Tilmann Schneider berichtet über sein Praktikum bei unserer Partnerorganisation Center for Arab West Understanding in Kairo
I had the chance to do a six-week internship with the Center for Arab West Understanding (CAWU). The NGO mainly translates Arab news into English and viceversa. With this huge database they try to summarise all the information concerning relations between the Muslim world and the Western influences. Mainly, they focus on the relation between Muslims and the Christian Copts in Egypt. This database can be used for research and scientific work. However, the NGO does not only do translations. The other part of their work is research. When you apply for an internship at the CAWU, they will discuss with you what topic you want to research and what your specific task will be. My research focus was: ‘How have certain Western news channels reported on Egypt in the time period between summer 2013 and 2014?’
I enjoyed my stay in Cairo a lot, mainly because of the city and its citizens. It was easy for me to get in contact with really nice people. They showed me around and we had a good time together. The internship gave me a normal routine in my daily life. I enjoyed working together with a young team and great people. But I have to say that the period of six weeks was too short. To undertake more complete research takes longer than just six weeks. In my case, I had only five full weeks of work due to the weeklong break during the end of Ramadan. These five weeks were too short to work as constructively as I planned.
My Egyptian colleague invited me and another colleague to visit his hometown (2 hours south of Cairo) and join the family for his sister’s wedding. That was one of two trips related to my engagement with CAWU. The other trip was even further south to a small Christian community, which celebrated a local festival. I had a good time during both of my trips. It was a great chance to venture out of Cairo, see the rest of Egypt and gain a better understanding of the country as a whole. To sum up my experience, I will definitely go to Egypt again. Maybe as an intern or just for holidays. I recommend anyone who is interested in the Middle East to visit Cairo.