Supporting the media to foster social cohesion

Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine all currently face similar challenges in terms of social cohesion. In these countries, as elsewhere, the media play a role in the transmission of values and the representation of identity, and as such, can be a powerful means to achieve social transformation, capable of soothing tensions.



January 2020 – December 2024

Total budget

€10 million

Democratic governance Environment Gender equality Misinformation Young people

With funding from the French development agency (AFD), the regional project Qarib (“close” in Arabic) reinforces the media and the production of news in four Middle-Eastern countries, in order to promote public debate and foster social cohesion and inclusivity, especially for women. This project covers both region-wide and nation-wide activities that are conducive to mutual enrichment.

In 2021, Qarib launched the project #SA7, implemented by ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism), with the aim of setting up a network of organisations and individuals in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan to help fight misinformation. #SA7 is part of the AFCN (Arab Fact Checker Network), and will offer its members training courses on fact-checking and raising awareness of misinformation.

Fostering the production of content on social themes

During the year, Qarib helped around 20 media outlets to develop content that locals will be able to relate to, on themes such as gender, the environment and young people. Nisaa FM (Palestine), Al Menasa (Iraq), Sada Podcast (Jordan) and Daraj (Lebanon) produced some 60 articles and audio and video segments promoting the cause of women, to facilitate inclusion and provide insights into their preoccupations within society. Three Lebanese media outlets, Raseef22, Beirut Today and Megaphone thus benefitted from support to produce subjects on daily life.

“Qarib support was crucial for Beirut Today because it gave us the freedom and capacity to diversify, producing relevant, in-depth documentary work. We had always wanted to do this, but lacked the capacity. Our media outlet has offered opportunities to young independent stakeholders on the Lebanese media scene, at a time when the economic crisis had curtailed opportunity.”
Laudy Issa, Project Manager and journalist at Beirut Today

Lastly, the Samir Kassir foundation helped a dozen or so media outlets in Lebanon and Palestine to ensure the viability of their structure. This reinforcement of economic models is also of interest to incubators and local stakeholders in media development, and will benefit other media outlets in the longer term.

Photo Gallery

More projects carried out in 2021