MWNF: How Everything Began

By Eva Schubert

This is a very particular moment in the history of MWNF.

The MWNF website receives visits from all over the world – on average 1000 people per day come to our Virtual Museum, use our database or look at our tours – but until now we have had no opportunity for direct communication with our visitors except through the Feedback facility. From now on, this will change.

We have created two Blogs and opened an institutional MWNF page on Facebook.

In the MWNF Blog you will find guest articles about the MWNF programme. Furthermore, I will use the Blog to share with our visitors the history of MWNF from its beginning in 1993 – when I first made contact with the Ministries of Culture and Ministries of Tourism all around the Mediterranean and simultaneously implemented the MWNF pilot project in the Austrian region of Tyrol – up until today. There are a lot of very nice stories, anecdotes and experiences that take you “back stage” of MWNF giving insight into the organisation, although for obvious reasons some names and locations have been changed to ensure privacy. I believe that those moments, the genesis of the project, should not remain only with those of us who had the privilege to live it, but that we should all be the treasurers of the experience that I define as “a dream that became reality”.

With this statement I do not mean to imply that the most difficult times are behind us, on the contrary, the real difficulties are in front of us: we are aware that the reality of achieving sustainability for MWNF – a multilateral but totally independent organisation – is a huge challenge. But we are confident for the future thanks in many ways to the encouragement we receive daily from our visitors worldwide. Before embarking on the history of MWNF, however, I will first of all explain why we decided to make the history, culture and art of the Islamic Mediterranean the flagship topic of the MWNF programme.

Our second Blog is dedicated to the MWNF Travellers, those who have participated in one or more of the tours organised in association with our local partner travel agents. The MWNF Travellers’ Blog will also host articles written by guest authors about specific topics.

Finally, I would like briefly to explain the language policy of our Blogs: in order to ensure consistency and allow us to administer the two Blogs with available resources, we have decided that Guests’ and Eva’s Articles will be published in English only. Travellers’ Articles and Replies may, however, be posted in any of our navigation languages (Arabic, English, French or Spanish) as well as in German, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish.

We hope you will continue to visit us regularly and we look forward to hearing from you soon.


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