Author Archives: Susanne Kappe

Economic hardship in Cairo

Achim's impressions from Cairo in the spring of 2017

Achim is currently in Cairo for an internship with Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights. Here is what he writes about his first impressions: "Two and a half weeks ago my fourth stay in Cairo began, after I lived here for nine months while studying in 2013/14 and after two short holidays here in March 2015 and September 2016. Due to the fact that my last visit was just a few months ago, everything felt immediately familiar again. Because my last spring in Egypt was in 2014 though, I was surprised again, how cold temperatures more than 20 °C can feel. I’m still running around wearing a pullover, even during the day. The one big difference compared to my visit in September is the economic state of Egypt after they floated the exchange rate of the pound at the end of 2016. Back then I could get 12 pounds for 1 Euro, now it is almost 20 pounds. All this comes along with rising prices of course. For me as a European, the negative effects are counterbalanced by the weak pound, but for all the Egyptians I spoke with, it is really a catastrophe!"

Cairo’s Chaotic Traffic and the Egyptian Revolution

14km Film and Discussion event

"Cairo Drive" (Documentary, Egypt, 2013, 79 min, with English subtitles) by Sherief Elkatsha on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 6:30 pm (screening at 7 pm) at Filmrauschpalast, Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin Moabit 14km presents the 4th film of this year's Film and Discussion Series On our fourth evening we will not only  broach the issue of Cairo's traffic, but also have a look at the past years' political and social development since the revolution in 2011. 14km screens Sherief Elkatsha's documentary "Cairo Drive" in original language (Arabic, English) with English subtitles. The film portrays people struggling in the chaotic environment of Cairene megacity traffic and paints a bigger picture of the diversity of life in the metropolis, its challenges and moments of happiness. As traffic concerns everyone, people of all parts of society appear and what they all have in common is one thing: humor. Following the screening we will have an open talk with the audienceto discuss the film as well as the director's approach in presenting the topic. We will also talk about Egypt's political, social and economic development with distinguished guests. The discussion will be held in English.   Director Sherif Elkatsha The documentary offers a unique, insightful and yet quite comical portrait of a country on the brink of change told through the metaphor of Cairo traffic. The film was shot over a three-year period before and during the Egyptian revolution in 2011. Accompanying a range of Cairo drivers, the film illustrates their daily struggle to navigate through the chaos, the unspoken rules and the more than 14 million vehicles and allows an insight into the different perspectives, sentiments and problems as well as the insecurities regarding the country’s collective identity and the people’s strong desire to get somewhere. Free entry - we appreciate donations The venue for the screening is Filmrauschpalast at the Kulturfabrik in Berlin Moabit (Lehrter Straße 35, 10557 Berlin). Facebook-Event

Cairo in motion

Mid-term report by Johanna with New Horizon

Johanna reports from her internship with New Horizon Association for Social Development in Cairo: I’ve been in Cairo for almost three weeks now and time went by very fast. Even though I’m out a lot, I still feel like I’ve hardly seen anything of the city yet. Cairo is just so big and everything is loud, colorful and confusing! One of the things I like most is to be in the Taxi in the mornings, passing the Nile on my way to work. Or sitting in one of all the small Coffee shops, having tea and watching the people passing by. Somehow I even like the smell of the city, a mixture of garbage, mud and car emissions. But finding a balance between what people tell me to do and what I personally feel is still very difficult and confusing for me. I feel very safe when I’m in the city, but I always loose this feeling when people constantly tell me how I should behave. I’m very curious to see if I will be able to find a proper balance during the next three months.

“I am very happy to have found this internship” – Michael reports from SMEX in Beirut

My name is Michael and I am currently enrolled in an internship working as a researcher and grant director with the Lebanese NGO SMEX - Social Media Exchange. I started in April 2015 and I will stay in Beirut until October. SMEX is a media advocacy and development organization based in Beirut. We provide on- and offline trainings for journalists and activists and advocate for human rights adapted to technology and the web throughout the MENA region. The founders Mohamad and Jessica are experienced and their work is very professional. I am very happy to have found this internship as I learn a lot about the way how local NGOs work, digital rights in the Arab region and social media tools for advocacy. Lebanon is a very interesting country with a lot of different and often opposing views within society - it gives me a lot of input to think about and to question assumptions I had before. “Unfortunately” a lot of people speak perfectly English, so my plan to really learn Arabic and French did not work out until now. The people are very nice and it is easy to engage with them and to do lots of different activities (hiking, cycling, beach, party, …). The safety situation is relatively good, but one should be aware of limitations within the country and some negatively affecting interior and exterior conditions which could change the current situation.