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Extra resources for Alliance of Civilizations: Report of the High-level Group-13 November 2006

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17 The dynamic dimension of migration: Virtually every state is both a country of origin and of destination for migrants. In a world of porous borders, rapidly evolving modes of transportation and communications, and globalized economies, diverse populations are destined to interact through continued migration, presenting new challenges, particularly for host countries. How this dynamic is portrayed in the media, discussed by political and cultural leaders, and managed by policy-makers will determine whether populations view increased diversity as a source of strength or as a threat.

52 Alliance of Civilizations: Report of the High-level Group These facts have a date, a name and an origin. They are called Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan or Chechnya. The members of the HLG are aware, from this point of view, of the way in which the legacy of the colonial era is weighing on the mentalities, behaviors and representations of the Western and Arab-Muslim populations. It maintains and fuels passionate anti-Western reactions, from one end of the Muslim world to the other, from Morocco to Sinkiang among the Uigurs.

Public and private donors should establish a “Risk Fund” to temper the market forces that encourage sensationalistic and stereotyped media and cultural materials. Theaters for film and stage, museums, publishing houses, and other cultural venues should have access to a fund that helps insure against losses when they want to feature movies, plays, and other cultural products that humanize and normalize the views of populations in the West and in predominantly Muslim societies about one another. These could include, for example, stories of successful and prominent Muslim women to be shown in the West, stories about prominent Jewish human rights and social justice advocates to be shown in the Muslim world, as well as classics of Muslim and Western literature that counter prevailing stereotypes.

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