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The "Beacon for Freedom of Expression Conference 2004"       Printable Version
18 - 20 September 2004
Harnessing freedom results in resistance that may lead to explosive violence that has long term serious consequences. Many examples have occurred since the date mark in history of 9/11. The words of reform are in the air, no less in the Arab World than elsewhere now.

The "Alexandria Statement" issued on the 14th of March 2004, states that "genuine democracy requires guaranteed freedom of expression in all its forms, topmost among which is freedom of the press, audio-visual and electronic media." and "canceling any form of censorship of intellectual and cultural activities to support freedom of thought, augment creativity and free it from any religious, traditional, private, or political authority under the pretext of public interest. The advance of nations depends on guaranteeing freedom to all intellectual and creative thinkers."

The statement also confirms the need to "exempt the Arab cultural production from any kind of censorship or customs regulations in all Arab countries," and finally it recommends, establishing "an Arab Reform Forum at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina to act as an open forum for initiatives, intellectual dialogue and Arab projects." . The Beacon for Freedom of Expression Project, and the conferences stemming from it in 2003 and 2004 are part of the general expression of the needs of the world to raise awareness about these issues and summon people to work at changes needed in their countries and in their institutions and organizations.

The 2004 Conference will address the following topics:


  • Focus on Africa : Tradition and Individual Freedom
  • Circumventing Free Speech-New Forms of Censorship
  • The Media and Freedom of Expression: Prometheus Embedded
  • Hearing the Younger Generation

  • Freedom of Expression - Future Challenges
  • Libraries and Freedom of Expression
  • Freedom of expression and copyright in a global perspective: focus Middle East
  • New Project - "Censorship in Arab Countries: Past and Present"

The first "Beacon for Freedom of Expression Conference" in 2003 brought attention to the Beacon Project and to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina as the world library of humanism.


- IFLA - International Federation of Library Associations.
- Committee to Protect Journalists, www.cpj.org
- International PEN,
- Writers in Prison Committee
-Article 19, www.article19.org


Beacon For Freedom web site

Bibliotheca Alexandrina , 2004