Today is the second day of the German-Egyptian youth exchange: our knowledge about cultural diversity -- especially within the area of Berlin -- increases. During the first activity we discover that we all perceive our surroundings in a different way. Afterwards we are guided through two different churches: a Catholic one and a Protestant one. Later on, the lunch at the "Route66" American Restaurant gives us the opportunity to rediscuss our impressions and strengthen our relations. Then we are introduced to the GPS city rally through the centre of Berlin that was especially designed for us as religious communicators. The tour leads us to very interesting religious historical places: from the Holocaust Memorial, over synagoges and churches to political places of crucial importances for Germany. After this long trip all four competing groups meet again in the hostel, inspired by the discovery of religious and artistic places of Berlin. We gather in the seminar room in order to share our impressions of the day by presenting our pictures and moreover talking about public and private space in the city. Through this meeting our different perspectives and points of view are brought together and enrich our picture of Germany's multicultural capital. Authors: Rukayyah Reichling, Diva Saidze, Carol Daniel, Amany Ibrahim 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
What happens when you put together 20 young opend-minded people from two different parts of the world, with different beliefs, in a small hostel in Berlin? They will be eager to learn about each other and make the most of the experience. That's what happened in the first day of the unique experience of ReliXchange. Expectations were high. The participants did not expect less than to discover a new perspective on religion – maybe even on life! To reach this goal we followed our intuitions and let spontanity take over during a theatre exercise that proved that a gesture says more than a thousand words. Thus we tried to free our minds from prejudices and stereotypes stuck in our heads. Moreover, a discussion about the roles of state, community and individual raised a lot of questions. How do these three components interact, and how much power does each of them have over us? There is no easy answer, but maybe the next to weeks will bring us closer to the truth. 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
Flights are booked, program is completed, everybody is ready to start. Only one week to go and the reliXchange project will have its first day: the day of arrival at the Berlin exchange week. We are really happy and curious how things will develop then. After receiving more than 100 applications by very different but always interesting young people with good ideas, it was hard to sort most of them out. For each exchange group, Egypt and Germany, ten participants were selected out of the most interesting applications and according to a mix of gender, religion and place of living. All of them will bring a lot of energy and motivation as well as a variety of personal experiences and point of views on religion and society. You can follow the new experiences the ReliXchange participants will make together. During both exchange weeks in Berlin and Cairo, the participants are going to blog, share their thougts and ideas. The blog will be available daily. Photo credits: Karl-Marx-Allee_CC-by-visitBerlin-SA-2.0 on flickr 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 BK
Photo credits: Egypt-9B-033_Amun Ra_CC-by-Dennis Jarvis-SA-2.0 on flickr A project as part of the German-Egyptian Transformation Partnership 14 Kilometer – the shortest distance between North Africa and Europe e.V. and New Horizon Association for Social Development are very happy to invite you to participate in ReliXchange - a German-Egyptian youth exchange! The inter-religious and inter-cultural exchange project will take place in Germany and Egypt. It aims to bring young people from both countries and with different backgrounds together and help them learn about each other and the role of religion in the two societies. You can participate if you live in Germany or Egypt and if you are between 18 and 26 years old. In the course of the exchange, 10 young Egyptians and 10 young Germans will spend one week in Germany (October 27th to November 2nd, 2014) and one week in Egypt (November 17th to November 23rd). During the ReliXchange project you will learn about Islam, Christianity, Judaism (principles of faith and traditions), the role of the corresponding faith groups in both countries, and the different ways of developing interfaith dialogue with other young people. You will develop new perspectives on interreligiosity and ideas for how a tolerant and respectful coexistence can be achieved. At the same time, you are invited to develop with us new methods for interfaith dialogue, in particular those which you consider as sustainable among young people. Participation in this exchange project costs a fee of 140 Euros for German participants and 700 EGP for Egyptian participants (including travel Berlin-Cairo and return, accommodation, food, programme). Conditions for participation: You need to be able to participate actively in both exchange periods (participation in only one of the exchange weeks is not possible), and you need a German or Egyptian passport which is valid until 05/2015 minimum. You should be interested in the topic of religion and its societal role (you do not necessarily need to be a religious person yourself) and be motivated to engage in interfaith dialogue. Your English should be good enough to sustain an extensive conversation. APPLICATIONS CLOSED! We thank all applicants for their applications! Further more we are really overwhelmed by the huge interest in ReliXchange. Deadline: September 18th, 2014 Contact for questions ReliXchange flyer - download and share! 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.
From mid June to mid July 2014, Ahmed Hassen, the founder of El Takeiba Center for Artistic and Cultural Development in Cairo, Egypt, is visiting 14km in Berlin to work together on different projects and to share experiences - an exchange visit funded by the DAWRAK exchange programme of the Anna Lindh Foundation. The first cooperation between Ahmed and 14km consisted in a street art workshop for young people, teaching and discussing graffiti and its use as a tool of protesting, and giving a general background about the art of public wall painting and linking it to German history. Ahmed had a great time, showing a very creative attitude and - despite not speaking the same language - working side by side and in intense interaction with the young participants. El Takeiba Center is the first cultural center located in the poor Cairo area of Shoubra El Kheima. Ahmed, who is the director, intentionally opened it there, wanting to create a space that provides access to arts and culture for the inhabitants of the area who so far have been deprived of it. This is one of the main reasons for why it expanded quickly and is now well-known among the people of the district. The whole idea of founding this center came about due to a man called Rabea who was the guard of a famous art institute in Cairo. He loved poetry so much that someday he tried to get the chance to get into the institute and narrate a poem of his own to the audience. Yet he was banned because he was "just" the guard of the place. This incident had a deep impact on Ahmed, and he decided to help Rabea and everyone interested in art no matter what their social class, profession, education level, political views or even religious views are - everyone should have the chance to express themselves via arts and try out their talents. Ahmed believes in the power of art to change what words and arguments cannot. The El Takeiba Center has various projects and organises workshops for different groups of people according to their age, gender, and interests and covering different topics and different artistic methods, from acting, directing, improvising on stage, singing, comic drawing to caricature painting. The center also organises "cultural visits", where people from Shoubra El Kheima are invited to different cultural events elsewhere in the city. The only problem the center is facing is - as it often happens with small NGOs - the funding for these projects. Thus, Ahmed and his co-workers at El Takeiba invest a lot of their own money and time, yet they believe the difference they get to see in the people of Shoubra El Kheima is worth it, as they change for the better and discover their interest in learning more. Later this year, Anja Gebel from 14km will visit Ahmed in Egypt and work with the El Takeiba Center in Shoubra El Kheima.