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What does

culture-, conflictand gender-sensitive media mean

to

you?

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

Katarina: “You can never leave your cultural- gender- or conflictbackground when you are writing an article, but it is important to mark the perspective you are talking from.” May: “My mission as a female journalist is making all women’s voices heard.” Anne: “Culture sensitive media is about stepping out of what you are in the middle of and seeing through the power structures in terms of gender, culture and conflict.” Sheera: “Conflict media is continually faced with performing their function in narrowing and challenging circumstances that test their ethical boundaries.” Sonay: “Culture sensitive media to me is reporting with awareness, consciousness and knowledge about different cultures, beside these one should never have the intention of making fun of another culture.”

What I see from here is not what you see from there. Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


Who We Are For learning to live together on equal terms

What is Crossing Borders

Crossing Borders is a non profit, non governmental organization that provides youth and educators from the Middle East and Europe with dialogue, space and media, communication and conflict management skills training. CB is hosted by The International People’s College in Elsinore, Denmark. CB mission is to facilitate meaningful dialogue among youth and educators across conflict divides. The aim of CB is to increase the possibilities for the world peace with special focus on the Middle East. ISSN: 1563-28365 www.crossingborder.org

Table of Contents • • • • • • • • • • • •

German Wave CB Roundtable Human faces behind the images Behind enemy images The Face of a Nation Toward gender equality The culture of barriers Small hope for Palestine The true story Sderot Profiles Big Dreams and small hopes And more

This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation. The contents of this document are the sole responsability of authors and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position af the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation. Nor does it represent the views of any of the partner organisations.

CB Advisory Board Prof. Munther Dajani (Chair Person), Mr. Herbert Pundik, Ms. Else Hammerich, Ms. Lotte Lund, Mr. Hanna Siniora, Mr. Jakob Erle, Mr. Mossi Raz and Mr. Greg Newbold

– SMALL HOPES Mette – BIG DREAMS That all people will be able to listen to each other without any filters Mette – SMALL HOPE That we become more aware of our filters – our individual, social, cultural, conflict and gender perspectives - and how it influences how we see life and other people. Hannah – BIG DREAMS That all people can develop their potential and that they are respected as human people with human rights

Executive Board Ms. Anja Gustavsen (Chair Person), Ms. Rosa Dich (Vice Chair Person), Ms. Britha Mikkelsen, Mr. Jorn Faurschou, Ms. Luoise Breum Brekke, Ms. Anne Gyrithe Bonne, Ms. Mette Juel Madsen and Mr. Peter Andreas Bredsdorff, Mr. Asbjoern Petersen, Ms. Rikke Mikkelsen, Gitte Young

Hannah – SMALL HOPE That I can find my way to contribute to reach the big dream Sharon – BIG DREAM To influence a lot of people and to be remembered after my death

Executive Secretariat Mr. Garba Diallo, Director Mrs. Christina Lund, Chief Financial Officer Ms. Lara d’Argento, Project Intern Contact Us Crossing Borders Headquarters c/o The International People’s College, Elsinore, Denmark Tel: +45 49213371 Fax: +45 49212128 E-mail: cb@crossingborder.org

Sharon – SMALL HOPE I want a small family with lots of love Gry – BIG DREAM That my generation by mature diplomacy, social awareness and clever use of technology can eliminate war and climate change Gry – SMALL HOPE That I or others can come up with new independent medias to tell the stories, that can inspire people

Crossing Borders partner organizations Givat Haviva – Israel Peace and Democracy Forum – Palestine Masar Centre – Jordan Dialogue Lab – Germany The Finnish Institute In The Middle East – Finland

May – BIG DREAM I want to see Palestinians live in security without any fears May – SMALL HOPE I wish to have my own talk show in a decent channel where the viewers look forward to my programme

Regional Coordination Palestinian Coordinator Ms. Suheir Hashimeh Tel: +972 22404413 Fax: +972 22404513 E-mail: suheir@crossingborder.org

Anne – BIG DREAMS That we will live in a world without social, economic, racial or gender power structures that limit our freedom Anne – SMALL HOPE That central Copenhagen will one day be free of cars and full of bicycles and public transport

Israeli Coordinator Ms. Dorit Maor Tel: +972 544901415 E-mail: dorit@crossingborder.org German Coordinator Dr. Bettina Schmidt Tel: +49 2289763290 E-mail: b.schmidt2@t-online.de Editor-In-Chief Ms. Anne Selsøe Sørensen E-mail: anneselsoe@gmail.com Photos Garba Diallo Layout www.ck-grafik-design.de Realisation K2. agentur für kommunikation www.K2-kommunikation.de

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

Lara – BIG DREAMS All people should think positive Lara – SMALL HOPES That I will try to encourage people when they are blue

Mohammed – BIG DREAM To live in peace and harmony with all the people on the world Mohammed – SMALL HOPE To give more from myself to the world

Guy – BIG DREAMS Imagine no possession – imagine no religions – imagine brotherhood of man Guy – SMALL HOPE Peace in the Middle East

Nana – BIG DREAMS That we through evolution transcend to a level were conflicts become unnecessary Nana – SMALL HOPES That people will have more respect towards each other and the nature and that I will be a happy healthy grandmother

Perspectives

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

Perspectives

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Hit by th eG

e v a w erman

By Anne Selsoe and Gry Broendum

W

hat is the precondition for successfully bringing Israeli, Palestinian, Danish and German journalists together to enable them to cross the borders of their cultural differences? Borders or not, dialogue is most constructive when it takes place in a physical space. Since the course focused on the very complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this space had to be suited for intercultural dialogue. A small white building on Heussallee 7 in the former German capital Bonn was chosen to be the venue for the event. It was apparently international setting sandwiched between a UN-building, the former parliament of Germany, and the worldwide media corporation of ‘Deutsche Welle’ (‘German Wave’).

In spite of its alleged internationalism, the information material was available only in German. Embarrassingly enough, asking for directions in English was only met by a shy mumble. Is a well functioning society with economical strength and a strong set of core values like the German order and corporate spirit the perfect place to create dialogue? This common platform for Bonn business, media and technology might be an effective setting to create understanding and eliminate conflicts – but seen from the outside the diversity seems to have disappeared in the process.

