Monthly Archives: November 2014

ReliXchange Last Day

The last day: “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened”, Dr.Seuss             After a fun warm up, we had an  introduction to our next task which comprised  a public space tour. We were divided into four groups each invited to reflect and document their impressions about one of the following aspects in public space: gender, religion, art and appropriation of space. Back from the free roaming tour, we first presented the photo essay from Berlin’s public space tour (and though this was not directly discussed, this provided us with an opportunity to juxtapose in our minds Berlin and Cairo’s public spaces). Then, each group shared their impressions and adventures about their morning tours in Cairo.           Later, we proceeded to our last formal session of the program which was a mix of emotional and intellectual reflection. This is since, through a variety of tools and activities, members had the chance to express their thoughts and emotions about the experience not only from a general perspective but also a personal one. All along the activities, we could assume that significant ties have been developed within the group transcending the cultural and religious differences. At the end of the day, we all proceeded for special surprise outing offered and arranged by NHASD which revealed to be a Nile dinner cruise and show. Only few hours were left before the German group would fly back to Berlin. Most of the participants opted to ditch sleep to catch a last chat or laugh with other fellow participants/“friends”. Many accepted the hospitable invitation of “Islam”, one of the Egyptian teamers, to spend a rooftop after-party at his place. Later, back at the hostel there was a scene of packing, chatting, catching some sleep and playing cards/ fun games. Finally, arrived the most emotionally challenging and charged scene: the farewell. After two intense life-changing weeks of discovery and interaction, words fall short to express it, but there were hugs, tears, friendship, intensity, sadness and hope…   A project as part of the German-Egyptian Transformation Partnership The ReliXchange project receives financial support by the German-Egyptian Transformation  Partnership through the German Foreign Office, by funds of the Ecclesiastical Development Services through Bread for the World - Protestant Church Development Service and by the “International Youth Work” Programme of the German Federal Child and Youth Plan through BKJ


ReliXchange Last Day

The last day: “Don’t cry because it is over, smile because it happened”, Dr.Seuss             After a fun warm up, we had an  introduction to our next task which comprised  a public space tour. We were divided into four groups each invited to reflect and document their impressions about one of the following aspects in public space: gender, religion, art and appropriation of space. Back from the free roaming tour, we first presented the photo essay from Berlin’s public space tour (and though this was not directly discussed, this provided us with an opportunity to juxtapose in our minds Berlin and Cairo’s public spaces). Then, each group shared their impressions and adventures about their morning tours in Cairo.           Later, we proceeded to our last formal session of the program which was a mix of emotional and intellectual reflection. This is since, through a variety of tools and activities, members had the chance to express their thoughts and emotions about the experience not only from a general perspective but also a personal one. All along the activities, we could assume that significant ties have been developed within the group transcending the cultural and religious differences. At the end of the day, we all proceeded for special surprise outing offered and arranged by NHASD which revealed to be a Nile dinner cruise and show. Only few hours were left before the German group would fly back to Berlin. Most of the participants opted to ditch sleep to catch a last chat or laugh with other fellow participants/“friends”. Many accepted the hospitable invitation of “Islam”, one of the Egyptian teamers, to spend a rooftop after-party at his place. Later, back at the hostel there was a scene of packing, chatting, catching some sleep and playing cards/ fun games. Finally, arrived the most emotionally challenging and charged scene: the farewell. After two intense life-changing weeks of discovery and interaction, words fall short to express it, but there were hugs, tears, friendship, intensity, sadness and hope…   A project as part of the German-Egyptian Transformation Partnership The ReliXchange project receives financial support by the German-Egyptian Transformation  Partnership through the German Foreign Office, by funds of the Ecclesiastical Development Services through Bread for the World - Protestant Church Development Service and by the “International Youth Work” Programme of the German Federal Child and Youth Plan through BKJ


