Cultural exchange and twinning Italy – Tunisia. April 2017

From 8 to 12 April was held the first part of a cultural exchange and twinning between the Language High School – Higher Education Institute “Cipolla – Pantaleo – Gentile” Castelvetrano (Italy), and the similar course of studies of the Lycée Secondaire Moslem Imam – El Menzah, Tunis (Tunisia), called “Selinunte – Carthage.”

The initiative promoted by the Phoenicians’ Route – Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in collaboration with the Institute of Higher Education “Cipolla – Pantaleo – Gentile”, as part of activities to promote cultural exchanges and intercultural dialogue of the EDU.NET Mediterranean Schools Network of the Phoenicians’ Route, created with the aim of setting up pedagogical – linguistic exchanges  and cultural ties between the two schools through educational visits involving students and teachers.

Tunisian students, accompanied by Italian and Spanish teachers, have been in Sicily from 8 to 12 April; the Italian delegation will go to Tunisia in late April.

During such visits twenty Tunisian students were hosted at the home of their Italian peers, and have had the opportunity to experience the family atmosphere and understand the lifestyle and habits of their respective communities.

A twinning is a link of brotherhood and arises when two educational institutions feel a particular closeness and empathy for cultural, geographical, identity ties, for the sharing of human and cultural values that are manifested through symbolic acts intending to be concrete signs of bond of established friendship.

The educational activity of the twinning aims to highlight the similarities and differences between the groups involved, so that the knowledge of the common elements foster the encounter and the sense of belonging to the same Mediterranean community, and awareness of diversity, experienced not as a source of misunderstanding and source of conflict, but as a resource to be enhanced, to give life to an intercultural reality. These journeys are also valuable opportunities for language training, given the studies done by the students involved.

Finally are unique moments to create opportunities for reflection on the many cultures that make up the Mediterranean, in order to reflect on the various facets that characterize this region as well as to learn more about themselves and others.

In the program of activities in Sicily were included visits to Selinunte, Mozia – Marsala, Gibellina and Sambuca di Sicilia – Zabut as well as a day of activities in the High School for welcome by the Head teacher, Dr. Tania Barresi , to learn about the school and the city of Castelvetrano.

This event is a prelude to an intense and effective collaboration between the two schools in the years to come. All this to encourage linguistic studies of students (European and Arabic languages) and the exchange of knowledge between young people from both shores of the Mediterranean.