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A two-months internship with 14km e.V. in Berlin – Johanna Kramer reports

This was our fourth Arab Film and Discussion Evening (Jordan)

Last Thursday 14km e.V. successfully conducted the fourth evening of our Arab Film and Discussion Series. We were happy to welcome around 70 participants for our film evening on Jordan, of which 30 came as part of a German-Jordanian student exchange (organised by Bürger Europas e.V. with the support of the German Foreign Office). In the cosy atmosphere of stove-heated Filmrauschpalast cinema inside the Kulturfabrik in Berlin Moabit we screened the film “Recycle” which tells the story of an ex jihadist who lives in one of the poorest areas of the Jordanian city Zarqa. He collects waste-paper in order to make a living for himself and his family – difficult circumstances in which religion is an important foothold for him. But the lack of social and economic prospects and permanent setbacks drive him to the brink of desperation. After the screening the film was lively discussed by the present Jordanians, especially with regards to the question whether the film characters and their lives are representative for the Jordanian society or not. The following panel talk and the audience discussion with the guest speakers Hanna Al-Taher and Dima Al-Kuttu focused on the one hand on Jordan as an immigration country and current target of numerous refugees from Syria, and on the other hand on social and political transformations in the country since 2005 and 2011. The event was presented by Anja Gebel (14km e.V.). We cordially thank all participants for the interest and vivid participation, and the Filmrauschpalast team for the excellent preparation and technical support!

14km visited the Sancta Maria school, topic “Egypt”

On the occasion of the « project week Africa » in the Sancta Maria school (Berlin Zehlendorf), 14km had the pleasure to bring a school class closer to the Egyptian society through various stories, activities and information. The teachers Sabrina Rückert and Rosaly Bautzer involved 14km in the conception of the programme and welcomed with their students Anja Gebel, the program manager of 14km, as well as Johanna Kramer, intern at 14km, on the second day of the project week. That day of the project week was about the Arab writing, Egyptian food, the traditional Islamic Feast of Sacrifice (عيد الأضحى), the Egyptian revolution, the lives of children of wealthy families and of children in need (the so-called "street children"), and about the work of social organizations in Egypt and Germany, which stand up among other things for Egyptian children in need. The highlight of the day was a Skype talk with the Children At Risk Center of New Horizon Association for Social Development (NHASD), while the students had the opportunity to communicate with Egyptian young people in the Centre by video, microphone and chat (Omar Sadek, who participates in the 14km internship program and who is currently in Egypt making his internship, translated the conversations). After the students ate together during the break Arabic pita bread with hummus, couscous and vegetables as well as date cookies and drunk Egyptian hibiscus tea, they had the idea to start 2 days later a sale of Egyptian products during the break at school and to donate the revenue to the Children At Risk Center of NHASD in Egypt. They earned € 118.66 and €35 was also donated by an association. NHASD thanks very much the students for the great donation for the Children At Risk Center - 14km thanks the students for the great day and their great interest and commitment !

Arab Film and Discussion Evening on Jordan, October 10th, 2013

„Recycle“ (Documentary), 7:30pm at Filmrauschpalast, Lehrter Straße 35, Berlin Moabit We cordially invite you to our film and discussion evening on Jordan, which will take place on 10 October at 7:30pm in the context of our Arab Film and Discussion Series. We will be screening the documentary “Recycle” by film maker Mahmoud al Massad (2007, 82mins, Arabic with English subtitles). The film tells the personal story of an ex jihadist who lives in one of the poorest areas of the Jordanian city Zarqa. He collects waste-paper in order to make a living for himself and his family.  In these difficult circumstances he resorts to religion. But the lack of social and economic prospects and permanent setbacks drive him to the brink of desperation. The borders between “good” and “bad” are getting blurred, not only for the main character but potentially also for certain on-lookers. The film will be followed by a discussion with political scientist Hanna al-Taher, a group of Jordanian exchange students and Jordanian Moabiters, focussing on the situation of Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Jordan as well as on the effects of the so-called “Arab spring” on the country. The evening will take place in English. Attendance is free, donations are welcome. The event will take place at Filmrauschpalast, in the Kulturfabrik Berlin Moabit, Lehrter Str. 35. You can see here where the Kulturfabrik is located.                    

The Suffering Grasses of Syria – Report on the Third Arab Film and Discussion Series

On Wednesday 18th September 2013 our third Arab Film and Discussion Evening took place - this time it was about Syria. In the documentary "THE SUFFERING GRASSES : when elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers " from Iara Lee, the conflict in Syria is represented (at the time of 2012). Different interviews, pictures, animated sequences and reports on the war events reflect the sorrow and the frustration of the Syrian civili society, who is often forced, in view of the hopelessness of the civil war situation, to participate in violent disputes or to run away and a live in refugee camps. The film also deals with the role in the conflict of other countries like Russia, China and the USA. After the film screening, Hanna Wettig from "Adopt a revolution" spoke about the Syrian civil war, the rising tension within different social and political groups in the Syrian society and answered numerous questions and comments from the public. Besides, she explained the work of "Adopt a revolution", about current projects, challenges and also critized the work of the association. Many questions and remarks from the public referred to the refugee's problem and to the (real and potential) role of Germany in this context. Also the current debate about a military intervention and the negotiations about the Syrian chemical weapons was evoked. The evening ended with considerations on a future solution of the conflict and support possibilities coming from the German society. The event, attented by approx. 30 participants, was presented by Anja Gebel (14 km), at the organization helped Johanna Kramer (trainee by 14 km) as well as the ZK/U team. We thank all guests for their coming and for the engaged participation in the discussion!  -- 14km Arab Film and Discussion Series In regular intervals we screen films which deal with different Arab countries and subsequently discuss the films and current social and political situation in the respective countries with guests from Berlin Moabit as well as with country experts, always trying to make a link to North-South relationships.