ReliXchange Day 9

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise. (Benjamin Franklin) A few participants of our group met at 5.30 am in the morning and went  on a spontaneous trip to the Al-Alzhar mosque, which was unfortunately closed. Instead they walked around the area and were invited to see the  making of a Misbaḥa - which is a string of prayer beads for Muslims to memorize the 99 names of Allah. Afterwards they by metro to the al-Qurba quarter of Cairo - a quarter with a lot of buildings with French architecture. After a refreshing and awakening breakfast the official program of the day started. A documentary about Jews in Egypt was shown and passionately discussed afterwards. Since Judaism is not represented by a group member everyone showed genuine interest in the topic. After lunch we started to discuss and develop our own ideas about how to share our exchange experience and how to promote interfaith dialogue in society. These ideas were further evolved and discussed through concrete project ideas and they also received helpful feedback from the teamers and the other participants. Since we were not able to see the Pyramids on Tuesday we postponed it to Friday. A light show at the pyramids told us about the sight's history and its treasures. Some people split up and went to a concert of the Egyptian band Maktoub.   A project as part of the German-Egyptian Transformation Partnership The ReliXchange project receives financial support by the German-Egyptian Transformation  Partnership through the German Foreign Office, by funds of the Ecclesiastical Development Services through Bread for the World - Protestant Church Development Service and by the “International Youth Work” Programme of the German Federal Child and Youth Plan through BKJ


ReliXchange Day 9

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a (wo)man healthy, wealthy and wise. (Benjamin Franklin) A few participants of our group met at 5.30 am in the morning and went  on a spontaneous trip to the Al-Alzhar mosque, which was unfortunately closed. Instead they walked around the area and were invited to see the  making of a Misbaḥa - which is a string of prayer beads for Muslims to memorize the 99 names of Allah. Afterwards they by metro to the al-Qurba quarter of Cairo - a quarter with a lot of buildings with French architecture. After a refreshing and awakening breakfast the official program of the day started. A documentary about Jews in Egypt was shown and passionately discussed afterwards. Since Judaism is not represented by a group member everyone showed genuine interest in the topic. After lunch we started to discuss and develop our own ideas about how to share our exchange experience and how to promote interfaith dialogue in society. These ideas were further evolved and discussed through concrete project ideas and they also received helpful feedback from the teamers and the other participants. Since we were not able to see the Pyramids on Tuesday we postponed it to Friday. A light show at the pyramids told us about the sight's history and its treasures. Some people split up and went to a concert of the Egyptian band Maktoub.   A project as part of the German-Egyptian Transformation Partnership The ReliXchange project receives financial support by the German-Egyptian Transformation  Partnership through the German Foreign Office, by funds of the Ecclesiastical Development Services through Bread for the World - Protestant Church Development Service and by the “International Youth Work” Programme of the German Federal Child and Youth Plan through BKJ


ReliXchange Day 8

Today started with a very creative exercise . After a quick introduction to the definition of interreligious relationships we shared our personal experiences about this topic. In groups we came up with drawings, a photo story and theaters to present our ideas. The results were very interesting because we heard about problems with interreligious marriage but also about harmony and cooperation between religious communities. In the afternoon we explored Christianity in Egypt. We did so by visiting a Coptic Church, a Greek Orthodox Church and also the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Coptic Cairo. Afterwards we had a discussion with a Coptic Priest about the role of Christianity in the Egyptian state and it's status as a minority. Our day ended with a traditional Egyptian dinner on a Faluka on the River Nile. We were joined by Ramesh de Silva, the cultural attachè of the German embassy in Cairo. Authors: Adrian, Carol, Diva and Svenja     A project as part of the German-Egyptian Transformation Partnership The ReliXchange project receives financial support by the German-Egyptian Transformation  Partnership through the German Foreign Office, by funds of the Ecclesiastical Development Services through Bread for the World - Protestant Church Development Service and by the “International Youth Work” Programme of the German Federal Child and Youth Plan through BKJ


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