The vice president for marketing Thus, in an attempt to wipe out their personal slate of of the World Conference bias and prejudice, 20 journalists with a strong belief Center in Bonn, MatthiCrossing Borin the idea of objectivity and independence, sudas Schultze, explains, denly found themselves with Deutsche Welle ders conducted their why this small city (DW) key straps around their necks. Armed seminar on conflict- culture is a perfect place with note pads and raincoats in blue bags and gender-sensitive media in to create internapromoting the DW website, Israelis and tional dialogue Palestinians with their relaxed idea of time co-operation with the German “We have all the were running to catch up with the German media giant ‘Deutsche Welle’. It is good conditions: schedule. The Danes on the other hand no coincidence that Deutsche A good geograwere struggling to keep their hands off the phical position, endless stream of bowls with rich German Welle means German good infrastructure, cream pudding. wave. fair prices, and business and research institutions.” It was as if the German summer rain covering the streets of Heussallee was hiding an undercurrent that Good conditions or not, on the Open Day of Bonn ran in the doors of the lobby area without anyone International it appeared that 20 young people from knowing. It was as if 20 little fish in need of air were Heussallee 7 were the only international touch to a very trying to get to the surface of an all-embracing sea, local event. The Open Day was characterized by the and it was as if the German Wave made them all swim usual brochure-mania, the promotion of the Deutsche together. Post and horn orchestras flanked by a dancing clown.

editorial

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

editorial

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HOW JOURNALISTS CAN CREATE DIALOGUE BETWEEN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE

THE ROUND TABLE REPORT Good journalists unmask the enemy to show the human being. They go abroad to gain knowledge of other cultures, and they are aware of their unique ability to build walls as well as to tear them down.

By Gry Broendum Israeli soldiers provided wounded Palestinians with medicine at a hospital in Tel Aviv. I was there with my mother, who was ill, and she got help. And I thought: Why are the Palestinian newspapers not reporting this story?” The speaker is professor in communication Dr. Mohammed Dajani, Al-Quds University. It is a late afternoon in a conference room in Bonn, and he is a part of a discussion panel with the Crossing Borders participants Palestinian Serene Najdi, Israeli Sharon Ringel and Sheera Frenkel on the topic of how journalists can contribute to peace in Israel and Palestine. “Then I phoned the press”, he continues: “But only one reporter showed up and made a brief report on the incident”. The panel recognizes the one sided reporting by the Israeli and Palestine press, where each side tends to bring bad news to demonise the enemy and ignore the stories that go against the stereotypes.

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media

The power of distance But it is easier said than done, when you are in a conference room in Germany far away from the conflict in the Middle East, where journalist Sheera works for a newspaper in Jerusalem covering politics: “When you are in the middle of things you kind of loose the main objectives”, she explains: “Around a month ago Mahmoud Abbas and Ehud Olmert met for a peace talk”, Sheera says: “BBC, CNN and Deutsche Welle were there in the front row to report the event as a top story. But the three major Israeli news papers first mentioned the peace talk on pages 4, 5 and 7.That was their priority of the story. But when the editors explained why the peace talk was not on the front page of Israeli papers, they had a good point: They simply knew the political environment at that time all too well to believe, that this was really a peace talk.”

So when the journalists in the conflict zone seems to neglect the positive story, it usually is out of a good will – simply to do their jobs being objective journalists selecting stories and reporting, what they honestly believe to be the truth. But the lack of reflection is underlying the problem. “When I told this story the other day”, Sheera says: “I got the question: “Why didn’t you write that on the front page: Explaining the reasons for you not believing in the peace talk while the whole world watched it carefully. And that is a good question? I guess nobody thought of it”. And that is also, why Sheera believes that the international meeting

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


Seeing the human faces behind the images CB yo uth fin d

between journalists to discuss these issues is the best way to create an awareness that makes it possible for her and others to ask different questions and see untold stories that would break the stereotype. Unmasking the enemy Going abroad to discuss the daily routines of the media, journalists work in, is one way to break out of the conflict-building stereotypes. Another is by showing the personal stories of the people from the other side of the wall. And as a journalist in a conflict area this is very important, the panel states. 26 year old Israeli Sharon Ringel, studies history and tells the panel that the meeting in Germany is her first opportunity to meet a Palestinian and actually realise, that they can be her friends. And when you from the Israeli side you expect all Palestinians to be terrorists – the Palestinians only meet the Israelis when they are in uniform: And from the other side of the fences and walls parting the Israelis and Palestinians Serene Nadji explains how her most memorable meeting with the Israelis where when soldiers once made her leave a bus and threatened to kill her:

ing co

mmo n

groun

d

“But I do not want to think of Israel as just these angry soldiers with guns. As a journalist I want to show their faces and all the other faces of both Israelis and Palestinians”, she says. The power of choice And Serene´s personal decision is very important to succeed in peace-making journalism, professor Mohammed Dajani goes on: “If you decide, that this is important – then it becomes important”. Because journalists have the power to decide from reality even though many don’t acknowledge it during everyday work: “Media should focus more on the personal stories, and on the stories that break the conflict stereotype”, and that can only happen if the journalists decide to do so. It is not about only writing the good stories. But it is basically about being a good journalist and “promote professionalism”, as professor Dajani puts it: “If the journalists are ignorant and unaware of their importance then the media can become a machine that can create a clash of civilizations.”

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

Young journalists’ experiences with meeting the socalled ‘other side’ brings about new perspectives that can contribute to more balanced media reporting. By Nissan Shtrauchler The power of communication is a wellknown fact. The media’s influence on governments is so pervasive; at times it can appear as though they actually control state policy. Crossing Borders brings together people from different cultures to meet and communicate in order to reduce fears and remove stereotypes. The recent seminar of Crossing Borders and World University Service aimed at young media professionals, giving them tools of mass communication that can communicate messages of mutual understanding. Each person can take what they learn and report, write and publish their own conclusions. My own expectations of meeting and getting to know Palestinians, were very important for me both as a human being and as a journalist. Now when I write about the conflict, I will bring a variety of perspectives to my articles. ‘They’ are no longer Palestinians: ‘they’ are Ali, Ashwash, Serene, and May. Good people that I met during the course in Bonn and who will stay in my thoughts. The bigger question is how to build trust between our governments. As became apparent during the seminar, it will be more difficult to build trust between the officials, than it has been between us. The conflict will probably not end because of this meeting, but we can hopefully contribute to change through our work as media people.

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Public broadcasting can build peace Unlike private profit oriented broadcasting, public funded broadcasting can encourage peace, argues Yehia Kassem.

Yehia Kassem The media participates largely in destroying the peace process of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, claims Professor Gadi Wolfsfeld in his book “Journalism and Peace Process”. He shows in his research that journalists have paid too much attention to the bad side of the process instead of the good one. Their aim is to attract the audience, in order to sell more news. Traditional journalism usually stresses conflict, and often exploits it for its entertainment value. Editors seem to work from the premise that conflict is interesting and agreement is dull. Consequently, discordant behaviour tends to be rewarded with airtime and newspaper space, while efforts to build consensus and solve problems are penalized – either by being ignored or discounted. A conflict-centred approach may attract viewers or sell papers, but it definitely has a negative impact on the vital issues of war and peace. Unlike the commercial channels, the benefit of public broadcasting is that it does not depend on how many people buy the product. The journalists in this case are obliged to provide facts as they see them. Some times public broadcasting deals with events, which the private media do not have to deal with. For example, the private media tends to focus on less important issues, as long as it sells. Public broadcasting is a form of media outlet, which is intended to serve the various needs of the public. Furthermore, it is independent of the rating or the money of the viewers.

Dr. Helmut Osang, DW-Akademie with CB Director Garba Diallo to left and Prof. Dajani on the right.

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media

The fact that public broadcasting does not depend on the money of the viewers, makes it freer to investigate the process deeper, and without exaggerations in order to attract the viewers.

