The clash between the Western and Arab culture is an increasingly relevant issue, and misunderstandings between people of these cultures occur every single day. In our multicultural society, where many different cultures live side by side, it’s important that we aim to create a peaceful environment where people understand the differences of another culture and accept each other. Reaching this understanding of the Arab culture enables people to have a nuanced opinion, instead of blindly following what picture the media paints.
The aim of the Learning Program is to prepare the Nour participants for their Summer Project through 8 professional and cultural trainings and workshops.
‘My summer in Cairo was one of the most special ones of my life. I made friends, worked at an amazing organization, discussed Egyptian politics with my waiter while sipping my early morning double espresso, that sort of stuff. I sure have collected my share of stories – and I can only encourage others to go out and do the same thing.’
Sacha Hilhorst, Nour Participant 2013, Egypt
‘Rich or poor, Bahraini people are one of the most generous people I have met. At the end of Ramadan, Mahmood, one of the AIESECers, invited me for Eid, the Feast of Breaking the Fast. We went to his grandmother’s house where everybody from his family came together.’
Floor Meijs, Nour Participat 2013, Bahrain
The highlighted countries on the map below are the destinations for the Nour Project 2014.
As a Nour participant you pay €265 when starting the project. Of this, €250 is the regular AIESEC fee and goes to AIESEC the Netherlands for administrative costs. The other €15 is mostly spend on Learning Program activities, like the Nour weekend in March and the 8 professional preparation activities.
Travel and living costs are at the student’s own expenses, where flying to Oman for example would be more expensive than Morocco. The cost of living is generally lower than in the Netherlands, but again, this will be higher in Oman than in Morocco or Tunisia.
Housing is generally free and organized by the local AIESEC committees in the countries of destination. Nour participants usually stay in a host family and sometimes in student houses. It can occur however, that students will have to pay some rent, which is something that needs to be discussed with the AIESEC committee of that specific country.
Off course we would not want to send students abroad if it were not safe. Therefore we have regular contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassies and the local AIESEC organizations abroad to stay updated about the current situation. If we have any doubt about a country’s safety, we would want you to change your preference to a stable Arab country. We do our very best to ensure your safety, we cannot guarantee anything however, so you must keep in mind that traveling is always at own risk and so is traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.
Applications for summer 2014 are closed. The applications for the Nour Project 2015 will open in December 2014 and will be open until February 2015. You can apply by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your CV and a motivation letter in English.
The selection for the Nour Project consists of 3 rounds. This is necessary to get a complete picture of the competences and motivation of the participants.
The first round is based on the motivation letter and CV of the applicant. The second round focuses on motivation and is held towards the end of Februrary; through an individual interview you can illustrate your motivation for the Nour Project. When you are selected for the third round we go deeper into the different competences you need to have when going abroad with the Nour Project. This round is held in March and will be a CORE interview, which is a method AIESEC uses for interviewing applicants, based on their experiences in the past. You will be provided with information to prepare yourself. You will be observed on the competences we think a Nour participant needs when going to a country in the Arab world.
The countries of destination vary every year. The countries are chosen based on safety, political stability and if there are enough interesting projects raised for the Summer Project. The countries for summer 2014 are Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Oman. In previous years Nour participants have gone to Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain and Qatar among others.
The projects are mainly developmental or cultural, like working at SOS Children’s Villages or working at a Human’s Rights office. However, more professional options are available too, such as writing a local NGO’s business plan or teaching economics. It is important to realize that the project is a way to truly immerse in the Arab culture by working with locals. The main goal of the Nour Project is to dive into the Arab culture and learn about previously unknown aspects of the culture, whereas the importance of the project is secondary.
Want to stay informed about this program?
The Lutfia Rabbani Foundation is a private, non-profit organization which seeks to promote cooperation and understanding between Europe and the Arab world through education, dialogue and cultural exchange.
During their summer abroad, you can follow the Nour Participants’ adventures by reading their blogs through this website . This site is a unique page for travellers, in this case providing an excellent medium to track the blogs of a specific Nour participant, by directly selecting a specific region of country!
The Nour Project’s board consists of 8 enthusiastic members that work voluntarily full- or parttime to bring Nour 2014 to a success.
The Nour team consists of:
Yanniek Schoonhoven – Nour Coordinator
Maurits Rabbie – Learning & Reintegration Program Manager
Jotta Schattefor – External Relations & Acquisition Manager
Marante Soontiens – External Relations & Acquisition Manager
Constance van Berckel – Media & Exposure Manager
Lisa Bekkema – HR Manager
Robbert Werker – Foreign Affairs Manager
Andrea Cabezas – Marketing
If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to contact us
AIESEC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Regarding; Nour Project
Achter Sint Pieter 25
3512 HR Utrecht
Tel: +31 (0)30 2538655