Center for Arab-West Understanding
Counteract media bias and bridge inter-communal gaps within the Middle East and the Arab World and the West; Contribute to the prosperity and stability of the region and in particular Egypt.
Established in June 2007, CAWU is an Egyptian non-governmental organization, run by volunteers, and promotes dialogue by holding monthly forum meetings and discussion groups.
- Arab West Report
Arab West Report is an electronic magazine and academic database registered in the Netherlands under ISSN number 2210-3597, dedicated to promoting understanding and dialogue between Muslim and non-Muslim communities, and the Arab World and the West since 1997. These activities are based on the philosophy that understanding can only be reached by providing accurate, un-biased, non-partisan information to those involved. AWR has been accomplishing this by producing interviews, background reports and longer academic papers to inform researchers, policy-makers, politicians, journalists and academics worldwide
- The Holy family in Egypt
The Holy family in Egypt is a project inspired by the book 'Be Thou There - The Holy Family in Egypt' (AUC Press, 2001) co-authored by Drs. Hulsman. The Holy Family tradition is extremely important as it reflects the history of the church in Egypt and shows Christian locations in a Muslim realm and how the two have interacted since the beginning of Islam in Egypt
- Adoption of Qufādah Village
In 2014, CAWU began the project of sponsoring the village of Qufādah in Upper Egypt. Qufādah has been used by CAWU to demonstrate how dialogue leads to improved inter-faith and cultural relations due to the excellent inter-communal relations in the village. The population of the village were highlighted in a lecture to the European Parliament by CAWU board member Cornelis Hulsman when speaking on inter-communal relations in Egypt
- Qufādah Micro-Finance Project
To help the local community generate sustainable income, various projects have been set up by the Coptic community leader, Father Yu'annis in coalition with the Salafi Shaykh Hamdi. The aim of these projects is to become financially self-sustainable through the use of initial investments through a micro-finance system, instead of one-time donations. Projects include for example a barbershop, a kindergarten and an electronics shop, serving the community on a wide range of daily necessities. Another aim of this project is to cut across the religious divided. The Qufādah community is remarkable for having warm relations between Muslims and Christians, and so the program will be directed and executed by Christians and Muslims in tandem. A village project group will specify and monitor the programs, and villagers of both religions will be hired to conduct and implement the programs. Also, the project hopes to halt the emigration of men from the village, as men normally seeking employment elsewhere are given an opportunity to work in the village, and thus remain with their families. Ultimately, this project hopes to strengthen the village's economic and well social fabric, while promoting interfaith relationships and dialogue
- No More Fitna
'No More Fitna' was the first project started by the Center for Arab-West Understanding and underscored the importance of encouraging and facilitating inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue. In 2008, the controversial Dutch MP, Geert Wilders, released the short-film 'Fitna' on the website Liveleak. Approximately 15 minutes in length, the film shows Qu'ranic quotes intermingled with clips and images of violence arguing that Islam incites people to violence. In anticipation of the film's release in late March 2008, CAWU organised a delegation of Islamic and Christian leaders to come to Cairo on March 24th to March 28th. The main message that the delegation seeks to send to the Arab and Islamic world is that the Dutch men of religion, as well as many people, refuse the content of the offensive film and also the statements of the producer. CAWU also took part in the lively discussion at Cairo University on 8 April 2008. Two days later, on the 28 March 2008, CAWU released a petition to the Dutch Parliament in protest against the actions of MP Geert Wilders and his polarization of dialogue between Muslims and Christians and the Arab World and the West
- One Hand / The Movie
A few months into their marriage, Johnny and Rebecca Weixler, from Lebanon County, Pennsylvania travelled to Egypt to film a documentary in Egypt on Christian-Muslim relations post-2011 Uprising. Their finished product is a gripping and revealing exposure on Muslim-Christian relations in revolutionary Egypt. The Center for Arab-West Understanding helped in the production of, and facilitation of interviews for the documentary. The title of the finished product - 'One Hand / The Movie' - is a reference to a common slogan of the revolution.
Main Focus Countries of Activities
Virtual - Egypt - Egypt - Egypt - Egypt - Netherlands - Egypt