The Tharwa Foundation
The Tharwa Foundation was established to provide a supportive environment for democratic principles and practices in the Broader Middle East and North Africa region. Through programs that encourage inter-communal dialogue and leadership development, Tharwa uses a range of educational, networking, and outreach strategies to enable people of different religious, economic and ethnic backgrounds to come together to discuss peaceful solutions to the region's longstanding sociopolitical and developmental challenges.
Since its inception, Tharwa has been guided by a vision for the region’s future, based upon:
• The emergence of an open and self-empowering commonwealth of nations in the Broader Middle East and North Africa region, where traditional communal identifications – ethnic, religious, and linguistic – are sources of the region’s wealth and prosperity, rather than its division and decline. • Increased political awareness and issue-based, grass-roots mobilization among disenfranchised groups in the region • A growing role for local, national, and supranational non-state actors and institutions, forming the basis of vibrant civil societies where diversity is respected and celebrated • Democratic governments that respond to the demands and needs of their citizens and address the basic developmental challenges of their countries and their growing problems of economic stagnation, political apathy and extremism • Respect for the rights of all persons residing in the region, in accordance with the principles outlined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international conventions on human rights.
In order to work for the fulfillment of this vision, a diverse regional network of democracy and human rights activists, journalists, bloggers, students, and professionals have been established at the turn of the new millennium: the Tharwa Community. This community, like any other, derives its strength in numbers. The work of the Foundation is meant primarily to foster the expansion of the Tharwa Community as a network of individuals and organizations that can make positive contributions to the region's social and political development. Through its publications and multimedia reports, educational and training programs, and support for grass-roots human rights initiatives, the Foundation seeks to nourish a culture that values greater inter-communal cooperation and solidarity and greater respect for democratic processes.