Rabat — A new international campaign plans to combat xenophobia and genocide by gathering online videos from young people across the globe.
The "Exit Genocide" project involves producing a feature-length film made up of thousands of original videos from the internet.
The initiative was launched in Morocco on Friday (October 25th) and is being led by American NGO World Memory Film Project (WMFP), in partnership with the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) and the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO). The venture is sponsored by Adama Dieng, the special advisor on the prevention of genocide to the UN secretary-general.
Young filmmakers from all over the world have been asked to post their videos, which can be stories, an original artistic creation or a report on a specific topic.
The goal is to enable the young people of today, who will be the decision-makers of tomorrow, to build a world free from the xenophobia that leads to exclusion and killing, according to Michael Kirtley, the journalist and filmmaker who is overseeing WMFP.
It is an unprecedented experiment and the first of its kind in that it originated in a southern Mediterranean nation.
Morocco was chosen as the launch pad for the international awareness-raising project because the country is a window onto the world by virtue of its history as a tolerant and open-minded nation, Kirtley said. He said that due to the country's pioneering efforts to address human rights issues, especially the question of sub-Saharan migrants travelling to Europe, CNDH is a global leader.
CNDH President Driss El Yazami emphasised that Morocco was paying great attention to this matter. He urged young Moroccans to participate in this project en masse by making short films that reflect their views on the subject of xenophobia and genocide.
The initiative will inform the youths about their past and hence make them aware of the need to get more involved in activities aimed at combating hatred, ISESCO chief Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri said.
When contacted by Magharebia, many young people expressed interest in participating in the international campaign, which will give them a voice.
Zohra Saboni, a 19-year-old student, said she was beginning to think about an idea for a short film about intolerance and hatred.
"As soon as I found out that the project was being launched, I decided to be one of the global participants. Young people must take a stand against hatred and violence. We must speak with one voice," she said.
That view was shared by Ihab Ramouchi, a 22-year-old student. With two friends, he hopes to create a short film to tackle violence and intolerance and encourage people to be open-minded and accepting of others.
"Our main idea is the fight against terrorism and extremism, a phenomenon which is spreading around the world. It's time for young people to speak up and express their points of view on the subject," he said.
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