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


NEWS, PEACE AND PROPAGANDA At first sight, it looks as if the 1500 journalists from over 60 nations working in the media giant “Deutsche Welle” are united by the ideal of creating dialogue between cultures – but the government-funded news organization is first and foremost promoting Germany and German values abroad.

By Gry Brondum There is a Beethoven festival going on during the Crossing Borders course in Bonn, and since an Egyptian orchestra is playing, the editorial meeting of the Deutsche Welle (DW) Arabic Newssite chooses this story to be reported as the top cultural story of the week. The fifteen reporters present at the meeting this Wednesday afternoon in late August are all reporters originally from the Middle East producing online and radio-news in Arabic for an audience far away from these impressive white walls and glass-headquarters of the German version of BBC or Voice of America. DW is legally independent and funded by German tax money of 275 million Euros annually. Nevertheless, the news station, which broadcasts in 30 different languages, has a strong policy: “We are trying to build a bridge between Europe and the Middle East by promoting the moderate voices from a German perspective,” says Mustafa Isaid of Deutsche Welle: “We want to contribute to a constructive dialogue. And we can only break stereotypes by getting knowledge of each other”. To set an example of cross-border journalism, DW-RADIO/ Arabic has launched the weekly radio-programme Iraq Today, where two experts from Iraq and one from Germany discuss current affairs and ask listeners to call in and react to specific questions. The programme was developed in co-operation with the German Foreign Ministry. Mustafa Isaid explains that the target group consists mostly of young people interested in Germany and Europe. Apparently, they have been successful in reaching them: DW-WORLD.DE/Arabic attracts as many as three million clicks on its website every month. Deutsche Welle or “The German wave” also offers young journalist from abroad media training in journalism creating dialogue. But according to Professor Dr. Oliver Zöllners’ article “Germany’s public diplomacy targeting Arab audiences” from 2006 the question whether Germany’s broadcast public diplomacy is

Journalist Gry Brondum talking to Deutsche Welle‘s visitor guide.

Hanna Wiemer and Eness Elias coming out of Deutsche Welle.

based on ‘dialogue’ needs to be answered cautiously: “What is visible is a determination of Deutsche Welle to at least present a quest for dialogue as a projection of the country’s national values, policies, self-image and underlying myth,” the article states. Chief Middle East correspondent at DW-Radio Peter Philipp contributes analyses and commentaries on current affairs, and has done so for 20 years. Philipp does not conceal exactly how clear the DW agenda is in spite of its alleged independence: “We call it “information to create dialogue” but it is also a means to create fruitful business alliances abroad - it is all about promoting Germany”.

DW interviewed the visiting Crossing Borders participants Sheera, May, Nissan, Gry and Ali for the programme “Islam Dialog”: /www.dw_world.de/arabic

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

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The face of a nation The media has forgotten about the Israeli President, Moshe Katzav, accused of rape, and the attorney general has abandoned going through a long and embarrassing trial. Left at the starting point are the women who complained By Eness Elias Israel’s eight president, Moshe Katzav was accused of raping two women. There, I said it, out loud and in English. Well, someone had to, since the Israeli press and political elite were only trying to keep it under wraps. Indeed, it is an issue of great embarrassment to the presidential institute and to our democratic country, but it is even more shameful to hide it. Before women gathered the courage to file a formal complaint against Katsav, several turned to respected journalists first, hoping to get advice from the historic “guardian of democracy.” They quickly learned that the media rather than help, the media itself turned into a state prosecutor. As soon as the word “indictment” came out of the attorney general’s office, the Israeli media was all over the subject. When the attorney general wrote an indictment draft, in which the former president was accused of rape, Israeli women suddenly felt as though they were on the public perception of sexual harassment. Finally their voices were heard, and for once every citizen felt protected - at least on that subject. The engagement of the media even raised the fury of dear Mr. President.

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gender

However, the chaos ended as rapidly as it started. Suddenly, the attorney general reached a plea bargain deal with the president, in which Katsav’s rape charges were dropped in addition to other charges of sexually deviant behavior. In the original draft, Katsavs’ accumulated punishment reached about 70 years in prison, but in the plea burgeon, he only got a suspended sentence. Although the attorney general admitted there was enough evidence to prosecute rape, he wanted to avoid going through a long and embarrassing trial. While that reasoning may be valid, what raised the ire of Israel’s liberal citizens was that no one had bothered to ask the complainants what they thought of the plea bargain. Later, a human rights organization filed an objection to the plea bargain, although its results are yet unclear. For the media, it didn’t matter anymore and Katzav is no longer a headline. The subject has yet to be resolved, but we already have a new president and everything is forgotten. Employers came back to work, again unafraid of their female employees. Women are afraid again and some of them will never complain again.

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


“It is important to include men in achieving gender equality but we have to focus on empowering women”, says intern Andrea Zängle of the United Nations Women’s Fund in Bonn, Germany. In her office, women are taking care of gender equality themselves.

On the road to gender equality, women should be the drivers By Anne Selsoe Sorensen Women are bad drivers. That is a common traffic cliché used by men and rarely challenged by women. But according to 26-year-old cultural anthropology student Andrea Zängle women are the best drivers in the race for supporting women’s leadership and ending women’s poverty in more than 100 countries. Zängle is an intern in the publicity department of the United Nations Women’s Fund (UNIFEM). UNIFEM provides financial and technical assistance to initiatives aimed at fostering women’s empowerment and gender equality. In Andrea Zängle’s office at UNIFEM in Bonn, there are only female employees. As a minority in the organization working for gender equality, what role could men play in empowering women? “Men are a part of the process, but the main focus is on women,” says Andrea Zängle. “We have received applications from men but women are usually more interested in working for us.” Andrea Zängle explains that in UNIFEM’s latest round of internship applications none of the male applicants met the organization’s requirements. Asked whether they have special handling procedures for male applicants, Zängle answers that “they usually check the CV once more to make sure that they are ‘modern’ men who don’t tell their wives to stay at home.” One important aspect of UNIFEM’s work is providing micro credit - loans that support basic needs, stability and growth for poor households in developing countries of Latin America, Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Here, too, women are in the front seat of the development bus. According to Andrea Zängle, UNIFEM has found out that there is a difference in the ways women and men handle their private economies. “It is a fact that women act more responsibly than men,” she says. As an example she mentions that immigrant women are more inclined to send money back to their family in the country of origin.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian, head of the non-profit organization Women’s World Banking agrees: “What distinguishes men from women when they borrow small amounts is how they choose to spend it”, she says. While men put the money back into business, women make more long-term investments in health, their children’s education and the home. UNIFEM’s empowerment program in Nepal found that in 68 percent of the cases the women participating in the program were taking care of the decision-making at home. Those were decisions of buying and selling property, sending their daughters to school and family planning. Andrea Zängle stresses of that men cannot and are not intent to be left out the process of creating gender equality, but gender equality is first and foremost about empowering women by strengthening their self-confidence.

