Mare Foundation was established in 1989 to organize activities and do research in the field of Arab culture: art, science, journalism and art criticism. It is a small foundation, always working on a project base. Two workshops for Iraqi journalists on their future in a more democratic Iraq were organized with financial help of the US National Endowment for Democracy, an institution established in the 1980's and funded by (both parties in) the American Congress. These activities will be continued with support, Mare hopes, of other organizations.
In July 1990 the Amsterdam Arts Council approved in principle a huge grant to Mare Foundation to set up a first Biennale for Modern Arab Art in 1991. The occupation of Kuwayt and the disruption of the freedom of travel for many participants made it impossible to organize the Biennale.
After that, members of the board have participated in cultural activities of other organizations, such as the development of ideas for the World Art Museum in Almere 2000, the Iraqi Cultural Festival of 2001 and 2002, the Arab Film Festival of 2002, the development of a Summer University for art journalism and art criticism on non-western modern art, in 2004 in Leiden (the idea to do this in 2003 was - again - torpedoed by a war against Iraq).
Mare foundation is a nonprofit organization registered in the Netherlands in 1990, is led by a prominent Iraqi journalist, writer, artist and human rights advocate, Ismael Zayer, and the Dutch journalist and journalism trainer Anna van Ammelrooy.
Just before the war Mare organized two workshops for Iraqi journalists, one in The Hague and one in London, on the future of Iraqi democratic media. Some seventy journalists participated and created afterwards the Iraqi Forum for Journalists.
After the war in March-April 2003 against Iraq, Ismael Zayer established with Iraqi journalists and printers a new newspaper, Al-Sabah, that has become the biggest daily in Iraq (see www.alsabaah.com).
On July 1, 2003, Anna van Ammelrooy opened Civil Pillar (Al-Manbar Al-Madani), a center in Baghdad to support new Iraqi nongovernmental organizations (NGO's). For these NGO's and their foreign sistersorganizations, a separate website has been created: www.juhaina.org.
Click for further information on the civil Pillar button.