By Giuseppe Papaleo
President of IASEM
When the editorial staff asked me to write the first leader of Think-Med web portal I immediately reminded many experiences lived throughout the Mediterranean, right those experiences which moved to the idea of MCH – Mediterranean Common House network, of which Think-Med.net represents the official voice.
Frankly speaking not all the situations experienced in recent years had been pleasant. I had the possibility “to touch” all the difficulties of an authentic integration, all the Mediterranean contradictions and the different paths which move against the creation of a common space for dialogue. It’s also true that from these difficulties I got the best lessons of life.
In Tunis, immediately after 2011 revolutions, I truly knew what “political chaos of the transitions” means and how some institutional relations, which appear unchanging and monolithic, suddenly become deeply fragile and inconsistent. I truly understand dialogue is never granted.
During some of the Summer Schools organized by IASEM, in which took part students coming from several Mediterranean Countries, I sometimes faced complicated situations of tensions (to be easily) connected to antithetic cultural and political positions, because the matters those guys were living in their own Countries exactly reverberate on that neutral environment of those days of training.
Furthermore, while organizing business meetings, I got the clear perception that cooperation and mutual trades are not the central point for some People who only apparently support these matters. Behind many manifest interests, there are always non evident ones. This is a true fact everywhere, but in the Mediterranean it seems to reach huge proportions.
Big satisfactions, but failures and difficulties even more, have strengthened the belief that only a deep work of integration on different levels (economic, political and above all cultural) could generate a grounded platform on which building a new idea of the Mediterranean. That peaceful, responsible, open and free world which we look forward.
In front of this alarmingworrying resurgence of terrorism and conflicts in Middle East, it’s highly necessary to work on a common values platform and on building a huge Common House in which diversities can be solved and conflicts healed. This is a nowadays top priority and probably the only weapon we can oppose to fanaticism, violence and to the interests of a crazed and sinister capitalism.
We aim to create an idea of “Community” opposed to the concept of “Mass”. Community is a group of people tied to each other by the ideal to put above all the human being, with its rights and responsibilities. Economy, political structures and rules have to be developed according to human being. Not the other way around.
These are the basis of the MCH-Mediterranean Common House network we are developing. A network built by Institutions, Research Centers, Universities, Associations and Enterprises and even before made by people who share the same values.
Around this idea we are collecting more people and institutions than expected. Probably it means that the time to reconsider the direction in which we are moving has arrived.
I really hope Think-Med and its editorial work could give a deep contribution to this process.