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

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Six women, six cultures, six n Einav Where were you born? I was born in Daliat el Kamal. I am Israeli and Druze. I live in Israel. Who gave you your name and what is the meaning of it? My mother chose my name. It means cherry tree in both Hebrew and Arabic. Do you want to have a family and what kind of family will it be? I definitely want to have a family. I want to stay Druze and have a Druze family. I want to have a liberal and modern life and keep my Druze traditions and values. I am not close to the Druze religion, but there is something in the tradition that attracts me. If I don’t marry a Druze, my family will take it very hard. What kind of food do you eat at home? I eat Druze food, alay gefen (grape leaves with rice), pita with labane (goat yoghurt), kube (meat-filled dumplings), chicken, schnitzel and rice.

Anne Where were you born? I was born in Denmark. Who gave you your name and what is the meaning of it? My parents. I don’t know the meaning. Do you want to have a family and what kind of family will it be? I think I want a family, but not any time soon. The kind depends on whom I meet. What kind of food do you eat at home?

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All sorts including Danish, Italian, and Indian. Anything. Danish food is often with pork. The only thing I am sure of is that on Christmas evening we eat duck. I am not sure whether my own family will keep this tradition. It depends on whom I will raise my family with. If I marry an orthodox Jew I probably will not eat duck on Christmas evening.

May Where were you born? I am a Palestinian Muslim and I was born in Jerusalem. Who gave you your name and what is the meaning of it? My father gave me my name based on a dream he had the night before I was born. He saw a light in the middle of nowhere and he saw a little pretty girl and it was me. My dad then said I should be called Nour, which means light in Arabic. But King Hussein’s wife was called Nour and he didn’t want to name me after her, so he decided to call me May. Do you want to have a family and what kind of family will it be? It is obvious that I want to have a family. It is something that I have to do sooner or later, because society demands that from me. I want to have a small family. I don’t know if my kids will be Muslims, and whether or not I will marry a Muslim. What kind of food do you eat at home? Mansaf, a traditional Palestinian food made of lamb meat, rice, and yoghurt. I will continue to cook it for my family because it is very tasty.

Sonay Where were you born? I was born in Germany, but originally I am a Turkish Muslim. Who gave you your name and what is the meaning of it? My grandmother gave me my name. They wanted to name me something else, but there was a mistake in my I.D. card and I ended up with Sonay, which means crescent, like the one on the Turkish flag. Do you want to have a family and what kind of family will it be? I definitely want a family with a maximum of two children. I will raise them in the context of multi-culturalism, but it will probably be within Islam. I will teach them to respect other religions. My family will be sad if I don’t have children because I am the only child and they want to continue our family line. What kind of food do you eat at home? We eat a lot of vegetables from Turkey, kebab and chicken.

Hannah Where were you born? In Germany. Who gave you your name and what is the meaning of it? My parents gave me my name. When my mother was pregnant when she read a book by Hannah Arendt, so I was named after her. Do you want to have a family and what kind of family will it be? Of course I want to have a family. I don’t know what kind

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


In the

x narratives.

of the Post Tower

of family it will be, I am not planning anything special, but we need to talk, so we need to have a common language. What kind of food do you eat at home?

A sculpture circle beneath Bonn‘s Post Tower shows that there are still many steps to climb before women reach the tower of power in society

We eat salad, fries, vegetables, noddles, potatoes and chicken.

By Hannah Wiemer and Eness Elias Eness Where were you born? In Petach Tikva, Israel Who gave you your name and what is the meaning of it? My mother. It’s my grandmothers name and it is after a woman who died during the Spanish inquisition. Do you want to have a family and what kind of family will it be? I don’t think about it right now, but if I have a family, it will probably not be an ordinary one. I don’t believe in marriage and I would prefer to adopt children. What kind of food do you eat at home? I eat Libyan food that my mother makes.

By Sharon Ringel

Right underneath Bonn‘s Post Tower, in the former German government quarter by the Rhine, stands a beautiful anonymous circle of 30 women sculptures. The women on the grass beneath it are very small and simple without any clothes nor colour. The formation made by Tina Schwichtenberg is called „Women De Formation“. Ms Schwichtenberg has been working on the pieces since 1986 ever enlarging the circle with more sculptures. The women pose a great contrast to the neatly dressed men entering the phallic building that changes its colours at night. The women form a circle with no beginning and no end, and it seems as though in order to survive socially, a woman has to be part of such a circle. They are locked into it, looking only outside for reassurance and help and not inside their own minds. The sculptures don‘t look like typical women, one of them even has a penis. It could mean that womanhood is a quality that comes from the inside. It could also express that women who do not correspond to the stereotypes are often not taken to be true women. One of the visitors in the park commented on the hermaphrodite sculpture: „this is not a woman“. Marianne Pitzen, director of the women’s museum in Bonn, interprets the artists‘ work as a shock treatment for women. She believes that Tina Schwichtenberg‘s „Women De Formation“ does not present women as victims, but as people who are responsible for their own development. As Pitzen asserts, “it is the first time that a female artist blames other women for being too passive and content with their situation in society.” All the sculptures in the Rheinaue Park in Bonn are standing in the same way, like soldiers, without movement, very passive. Pitzen also says that the women‘s movement used to include a lot of rebellious women who would make the effort and break out of the circle. Today, only few women participate in the women‘s movement, even though the so-called “deformation” still exists, she notes. The title „Women De Formation“ refers to the deformation caused by women‘s inability to obtain power in society. In looking at this closed circle women are challenged to think about how to break the circle to participate in society more fully.

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

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The culture of barriers By Hannah Wiemer The state of Israel has built barriers (walls and fences) in the West Bank. That is a visible fact. The decision of the construction and the location of the wall was done only by the Israeli government, who considers the wall to be necessary for security. The barrier is bringing many difficulties to the daily life of Palestinian people. “Checkpoints are very bad”, says Ashwas Awashra, a Palestinian student and reporter who lives in Ramallah. He needs to pass through four checkpoints every day on his way to university. “When I arrive at the first checkpoint, I have to wait at least 20 minutes and then sometimes the soldiers ask me strange questions. I have to go through this procedure at the other checkpoints. When I finally arrive at the university I don’t feel like studying.” The daily difficulties make Ashawas wonder about his future in this area: “I love my country so much. It has a really rich culture and good people. But I don’t feel free. The checkpoints make me want to leave my country.” Building a wall to separate people from other people is not a new thing. Different kind of walls that hinder people from moving between different areas. For example the EU built walls around the Spanish enclaves in Morocco.

