Arab Scout Region (World Organization of the Scout Movement)
|Arab Scout Region
Arab Scout Organization
|Owner||World Organization of the Scout Movement|
|Director||Dr. Atif Abdelmageed Abdelrahman Ahmed|
The Arab Scout Region (Arabic: الإقليم الكشفي العربي) also known as the Arab Scout Organization (Arabic: المنظمة الكشفية العربية) is the divisional office of the World Scout Bureau of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. By 1954, Scouting had become so popular in Arab countries that WOSM established the Arab Scout Region in Damascus, Syria.
The Region comprises 17 members of Scouting in Western Asia and North Africa, including Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Although Iraq is at present not a WOSM recognized nation, it has a Scouting movement and is among the first founders of the Scout Movement in the Arab Region. Scouting is also being developed in Western Sahara with the assistance of Scouts from the Canary Islands.
In 2006, Dr. Atif Abdelmageed Abdelrahman Ahmed of Sudan was named Director of the Arab Region.
Scouting in the Arab region started in Syria and Lebanon in 1912. In 1938 the Scouts of Syria invited Arab scouting leaders to a gathering in Bloudan, with attendees joining from Lebanon, Egypt, Palestine and Iraq.
During the 14th World Scout Conference in Liechtenstein, Syria offered to host the 8th World Scout Jamboree, but was denied after Israel and other delegations protested that Israeli scouts can't enter Arab countries. The Arab delegations felt that they won't be able to host such international events and decided to organize on the Pan-Arab level. They prepared a draft in March 1954 that was approved by the Arab League Council on its 21st session, establishing the Arab Scout Organization. The first Arab Scout Conference (and Jamboree) was held at Zabadani, Syria in the summer of 1954, where the Arab Scout Committee was formed.
The second conference and jamboree were held at Abu Qir, Egypt in the summer of 1956. Ali al-Dandachi had done a great deal to encourage Scouting throughout the Middle East, and during his term as a member of the International Committee he visited practically every country in the region. Shortly, an Arab Scout Bureau was established, with Mohamed Ali Hafez of Egypt as Secretary-General. The first gathering (to continue to be held in years when there is no International Conference) was held with six original member states at Ramleh, Egypt.
Shifting geographical scope of the Region
Once nascent Scouting receives WOSM recognition, the Arab Scout Region may also be inclusive of Somalia.
Until 2008, the map on the main page for the Region's official website indicated that Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia were within the bounds of the region. Ethiopia is at present a member of the African Region, and the others are awaiting WOSM recognition and final geographic disposition.
The Cairo International Scout Center is a lavish six-floor building next to Cairo International Stadium that welcomes all Scouts, nonScout organizations and individual guests. It hosts both conference areas and hostel quarters.
Scouting in Western Sahara
Western Sahara, a disputed territory home to the Sahraoui Scout Association (Arabic: اتحاد الكشافة الصحراوي), is one of 35 countries where Scouting exists (be it embryonic or widespread) but where there is no National Scout Organization which is yet a member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Scouting exists both as part of the Fédération Nationale du Scoutisme Marocain as well as independent groups.
Arab Region Scout Jamborees
The Region has run or sponsored region-wide jamborees in its member countries. Past Jamborees include:
- 1st Arab Jamboree-Zabadani, Syria-1954
- 2nd Arab Jamboree-Alexandria-Aboukir, Egypt July 25, 1956
- 3rd Arab Jamboree-(III Pan-Arab Scout Jamboree)-Syria 1958
- 4th Arab Jamboree-Bir el-Bey, Tunisia- 1960
- 5th Arab Jamboree-Maamoura, Morocco- 1962
- 6th Arab Jamboree-Aboukir, Egypt- 1964
- 7th Arab Jamboree-(7th Pan-Arab Scout Jamboree and 1st Arab Girl Scout Camp)-Joudaim, Libya 1966
- 8th Arab Jamboree-Sidi Fredj, Algeria- 1968
- 9th Arab Jamboree (9th Pan-Arab Scout Jamboree)-Zabadani, Syria 1970
- 10th Arab Jamboree-Mussal, Iraq- 1972
- 11th Arab Jamboree-Jbeil, Lebanon- 1974
- 12th Arab Jamboree-Borj Cédria, Tunisia- 1976
- 13th Arab Jamboree-Maamoura, Morocco- 1978
- 14th Arab Jamboree-Joudaim, Libya- 1980
- 15th Arab Jamboree-Joudaim, Libya- 1982
- 16th Arab Jamboree-Sidi Fredj, Algeria- 1984
- 17th Arab Jamboree-Salalah, Oman- 1986
- 18th Arab Jamboree-Maamoura, Morocco- 1988
- 19th Arab Jamboree-Joudaim, Libya- 1990
- 20th Arab Jamboree-Cairo, Egypt 1992
- 21st Arab Jamboree-Būr Saʻīd, Egypt- 1994
- 22nd Arab Jamboree-Borj Cédria, Tunisia- 1996
- 23rd Arab Jamboree-Jbeil, Lebanon- 1998
- 24th Arab Jamboree-Ta’if, Saudi Arabia- 2000
- 25th Arab Jamboree-Jordan- 2002
- 26th Arab Jamboree-Joudaim, Libya- 2004
- 27th Arab Jamboree-London, United Kingdom- 2007 - symbolic during the 21st World Scout Jamboree
- 28th Arab Jamboree-Borj Cédria, Tunisia- 2008
- 29th Arab Jamboree-Cairo, Egypt- 2010