Med-O-Med Cultural Landscapes in the Mediterranean and the Middle East, created by the Islamic Culture Foundation (FUNCI) in Madrid, is a Programme for International Development and Cooperation linked to the Spanish National Plan for the Alliance of Civilisations. Med-O-Med was initiated to make up for the shortage of funds available for conserving biodiversity and natural and cultural heritage in the South and East of the Mediterranean basin and in the Middle East.
Med-O-Med aspires to making the development of Islamic countries in these regions compatible with the preservation of their environment and heritage. It aims to set up projects involving maximum participation by regional social and public agents, with total respect for genetic sovereignty and the cultural identity of the local populations.
Med-O-Med is an inter-cultural programme with a multi-disciplinary approach that aims to overcome ideological barriers by searching for solutions that are acceptable to all.
The Programme is open to participation by international organisations, national and local administrative bodies and civil society through NGOs and academic institutions interested in working closely within a network, helping to organise activities and projects within the scope of Med-O-Med. It brings together countries in the South and East of the Mediterranean basin as well as those in the North, with the common goal of achieving fruitful scientific and cultural exchanges.
The Med-O-Med Programme is founded on the strong historical and cultural links that exist between Spain and Islamic countries, and the special concern amongst Spanish society for the problems of its Mediterranean neighbours.
WHO WE ARE
The Islamic Culture Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, strictly independent cultural and scientific Spanish organisation,registered as a private cultural foundation in the Registry of the Protectorate of Cultural Foundations of the Spanish Ministry of Culture, and as an NGO of Development in the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation, in the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. It concerns itself exclusively with matters related to cultural research, development and cooperation.
GREETING BY CHERIF ABDERRAHMAN JAH
Cherif Abderrahman Jah
President of the Islamic Culture Foundation (FUNCI)
Creation is a source of reflection and knowledge leading to human development, both material and spiritual. The study of creation has always played a key role in the projects of the Islamic Culture Foundation (FUNCI). We are indebted to the men and women who, over the centuries, have studied the secrets of nature and placed them at the service of mankind. Through the Med-O-Med, cultural landscapes of the Mediterranean and the Middle East network, constituted in the year 2009, our aim is to pay tribute to them and restore their legacy, while encouraging the search for knowledge that can benefit us all, with no distinctions and no frontiers.
Nature is fragile. It is our duty to conserve it and pass it on to future generations. This Programme enables us to join forces, showing the same generosity and commitment as the early scholars, to preserve resources and manage them wisely. We aim to weave a network that will facilitate fruitful, disinterested sharing.
Islamic civilisation is particularly sensitive to the harmony of the natural and cultural environment in landscapes, gardens, farms. This has been evident throughout history, with Islam’s creation of beautiful, humanised gardens, and its intense scholarship. At the basis of Islam is respect for cultural diversity and integration of the achievements of others, without prejudice or appropriation.
At FUNCI, we have chosen green spaces as a symbol combining several concepts – a coming-together of cultures, scientific development, spirituality and wellbeing. Cultural landscapes as a synonym of understanding and fellowship. Places in which everyone, without exception, is happy to be. Places that represent the aspiration of all human beings to live in peace amongst themselves and with their environment. Landscapes are the best antidote for conflict and lack of understanding, the best path towards more supportive, balanced societies for the future. As such, they are the backbone of our new Med-O-Med programme.