One of the greatest fears of the EU-States is the “invasion” of the so-called economic refugees. The danger is considered to be so high that the EU protects itself by constructing walls around its territory, just like people all over the world who decide to live in gated communities to protect themselves. These guarded residential complexes are comparable to enclaves of a smaller dimension. The borderline between Spanish enclaves and Morocco is marked by real walls, border fences of barbwire, as well as by virtual ones - but with a very real intimidating effect – in the form of armed guards in patrol boats and aircrafts financed by the EU to deal with what they call “the refugee problem”. EU and Israel as well as private owners all over the world are using walls and checkpoints as a way to prevent people from coming in. The reasons for and the purposes of the construction of walls are very different in every case and maybe they are not comparable. But many examples show that walls are not able to substitute sustainable policy. Benjamin Freundt, a 23-years old German journalist says about the wall in Berlin: “A wall can not keep people in an area. People always find a way. So its useless. The human desire for freedom is stronger.” Israel claims that the number of suicide bombers has decreased after constructing the barrier. However, it should be considered whether the aim justifies the way people in the West Bank suffer. Eness Elias, a student living in Tel Aviv says: “Since the wall was built I feel less secure. It makes the Palestinian people suffer more and they get more aggressive. It may help on the short term, but constructing a wall is not a long term solution.”

A young Palestinian’s experience at checkpoints makes him wonder whether he wants to stay in Palestine, while a young Israeli feels less insecure after the construction of the barrier in the West Bank.

The wall in Ramallah

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Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


Prof. Mohammed Dajani: “Our common ground is moderation”.

WASATIA:

SMALL HOPE FOR PALESTINE

Prof. Mohammed Dajani, a faculty member at Al-Quds University and the founder of Wasatia, a new Palestinian movement, shared important insights about Wasatia with Crossing Borders. Dajani focused on moderation in Islam and applying it to Palestinian politics. According to Dajani, there is need for Wasatia -- a term from the Quran which means ‘centrism,’ ‘balance,’ ‘moderation, ‘justice,’ -- in the Palestinian society; he views the obstacle facing fair politics in the country. Launched back in March, 2007, Wasatia is on its way to become a registered political party. Nevertheless, Dajani is less interested in political power than nurturing an ideology that is close to the heart of the average Palestinian-- religious moderation. As the ideologue of the movement, Dajani aims to spread the Wasatia message in Palestine through voluntarism and charity that are two important elements of Islam. Furthermore, he believes that Wasatia can find space among HAMAS and Fatah supporters, thanks to the moderate people within the two parties.

Once Wasatia gains support, the next step is to compete in the elections as a centrist party that could take the floating votes from both the secular and religious sectors of the Palestinian society. Yet, Dajani is determined to protect Wasatia from political corruption upon success in the elections. Therefore, Wasatia will stay in the legislative council and supervise the council of ministers. According to Dajani, this is what HAMAS was supposed to do after the past elections to be able to practice good politics and eventually reach a negotiated settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Supervising the political branches of government and preventing corruption will be Wasatia’s strategy. The negotiated settlement in Wasatia’s programme is a two-state solution with Jerusalem as an international open city. Dajani emphasizes Islamic tendency that calls for moderation. Thus, he is hopeful that Wasatia will spread first in Palestine, then in the Muslim world and finally around the globe. Nevertheless, he seeks for the small hope as the first step, success of Wasatia in Palestine.

Sonay Kanber

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By Sha

ron Ri n

gel

The true story of Sderot “Three Kassam missiles hit Sderot this morning; no one got hurt except for a few people who suffered from shock.” That was the broadcast news on afternoon radio broadcast on third of May – three days after the Winograd Report, a damning investigation into the government’s behavior during the Second Lebanon War, was released to the public.  Although Kassam rockets have been falling on Sderot nearly every day of the past three and a half years, the media’s interest in the attacks waxes and wanes according to the political situation. In the days following the Winograd Report every major newspaper lead with the ongoing Kassam attacks on Sderot as a means to underline the persisting security situation in Israel and the government’s failure to secure the safety of Israeli citizens. Yet only the week before, exactly the same number of Kassam rockets fell on the beleaguered city, yet not a single major media outlet reported on the situation. The home front command reports that during the last three and a half years an average of 1.8 missiles for a day has been sent from Gaza to the north of the Negev.

The sleepy periphery town of Sderot, which lies close to the Gaza Strip, looks like many of Israel’s small of communities. Its population is largely made up new Russian and Ethiopian immigrants, and older immigrants from Middle Eastern States. Those populations, according to a recent report filed by the Ministry of Immigration, face higher rates of discrimination and poverty than other populations in Israel. “Someone must get up and scream: wake up!!! If three missiles a day were to fall on Tel Aviv for three and a half years in a row, would the media be quite then? Probably not. Most of the media people live there”, says a resident of Sderot. The people of Sderot have become increasingly frustrated with the government’s inability to stop the Kassams, and have become disillusioned with the political process. In the last elections, a local Sderot citizen, Amir Peretz, was elected head of the Labor Party and became Defense Minister under the banner of quelling the Kassam attacks. However, last month, Peretz was evicted from the position having accomplished nothing to resolve the situation. Though considering itself a democratic country in which all citizens and cities are equal, the ongoing attacks on Sderot has shown that some cities are more equal than others.

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Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


In order to be able to move ahead in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process we need to learn from our history and not let it stop us

Ali Rasheed, focusing on the positive shared history

Looking back

forward g n i v o m d n a

By Ali Rasheed When trying to look at the Palestinian-Israeli conflict objectively, in its development from its beginning up to the present day, many Middle Easterners will find that their view of the conflict is a prejudiced one. Palestine is the land of three religious traditions: the Islamic, the Christian and the Jewish. This has made the Holy Land a very special place for all monotheistic religions throughout the times. Due to this, many powers have fought over the country, so that over the centuries, Jews, Christians as well as Muslims have ruled Palestine. What distinguished one reign from the other was not so much the dominant religion itself but rather the relations the rulers kept with the other religions. Times have always been calmer in times of mutual respect and acceptance. In Muslim times, for example, freedom of movement is said to have been provided to other religions. Nowadays, under Israeli control, this is not always the case.

Muslims have more than once been prevented from access to the El Asqa Mosque. The question is, whether or not Jews and Muslims today can live together in harmony in the Holy Land without any infringement to the rights of large parts of the population. After all, when a baby is born he cries to show the world that he is visible and existing, thus also voicing his right to life with all its facets. Where the people of a country do not stand together to voice their wish to make a difference, the government does not take active steps toward change. Where they do unite however, a lot can be achieved – as in the case of the rebellion against the communist system. If the people of Israel and Palestine started focusing on the more positive aspects of their shared history, and stood together to push for a solution in the conflict, the Middle East leaders would be enabled and forced to make a positive decision for all three religions.

