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!"

“I really enjoy my time.”

Michael on Lebanon and his stay with Himaya

*** Dieser Beitrag ist momentan nur auf Englisch verfügbar.*** The first thing to say about Lebanon has to be that it is the most fascinating country I have ever been. The difficult political situation, many other problems inside the Lebanese society and in the areas around mixed with the people who try to make the best out of it makes every conversation, every interaction incredibly interesting. At the same time it is also adventurous and exhausting. The traffic, especially in Beirut, is very stressful and you are very dependent on taking taxis everywhere, because of the lack of public transport. Every time leaving the house you need to be really aware of everything. Find a taxi, barge and make sure that you really get to the right place. However I never felt unsafe during the month I am here now. Everywhere you can find English speaking people who always try to help you in the best way. In general Lebanese people are quite open. It was very easy for me to meet friends, and they always love to show me around and tell me everything what they know about there country. The work at Himaya is nice so far. The team is great and they integrated me perfectly. After a few days I have not just at work, but also private contact with other colleagues. I have to mention that the language barrier is a little bit annoying at work. With a basic level in Arabic I could do much more tasks in the actual projects. There is work to do, but if you want to experience all the parts of the work in this NGO you will benefit a lot from some language skills. Thanks to 14km connecting me with Himaya. I really enjoy my time. *** Die von uns wiedergegebenen Berichte von durch uns vermittelte Praktikant/innen spiegeln nicht notwendigerweise die Sichtweise von 14km e.V. oder unseren Partnern wider.

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.