OIC hosts delegation from UN Alliance of Civilization

By JEDDAH: ARAB NEWS

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) hosted fellows from the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (AoC) for a three-day visit to Jeddah, the first such visit by the AoC Fellowship Program.

The OIC organized a program for the 12-member European and North American delegation, from April 11-13. It included visits to NGOs, economic and business institutions, higher education and media institutions as well as arts and cultural activities.

The fellowship program is one of several launched by the AoC as part of its efforts to facilitate intercultural dialogue at the grass-roots level, one of the OIC’s activities to foster better understanding among people of different cultures and break through stereotypes and misconceptions.

The delegation was headed by Jean Christophe Bas, the AoC director, and included 12 fellows with different professional backgrounds from Europe and the US. Bas met Ambassador Vefahan Ocak, director general of Cabinet at the OIC, before both opened the discussion between the fellows and OIC staff.

The delegation was given a brief overview of the OIC, its departments and activities. This was followed by a long discussion and exchange of views on current political issues in OIC member states, and included economic issues, women’s issues, the media and the youth.

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Fellows from the United Nations Alliance of Civilization pose with mediapersons during a working lunch hosted by Arab News and Sayidaty magazine in Jeddah. (AN photo)

2 replies

  1. The development set

    Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet
    I’m off to join the Development Set;
    My bags are packed, and I’ve had all my shots
    I have traveller’s checks and pills for the trots!

    The Development Set is bright and noble
    Our thoughts are deep and our vision global;
    Although we move with the better classes
    Our thoughts are always with the masses.

    In Sheraton Hotels in scattered nations
    We damn multi-national corporations;
    injustice seems easy to protest
    In such seething hotbeds of social rest.

    We discuss malnutrition over steaks
    And plan hunger talks during coffee breaks.
    Whether Asian floods or African drought,
    We face each issue with open mouth.

    We bring in consultants whose circumlocution
    Raises difficulties for every solution —
    Thus guaranteeing continued good eating
    By showing the need for another meeting.

    The language of the Development Set
    Stretches the English alphabet;
    We use swell words like “epigenetic”
    “Micro”, “macro”, and “logarithmetic”

    It pleasures us to be esoteric —
    It’s so intellectually atmospheric!
    And although establishments may be unmoved,
    Our vocabularies are much improved.

    When the talk gets deep and you’re feeling numb,
    You can keep your shame to a minimum:
    To show that you, too, are intelligent
    Smugly ask, “Is it really development?”

    Or say, “That’s fine in practice, but don’t you see:
    It doesn’t work out in theory!”
    A few may find this incomprehensible,
    But most will admire you as deep and sensible.

    Development set homes are extremely chic,
    Full of carvings, curios, and draped with batik.
    Eye-level photographs subtly assure
    That your host is at home with the great and the poor.

    Enough of these verses – on with the mission!
    Our task is as broad as the human condition!
    Just pray god the biblical promise is true:
    The poor ye shall always have with you.

    – Ross Coggins

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