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Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

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profiles

Olaf Deussen Olaf – son of a German and an Egyptian – feels both Christian and Muslim. With naive yet intruiging European curiosity, he tried to recover the treasures of his ancesters on mediterranean journeys. He brought us back a treasure of valuable images. Sheera Frenkel Sheera is lucky to be able to combine professional work as a journalist with her passion for travelling. Originally from California, she has moved from a quiet village in Argentina to Jerusalem feeling at home everywhere. Einav Halabi 22 year-old Einav is a Druze woman living in Israel. Being behind the camera is a great passion for Einav, but she also dreams of becoming a news-broadcaster. Through journalism she wants to help her local community develop. Onur Gokmen 26 year-old Onur from Turkey studies law in Istanbul and loves playing soccer. His biggest dream is that people will understand each other. He believes that discussion and dialogue is the solution to the PalestinianIsraeli conflict Nana Yuriko Nana is 34 years old, but look 17 younger with jumping Japanese eyes and spontaneous German behaviour. Nana combines film making and art work with green activism and advocacy journalism. Nana who has never gone to university claims: “Life is the best school.” Ali Abu Khader Ali is a Palestinian who is successfully combining his faith and tradition with the liberal way of life. He was married in a traditional way but is still a big believer in love. He believes in peace and in the rights of Palestinians to live a good life. Gry Broendum When Gry was ten years old, she decided to become a writer. Growing up in a prosperous neighborhood in Denmark, she felt the need to prove herself and it created a deep hunger. Now, at 25, Gry has dedicated her life to journalistic and social work and is trying to have fun without giving up her ambitions. Sonay Kanber 24 year-old Sonay is part German, part Turkish. She studies German and European studies in the USA. Her dream is to work in The European Commission to push Turkey to enter the European Union. Guy Haran 25 year-old Guy from Israel has a passion for wine and works as a wine instructor and sommelier. If he was the prime minister of Israel and Palestine he would separate them into two states because of the lack of trust between the two sides.

Yehia Kassem “I am a mediator. There is not a milligram of extra sympathy with neither Palestinians nor Israelis,” says 30 year-old Yehia who as a Druze speaks Hebrew and holds Arabic as his mother tongue. “But my audience must judge if I am objective, I can not judge myself,” he says, referring to his work as a TV-presenter in Israel.

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Serene Najdi Serene was born in the USA and raised in the USA and Palestine and is highly motivated to finish her degree in commucation. Due to the barrier between Israel and Palestine, she has to drive more than three hours everyday to get to her university. Serene’s dream is to live without barriers and checkpoints. Hannah Wiemer Since Hannah visited Ecuador, she has been interested in Spanish language and culture. The 21-year-old German has branched her Latin American passion into other areas, recently performing a Spanish play with her theatre group. One day she hopes to become a director, traveling the world and finding new languages for the stage. May Mustafa 21 year-old Palestinian May claims that the only time her mind takes rest is when she is dreaming about a successful and happy life with her prince and their children. She’s got a strong personality but gets surprised about her own naivety, she says. Anne Selsoe Anne was born in 1985 and raised in Denmark. Her grandfather is a Holocaust survivor, but this has not influenced, her attitude toward the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. She wants to take part in what is going on in the world, and likes to have influence in order to change it. She likes Bolivia and it’s people. Eness Elias After the army and a stay in New York, Israeli Eness Elias, 25 is studying literature in Jerusalem to become a fiction writer. A traditional patriarchal upbringing made Eness a passionate feminist searching for a life in freedom without the restriction of strong authorities - men as well as gods.

profiles

Ashwas Awashra 21 year-old Ashwas lives in Ramallah, Palestine and studies media and TV at the University of Jerusalem. He loves to read poems in the evening, and do all kinds of sport activities during the day. He believes that the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to make two separate countries.

Sharon Ringel 26 year–old Sharon is a liberal woman from Israel with roots in Germany. She works as a communication assistant in Sapir University. When she is not reading history books or watching movies from the Weimar republic she works on solutions on how to build a better society in which equality is not just a word. Nissan Shtrauchler Nissan is a 28 year-old journalist from Tel Aviv, Israel. Writing is both his passion and his job: he writes for the Arim newspaper. He lives a modern lifestyle without denying his Jewish culture and heritage. Benjamin Freundt Benjamin is a 23 year-old journalism student from Cologne, Germany. He loves to play and to watch football, surfing, writing and travelling. For the future he hopes that he, as a journalist, can make a positive impact on society. Katarine Schaaff Growing up in a Christian family, studying Judaism and having Jewish family in Israel Katarina is living a multi-religious experience within herself: a good example of tolerance and diversity.

profiles

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

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One day... One day in the life of… an Israeli Meet Sharon Ringel. Sharon Ringel lives near Tel Aviv and is an Israeli citizen. Let’s follow her one day in life. When her alert clock rings, it is usually eleven am to noon. On the way to her car she meets her roommate and they have a quick coffee chat. She then drives twenty kilometres to her university which takes her thirty minutes. After a quick cigarette she enters the building and starts to work. If she’s not too busy she later takes a break to get a meal in the University Mensa. After work at around 6, she’s heading to the library to do some studies. On her way home the sun is already set, but her work is not done yet – she still has to correct some students work. Then her parents call if she is fine, she is. So far she spent around 100 Shekel for every day expenses but it’s not time for bed yet. Her friends call if she would like to go out, but she is too tired today, so she switches on the TV and slowly falls to sleep.

Palestinian journalist, Aswash Awashra, in dialogue with fellow Israeli Sheera Frenkel Meet Ashwas Awashra. Ashwas lives in Ramallah. On an average day he wakes up at 6:30 in the morning. After he washed and dressed up, he goes to the kitchen to have some breakfast and a talk with his mother. He then leaves the house to look for a cab which drives him the University of Al Quds in Abu Dis where he studies media. He has to pass 4 checkpoints on his way which takes him around 2 hours. The University starts at ten so he still has half an hour to rest. At four a clock in the afternoon he drives back to Ramallah. Before he goes home to eat he enjoys a tea in a café. When he´s finally home at around 7 PM dinner is ready. His mother cooked some delicious meal and the family sits together eating and talking about the day. He then leaves the house to play some basketball with his friends. At mid night Ashwas long day is finally over and he quickly falls to sleep.

One day in the life of… a Palestinian

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Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


By Onur Gokmen We live in a world that moves faster every day, one where distances aren’t such big obstacles any more. This enables us to learn more about each other every day, our neighbours from far or near. People differ from continent to continent, from nation to nation, from city to city. However, the differences between people within any given nation or culture are much greater than the differences between the respective nations. Education, social standing, religion, belief structure, and past experiences are just a few of the aspects constituting a person’s social status and affiliation. Thus, despite the growth of dynamics in the world, entire cultural customs and ways of life have not yet been understood. This discrepancy leaves a lot of people wondering: Is it really that hard to think just for a moment from the other side? How should we deal with differences? Mary Parker Follett wrote:” There are three ways of dealing with difference; domination, compromise, and integration. By domination only one side gets what it wants; by compromise neither side gets what it wants; by integration we find a way by which both sides may get what they wish.” Breaking the differences down even further, what remains is the individual as different from every other individual. However, “in studying cross cultural differences, we do not look at individuals but make a comparison of one ethnic group with another. Hence, we are comparing two bell curves and generalization cannot be avoided.”, says Aaron Pun, a Canadian correspondent. True, but basing one’s actions on generalisations forged by the media and possibly based on faulty observations, could have serious negative consequences. Therefor, in dealing with foreign cultures, perhaps another one of Ann Landers’s quotation may be of help: “All married couples should learn the art of battle as they should learn the art of making love. Good battle is objective and honest – never vicious or cruel, but healthy and constructive, and it brings to a marriage the principle of equal partnership.” True Partnership as a matter of pure intention? Only time will show whether or not we, the humans of this world of growing dynamics, are actually seeking a true partnership between the cultures.

