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Middle East and UK Conference

The British Council's Global Citizenship conference in London was recently attended by seventy young people from twinning schools across the UK and the Middle East.

Pupils from Oman and Nottingham taking part in the British Council's Global Citizenship Conference

Pupils met on Sunday 14 March to discuss the key global issues of the day, including climate change and globalisation.

The day provided partner schools with the opportunity to meet and get to know each other.

Pupils from twinning schools in Iraq and Northern Ireland at the British Council's Global Citizenship Conference

The Diljah Intermediate School for Boys in Baghdad is partnered with St Patrick's Academy in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, and pupils from both schools were at the conference.

Iraqi teacher Mrs Vian Abbas Khalaf Al-Attiya said that before her students met their Northern Irish peers they thought that coming from different traditions would be a problem; "but now there is no problem, they [gained] friendship quickly."

Also, "It makes people here see talking with people from Iraq, [that] there is no need to fear."

Pupils from their Northern Irish partner school agreed: "I was very surprised that we liked the same things, the same music and football teams and we also watched some of the same movies as well...

"We've got really close now - you meet people from the other side of the worlds who you think are completely different but actually they are the same."

Pupils from twinning schools in Kuwait and Eastbourne at the British Council's Global Citizenship Conference

After the London meeting, British partner schools hosted  students and teachers from the Middle East at their schools. 

Read more stories about UK-Arab world school links

How did they do that?

The Global Citizenship conference was a part of the British Council's Connecting Classrooms initiative.

Pupils taking part had won the opportunity to be there by creating a poster, poem, presentation or article in a competition about what it meant to them to be a global citizen.

Take a look at the British Council photo gallery and read the Iraqi students' blog 

Dowload our Welcome pack in English and Arabic for ideas to set up a UK-Arab world school link.

Join BBC World Class and our partners will help your school twin with a school in another country.

Sign up for the newsletter for more ideas.

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