Here is the introduction for our next we-magazine!
The Greater WE
Nonbiased perspectives on the Middle East
we_magazine was set up 5 years ago and is now in its ninth edition. It’s read in over 100 countries and was translated into Arabic and Chinese from the very beginning. we-magazine is all about making the world a better place with the help of the people themselves – which means that we are immune to the interests of companies, corporations and governments.
WE believe that in a globalized and highly (networked) connected world principles like participation, resonance, transparency, reputation, empathy and collaboration in their best sense will lead to a more balanced world with benefits for all!
we_magazine gives a voice to the growing number of young people who might be dismissed as idealistic or naive by those in power, but who are prepared to stand up for their rights and build THEIR own world and be responsible for it! We bring them together with their seasoned elders to hopefully start a fruitful conversation!
This sets the ground for all our editorial work!
Our latest issue we_India was a huge success. What people loved most about it was the fact that we’ve drawn a picture of India that you usually don’t see in traditional media: the ups and downs of economic growth, daily life in rural India and the vibrant cities, the deep agricultural roots of India’s culture and, not least of all, the basic fact that you can’t escape poverty in India. It’s simply an inevitable part of mostly everybody’s daily life.
In August two of us will travel to the Middle East to map the foundation for “The Greater WE – Nonbiased perspectives on the Middle East”. We plan to gather first hand information and get a better understanding of what’s happening on the ground. We’ll do the basic research for the magazine and talk with our authors from the region.
And we’ll also make interviews and produce audio and video material for a multimedia version of the magazine.
Contentwise we’ll focus on two major topics:
Firstly the Arab Spring.
Looking at the Middle East today, what we see is that the region is much more insecure and unstable than it was before the “revolution”. Israel’s position has been weakened, the US has finally lost its “democratic” innocence (after Iraq, Afghanistan and to some extent Pakistan), religion has been reduced by the powerful to a weapon of war, and the situation of the people – in economic, medical, cultural and educational terms – can only be described as desperate and hopeless. What remains when people lose their dignity?
Against this background, we’d like to air four key issues in the Arab Spring part of the Greater WE – and we’re very lucky in this to have well-known experts in their fields “on board” – Peter Scholl-Latour (Germany), Prem Shankar Jha (India) and Haytham Manna (France):
- Who is driven by which political and economic interests?
- Where did WE, the West, fail (media, support for former dictators out of political and economic interest, lack of knowledge or simply ignorance, prejudices … all together producing unreflected fear, our worse advisor …)?
- What would have been better alternatives to war to support democratic transformation in countries ruled by dictators and despots?
- Why did the world NOT listen to the minority voices which predicted exactly the situation we are facing today?
Our second major area of interest is the empowerment of ordinary people.
Giving a voice to the brave, inspiring and remarkable people who are usually NOT heard in the world’s media systems and who are working hard to build a Greater WE in the Middle East – because of and despite all the considerable political and economic constraints.They will lead this region into peace! All by themselves – it’s the only sustainable way to go!
There are many of them working with enthusiasm and dedication far from the media glare. They are young Palestinians using art to proclaim their wish and will for peace as their non-violent resistance and more and more Israelis supporting them. Or Jordanians working together with their Israeli counterparts to solve the increasingly serious water shortage problem. They are Tunisian women rebelling against oppression by religious Muslim fundamentalists. And young educated citizen media activists in Egypt practicing participatory culture within the government. And female academics at Damascus
University teaching Islam as it used to be in the days of the Omayyads and the Abbasids.
The youth is awakening everywhere – young people who despite their suffering are ready and eager to drive change. Smart young women and men, tired of continual war, violence and humiliation, and longing for a life in peace and friendship.
These are the ones we-magazine aims to support and give a voice to!