The world losing or gaining As the globalization process increases across the societies, people are daily forced to face the difference within and between societies in rapid global integration.

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Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

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With the failure of Oslo, the Road Map and other initiatives, the need for more proactive international involvement in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has never greater than today, writes

Toward the resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict Ashwas Awashra In spite of more violent conflicts in the Middle East, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict remains a major issue of international concern. This conflict is still ongoing without light visible at the end of the tunnel. The OSLO Accords, the Road Map, the Geneva Initiative and many other initiatives have not led to a resolution of the conflict. This stalemate has been the base for continued bloodshed between the Israeli and Palestinian parties in the conflict.

In recent times, the intensity of the conflict between the two parties has reached yet an another peak. Despite the interference of the United States and the Arab countries, Israeli and Palestinian leaders failed to find a solution for the conflict. The conflict‘s complexity seems to be the obstacle most difficult to overcome between the two parties. Israel‘s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip has not raised hope to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. From a Palestinian point of view, the most damaging facet of this struggle is its effect on the Palestinian citizens. The killings, the destruction of infrastructure and the demolition of homes damage Palestinian trust in any peace agreement with the Israel. Therefore, it seems that the core issue of the conflict is not only about land, but also about the victims of violence who have lost their lives in the course of the conflict. This is why the conflict has continued between the two sides for the past 50 years.

As the Berlin Wall was brought down by the end of the cold war, Israeli-Palestinian peace will bring the new wall down.

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In such a value-based conflict, it is not easy to find a solution satisfactory to both sides. This conflict is one of the most complex issues for both Israeli and Palestinian people. The international nature does require active international involvement in finding an acceptable resolution to the conflict by the two parties. The UN and the Arab States can play a supportive role in the search for peace between Israel and Palestine.

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


Two Governments without a State As Palestinians struggle to achieve an independent state, recent events in Gaza have ironically split the Palestinians into two political entities. What impact will this have on the process towards a Palestinian statehood? Ashwas Awashra The first democratic Palestinian elections in 2006 were supposed to bring about greater democracy and freedom to the people of Palestine. The process could have brought Palestinians closer to their aspirations of statehood than ever before. Sadly enough, this process failed to materialize. As soon as the electoral results put Hamas into power the struggles between the Islamic based Hamas and more secular Fatah parties have paralyzed Palestinian society. The situation for the ordinary citizens of the West Bank and Gaza was compounded by the economic and political boycott against the Palestinian Authority by the EU and the US. They view Hamas as a terrorist organization. The violent conflict that subsequently erupted between the two parties in the Gaza Strip this June resulted in a division of the government into two. The struggle left Gaza under Hamas control, whereas the West Bank is still being ruled by the Fatah party. But the divide does not only have political implications. The economic damage caused by the fight between the two factions has affected the entire population. The situation is afflictive as it leads to great chaos and conflict across all sections of the Palestinian society, not to speak of the killings and arrests of many innocent people on both sides, among them famous personalities on both sides. Unfortunately, despite the interventions of international and Arab mediators, things continue to worsen due to the complexity of the situation. The closure of the two parties’ social institutions contributes to the weakening of a society largely dependent upon these institutions – particularly in times of war. Not only is this situation endangering any prospect of Palestinian independence, it could also spread to neighbouring countries. Therefore, it is crucial that the international community intervenes to prevent the worst.

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Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

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Corporate social responsibility - insider‘s perspectives The expanding role of corporations in the global development has prompted demands for responsibility of these companies. To find out how business can actually incorporate social responsibility into their operations, I talked to Mark Jansen, Vice President and Director for Business Development of SMI Hyundai Corporation. He says: SMI-Hyundai is a multinational corporation that applies social responsibility in all its business operations for the simple reasons that it is the right thing to do and it is good business. Thus, the company‘s projects are grounded on the concepts of sustainability and long term engagement with local partners. SMI Hyundai provides relevant education and training to empower its local strategic partners to assume even greater responsibility for the projects over time.

SMI Hyundai operates in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Having the benefit of a Korean corporate cultural origin, SMI Hyundai could be a source of inspiration for developing countries. Not too many years ago, Korean products and services were just beginning to be acknowledged in the global marketplace. Thanks to the impressive economic, technological development and political stability of the country, today South Korean products and services are highly prized. Sustainability is also visible in the types and quality of projects SMI Hyundai develops: affordable quality housing projects for ordinary people, conference centres for international meetings, dialogue, education and training programmes in a multicultural environment. The choice of Bonn as venue for the new World Conference Center (WCCBonn) is one of the most visible examples of SMI Hyundai‘s focus on social responsibility and sustainability. SMI Hyundai‘s project to construct the new WCCBonn (encompassing the former German Parliament) is located next to the UN Campus, Deutsche Welle (the German world broadcasting service), and the headquarters of Deutsche Post and DHL. SMI Hyundai hopes that its new conference facilities may someday host dialogue meetings toward the unification of North and South Korea as it did with East and West Germany in the late 1980s.

Mark Jansen with colleagues of Art-for-Life: Bettina Schmidt and Angelika Vielmetter

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The other aspects of social responsibility of the company are their support for educational activities: SMI Hyundai has established the European Business Institute in Bonn to serve as an educational sponsor for international academic events. The company supports Art-for-Life, an NGO and charity organisation supporting street children in several countries; and it‘s Heussallee Academic Residence which was the venue for the Crossing Borders Media Skills programme in August 2007 for young journalists from the Middle East and Europe.

CB reporter

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


Personal story In Europe, the Middle East may often fill the evening news with horrible impressions. In Israel and Palestine, the conflict is a daily reality. The following personal story told by young Palestinian journalist Serene Najdi goes to show how far the conflict reaches into every-day life. When relating the story at a round table discussion on Media and Dialogue, she explained: “By this example, I want to show what Palestinians and especially Palestinian youth experience on their daily basis.” “I was on a bus going to school in Jerusalem two years ago. As usual, we passed by a cemetery when Israeli soldiers stopped the bus. They took our identity cards and told us to step aside. After checking our IdentityCards (ID) they handed them back. But then, one of the soldiers asked me to get off the bus although I had an Israeli ID. He also ordered the bus-driver to leave. I became scared standing there alone with the soldiers near a cemetery. The soldier that had ordered me off the bus started interrogating me: “Where do you live?” “Where were you born?” “How old are you?” “Where do you study?” etc… He was puzzled I was an American citizen and had lived in the USA for a while, and inquired the reason of my returning. “Obviously, because this is my country”, I replied. “Israel?!” he said, astounded. “No, it’s Palestine and I’m a Palestinian.”, I said”

“It was at this moment, that he got pissed off and automatically raised his gun and pointed it at my head and asked me again: ‘which country do you live in?’, and I said: “Palestine.” He started shouting and saying that that was nonsense and so on. The only thing that I was thinking of, was if I would see my family and friends again or not. On the other hand, I couldn’t agree with him and let it go, just because he was stronger at the time. After arguing for a while and shouting at each other, he put his finger on the trigger and was ready to kill me. At that very moment, another soldier came and moved the other soldier away, telling me to go. But he said he never wanted to see me again in that place or he would have to shoot me himself.” “I ran quickly, scared, expecting a shot in the back at any time. Then my thoughts flashed to what other Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip experience and - ironically – I thought how lucky I was that day.”

