the European Council for Foreign Relations (ECFR), the Education for Employment (EFE), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Saudi Spanish Center for Islamic Economics & Finance (SCIEF), IE Business School, King Abdulaziz University, Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Barcelona Institute for GlobalHealth (ISGlobal), Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services from Morocco to Spain (CCISME), Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), Spanish Confederation of Employers' Organizations (CEOE), Spain Morocco Jurist Forum, Euro Arab Institute Foundation for Education and Training Granada, Confederation of Employers in Cordoba (CECO); Aspen Institute España; Cooperation Department, City Council of Cordoba; Public University of Navarre, Pamplona; Andalusian Studies Centre, Andalusian Regional Government; UNESCO Chair in conflicts resolution, University of Cordoba; Three Cultures Foundation of the Mediterranean, Seville; Tourism and World Heritage of the City Council of Cordoba; the Archaeological Ensemble of Madinat al Zahra; Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (Federal Agency for Civic Education); Euro Mediterranean Study Commission (EuroMeSCo network); Faculty of Political Sciences and Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid; Universidad of Granada; University of Lisbon; University of North Carolina; International Association of Independent Producers of the Mediterranean(APIMED); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; San Sebastian International Film Festival; the Sixth Edition of the Arab and Mediterranean Film Festival of Catalonia; African Film Festival of Cordoba (FCAT), 3 rd Edition of the Palestinian Film Festival in Madrid, Victoria & Albert Museum, Canopia Management, Delfina Foundation. 16

17 Balqis: Casa Árabe s Bookshop Balqis, Queen of Sheba, is the name of the Balqis Bookshop at Casa Árabe and symbolizes the richness of the editorial production on Arab and Islamic topics. The bookshop is located at the headquarters in Madrid and offers a wide selection of titles published in Spain covering a spectrum of themes: Arabic, sociology, politics, history, narrative, poetry, thought, art, photography, children literature, comics, cooking, travels and so on. There are also a wide variety of titles in Arabic and other languages, CDs and DVDs. In 2012, there were two main releases by established authors Rabih Alameddine and Amin Maalouf. From the beginning, Casa Árabe has shown determination in promoting books which otherwise would go unnoticed, due to, among other things, the scarce number of bookshops dedicated to Arab topics. We consider books as a gateway to the Arab world, both for the general audience and for the experts. In this context, Casa Árabe participates in the main Spanish book fairs such as Cordoba, Granada, Seville and Madrid. And in 2012, Casa Árabe also took part in Maputo s fair in Mozambique. To eat well is culture as well To close with a high note in the culinary realm, Casa Árabe invited Shukran restaurant, specialized in Lebanese food, to run its cafeteria. The visitors of the headquarters in Madrid are therefore able to have a complete experience. After having visited the exhibition, looked through new books at the Balqis Bookshop or attended a cinema premiere, Casa Árabe offers the chance to taste a good tabbouleh, a shawarma or a mint tea. In 2013 there will also be a terrace, just opposite to the Retiro Park. 17

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