Safirlab was born in the wake of the Arab Spring, the wave of protests against authoritarian regimes that started in Tunisia in 2011 and swept across Egypt and several countries of the Maghreb and the Middle East. These movements, which were variously successful in obtaining concessions, severely repressed, or the cause of a change of government, created new social dynamics driven in particular by the youth of these countries.
The aim of Safirlab is to support Arab countries in their political transformation by encouraging young people (aged between 20 and 30) who are working for change and involved in projects related to issues of civil society and the media.
Successful applicants are invited to attend an incubation event in Paris with the dual aim of developing their project and facilitating the sharing of experiences. For two weeks, they will receive support both in a group framework and individually, meeting with professionals in their sector. Safirlab is also an opportunity for the creation of a network and for exchanges between young people from the Arab world, all of whom have experienced profound political upheaval and are driven by the same desire for change.
Egyptians, Jordanians, Libyans, Moroccans, Tunisians and Yemenis aged between 20 and 30 working on projects focusing on the issues of citizenship, local governance and the media.
Identification and selection of project candidates
The selection of candidates is a three-stage process:
- Call for applications is launched in French, Arabic and English in the six countries concerned by the project and a screening committee is assembled to shortlist candidates.
- Shortlisted candidates are interviewed by selection committees in their own country.
- Final selection committee gathers at CFI to select the 20 finalists.
CFI and the Institut français team up to launch “SafirLab”, the laboratory for changeJuly 12, 2012
SafirLab Seminar: France supports the key agents of tomorrow´s Arab* companiesSeptember 24, 2012
Week incubation session
The successful candidates attend a training programme with five main components:
- Plenary sessions for group training
- Meetings held under a theme, for discussion of major social issues
- Individual meetings with professionals for advice tailored to each project
- Practical workshops in small groups for an introduction to communication techniques
- Interactive workshops during cultural trips in Paris
SafirLab – 33 enterprising young people from the Arab world gather together in ParisNovember 18, 2013
Follow-up support for initiatives
On their return, dialogue with participants continues locally with the support of the Instituts Français and the cooperation services of the French Embassy in each country, as well as through social networks and regular invitations to CFI events. The goal is to create new opportunities for meetings between participants and foster the creation of a network of young people in Arab countries.