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To stand up for civil societies worldwide our Berlin headquarters are launching the Global Perspective Conference on “The Future of Civil Spaces” with over 160 international participants. In coordination with the conference the Heinrich Böll Foundation also launched the Civic Charter which is the global framework for people’s participation and aims to protect civil societies. The charter calls on governments to guarantee and protect civil societies.

A strong, vibrant, and diverse civil society is part of a functioning democracy – it is the air that a democracy needs to breathe.

On the evening of 27 October 2016, we would like to analyze the political situation with international guests from civil society. We want to know the specifics of how the work of civil society organizations is restricted, and the impact this has on their work. Furthermore, we would like to focus on counter strategies and get into a political dialogue about how politics can react to the repressive measures affecting civil society all over the world.

Jerusalem Quarterly (JQ) is preparing a special issue on residual spaces and their historical context.

Submission deadline: 1 December 2016.

The Ibrahim Dakkak Award for Outstanding Essay on Jerusalem will be awarded to an outstanding essay that addresses either contemporary or historical issues relating to Jerusalem. The winning submission will receive a prize of $1,000 and will be published in the Institute's Jerusalem Quarterly.

Muwatin is holding its 22nd Annual Conference on Friday 30/9/2016 and Saturday 1/10/2016 at Birzeit University, titled 'The Complex Challenges Facing Palestinian Universities: Is there a Way Out?', and funded by hbs.

Protecting and expanding civil society space nationally and internationally

In the last years we have witnessed that freedom of speech and movement has come under attack. The space for civil society is shrinking - not only in the Middle East, but all over the world, even in well-developed countries.

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Berlin has compiled a webdossier discussing this subject, which will be enlarged and expanded over time. You will find thematic articles as well as regional examples. Please have a look.

Dear students,

The Middle East is in disarray, millions of refugees are fleeing Syria, Iraq and other countries for safer shores. Palestinian refugees in these countries are being uprooted again and search for a secure haven. Migrants are wandering in search of opportunities and a future. How do MENA countries cope with this situation and what does it mean for Europe? These and more questions will be discussed in the “Global Politics Fall School” in Jordan. The school is organized jointly by the German-Jordanian University in Amman and the Center for Global Politics in Freie Universität Berlin. It will take place between 1 to 12 of October 2016 in Amman, Jordan.

Are you interested? Then sign up for the Fall School. Hurry up, the deadline is the 21st of September. For more information contact our office.


Barbara Unmüßig correlates the Olympics with Brazil’s institutional, political and economic crisis. Did the organizers learn a lesson from the World Cup in 2014?

On 14 September 2015, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Ramallah welcomed official representatives, partners, colleagues and friends on the occasion of the farewell & Welcome of hbs directors. 

A letter from Gaza, describing the impossibility of getting back to 'normal' one year after the war. Real change is needed before it is too late.


By Michelle Pace

Personal reflections from a visit to Gaza, 14-19 October, 2014

In this article, Michelle Pace writes about her recent visit to the Gaza Strip. Pace taught an intensive research training course for young researchers in Gaza in cooperation with HBS and Palthink. The course took place only weeks after the 51-day-war on Gaza this summer. Pace is an International Relations specialist and a professor at Roskilde University in Denmark. She is also a Honorary Professor in Politics and International Studies at the Department of Political Science and International Studies.

Hosting the FIFA World Cup focuses the world's attention on the host country and lends the promise of economic and social gains, all enveloped in a charged atmosphere of football emotion. But for the first time in history, a multitude of questions are being raised about the real meaning of an international mega-event for the host population. Reflecting on these issues and the much discussed question in Brazil of "Cup for whom?," the Heinrich Böll Foundation and invited journalists and specialists have put their analyses together in this DOSSIER. News items, articles, maps, photos, and videos show how the actions of FIFA, governments, and sponsors are increasingly commercializing public spaces in Brazil, using the justification that Brazilians will reap future benefits for hosting the World Cup.

This post was originally published on Notes by Noon

It was the first time for me to attend an Arab Blogger's Meeting and although I hadn't met many of the participants physically before, through our interaction over the years our virtual connection had been well established. There was an air of familiarity, comradeship and solidarity which laid the basis for new friendships. Sadly, there were activists and bloggers who were absent either due to unjust incarceration or shameful red tape which prevented them from being physically there, yet their presence was very much felt amongst us.

"What made Bab Al-Shams significant was the fact that it asserted that Palestinian activists would not simply react to injustices the occupation laid at our doorstep, but that we were determined to create our own realities on the ground"....

Between April and August 2012, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung is implementing in cooperation with the Arab Women Organization (AWO) a national conference and a training workshop to integrate women rights into democratic reform in Jordan

Between January and November 2012, the Heinrich Böll Stiftung is implementing a project with the CWLRC on research and advocacy about the divorce of young women in Gaza.The center works to formulate the legal and social vision for women as the main partner to men in building the Palestinian society on the basis of democracy

​The Third Arab Blogger Meeting convened in Tunisia in cooperation with Heinrich Böll Stiftung, the international network Global Vocies and the Tunesian platform of internet activists Nawaat. More than 100 cyberactivists from across the Arab World participated in the „unconference“, as the meeting was called due to its unusual agenda of open meetings and ad-hoc presentations. They exchanged their experience and discuss their role in the Arab Spring. The first two meetings were organized by the hbs and Global Voices in Beirut in 2008 and 2009. Particularly the second meeting prepared the ground for the crucial role the digital activists assumed in the Tunisian revolution. The meeting received a wide media coverage in Arabic, English and German. Links to the most prominent articles can be find below, as well to the meetings websites, facebook pages and twitter accounts of participants. 

The 2010 Shashat film festival toured cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, targeting youth audiences as well as the general public in the belief that culture is a human right. Films were shown in 9 Palestinian universities, adding this year 8 schools to its youth outreach.