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The MEM Free Thinking Platform offers several opportunities to encourage the analysis and debate of this particular region.

Mediterranean Middle East is a geographic region where Asia, Africa and Europe meet. As we all know, it is not quite easy to trace the boundaries of this territory, characterized by a great ethnic variety and composed of an area of over 7 million square kilometers.

Everything happening in this area is of vital importance for Europe: however, there is a lack of specific programs regarding the Mediterranean Middle East in southern Switzerland and northern Italy. For this reason, the Middle East Mediterranean Freethinking Platform was officially opened in June 2017, at USI. The platform, which is directed by the political scientist Gilles Kepel, aims to encourage debate on what is currently happening in the Mediterranean Middle East by organizing numerous events on various issues that are of central importance for this region.

For Professor Giles Kepel, the platform offers an interaction opportunity between 2 regions: the Mediterranean in the Middle East and Southern Europe, often in conflict with each other. The idea behind it is that the 2 regions, as neighbors, should try to get to know each other. In particular, it is important to understand that conflicts in the Mediterranean Middle East influence Europe a lot.

Why choosing Switzerland, and more precisely USI for such a project? Because Switzerland is considered to be the ideal country for discussing geopolitical issues, and USI- one of the most international Universities in Switzerland, with a lot of students, professors and researchers from over 100 different countries, has always been involved in studies related to the Mediterranean area, such as the Master of Advanced Studies in Intercultural Communication and the Arabic Journalism Observatory.

Thanks to MEM Freethinking Platform, those who are interested in debates regarding this important geographic area will have the opportunity to participate in lectures and seminars - MEM will be giving 10 lessons, held by Professor Kepel, addressed to university students, researchers and to the external public.

The MEM Freethinking Platform will also continue their activity during summer, with the MEM Summer Summit 2018, scheduled from August 16th to August 26th. Further information can be found at www.usi.ch/mem or mem@usi.ch.