Blue or Green – love or social rights… In Palestine some dreams are hard to achieve. To make your dream of marrying your loved one come true, you need to consider various issues besides love itself

By May Mustafa The Israeli-Palestinian conflict influences the everyday life of people both in Israel and in Palestine. One of the effects it has is the classification of the Palestinians into two groups according to their place of living. Palestinians, who live in Jerusalem or its suburbs, receive a blue ID and are considered to be residing in the state of Israel. This makes transportation issues easier for them when they travel between check points in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Palestinians, who are born in the West Bank or Gaza, receive a green ID, which means they have to apply to the Israeli authorities for permission to travel to Jerusalem.

When meeting someone that you are attracted you start thinking: what color is his/her ID. If your ID is the same colour, pursuing your love life is a realistic opportunity. If your IDs are different colours, pursuing your dream is more difficult. Difficult choices have to be made. Should you choose to live in separate cities? Or should you decide to move to the Palestinian areas and sacrifice your civil and social rights that you have living in Jerusalem?

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Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

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Has a Qassa m eve „More r falle than o n nea fell ju n r you? c e i n st ten o u r s a r o e f mete a Have rs from . Not long you e ago a v e my ho r g „Than otten Qassa use“. k god i m n j ured b that e sams y a Qas ven af that la sam? ter th nded once e th he af an an ter a Qassa re I haven‘t ousands o xiety v m f ictim“ fell close b been injure QasZehav . d. But y I wa a exp s reco lain it took gnize time t s that she d as could w o a r e s alize t in sho n‘t fun h c a k ction t she w cause and th as d a treatm a trauma. I a result of s even aliv at th e. w e to cop nt by the g as sent to e shock an “I get ps d it overn e men ychol ment the in tally w ogi in ci i every dent every th what‘s h order to be cal ap n a a landin ow and the larm brings pening. Ev ble er sin n I eve gs“. on an ce xi n drea Does m abo ety and fea it affe r, u t c t the f Qassa „Of co amily ms urse, m in any wer a y siste way? lo r we on ne. We don is afraid to ’t ly g happe leave the go out wal o to bed a house nd sh king i ned th on b went off an at I was ou y car or tax the streets t in th ; d I ha i . panic T wice i dn eo ke fall on d and start owhere ne pen while t t has a h e you a t any d to cry. It’s r to go and e alarm time“. hide. like ro I ulette , it can

Victim of missiles fired from Gaza holds Israeli government responsible for security By Nissan Shtrauchler After seven years of absorbing Qassam missiles, Zehava Sulimani, citizen of Sderot and third year academic student in Sapir College in Sderot, does not – like others - blame the Palestinians for her situation. She holds the Israeli government responsible for not providing for security in the town located next to the Gaza strip.

About 15 years ago, Israel, Zehava‘s father, decided to move to the south. The circumstances were ideology and that they wanted to move to a ground floor apartment. And so, the five members of the Sulimani family moved together from Bnei Brak to Sderot, which is located in the north of the Negev and which until less than ten years ago was considered as the capital of artists and development of the northern Negev. In the past seven years Qassam missiles has landed next to her home, next to her school, and she even knew three of the people who were killed in these attacks, „This is a small city, everyone knows everyone“ says Zehava, „There is no house in this city that does not hear the Qassams when they fall. When a missile lands you immediately check where it hit and hope that no one got hurt. If there isn‘t a political or military action that can solve this problem then at least the government needs to safeguard the houses so we can feel safe“.

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Zehava is having trouble finishing her studies in college even though she was a good student during her high school years, „More than once it has happened that there was an alarm during an academic exam and I just couldn‘t continue afterwards. All my fears surface and I can‘t concentrate and the exam is lost“. Even with the absence of attention by the government Zehava tells of demonstrated solidarity within the city‘s citizens. „Everybody helps one another, gather the children for lessons in the bomb shelters and try to help anyone that gets hurt whether it‘s physically or mentally. The people here understand that we are in the same condition and the help that we give each other is the only ray of light that we have.

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007


Departure: On the search for a safer haven Television, phones, and the Internet are playing increasing roles in presenting the array of opportunities available to refugees in an increasingly globalized world By Sheera Frenkel They have been called everything from asylum seekers and refugees, to infiltrators and economic migrants – but the growing population of transient people departing their home countries in search of better conditions has boomed in recent years, according to statistics kept by the United Nations (UN) and Amnesty International. As violence rages in countries such as the Congo, Philippines, and Sudan, people from those nations have fled in search of safer havens. While such refugees are not a new phenomena, dating back to tribes who fled the expanding Ottoman Empire seven hundred years ago, the ever-connected global community has created options that did not exist in past years.

As these refugees flow from the world’s trouble zones to new places, the countries that can afford them better opportunities are faced with the question of how they will respond. Last month, the UN began drafting a new resolution for refugees that it would ask all of its member states to sign. It would establish an international standard for what defines a refugee, and pledge the support of dozens of countries from around the world to support refugees in their time of need.

For Ismail, a 31-year-old refugee from the Darfur Region of Sudan, the choice was not whether to stay or go, but rather which country could provide a new life for his family. Rather than travel through the western deserts of Darfur to the refugee camps in Chad, Ismail decided to risk the longer journey to Egypt, where he believed his family would be offered more assistance from refugee organizations there. Ismail’s nightmare continued in Egypt, however, where local gangs and militias plagued the refugee camp where many of the Sudanese lived. A new opportunity, however, came in the form of a phone call from Israel. Hotels in the southern Israel were offering jobs for the Sudanese refugees, and the living conditions were the best most of the refugees had ever seen. So once again, Ismail packed his belongings and paid smugglers more than a year of his salary for the safe passage. Ismail’s story, moving from country to country in search of a haven, is currently being played out by millions across the world. Television, phones, and the Internet are playing increasing roles in displaying the array of opportunities available. A refugee in the Philippines can give new form to his dreams by going online and reading about a number of his compatriots who have found new hope in other countries. What most refugees have in common is the desire to fly home in peace and security.

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UN Researchers: Opening borders can prevent a “hu m CLIMATE CHANGE. 50 millions will have left their homes in 2010 because of climate change, and accor-ding to UN researchers the people crossing borders can cause a whole new refugee policy in the EU UN staff at the UN campus in Bonn

By Gry Brondum and Guy Haran

While African and Chinese cities are slowly being swallowed up by encroaching sand from the deserts, islands in the Pacific Ocean are sinking and coastal areas around the world are flushing more and more people out of their homes. The migration has already begun, and the politicians are worried. That is the main reason for the EU to sponsor Dr. Koko Warner and her colleagues from the UN University to find out how politicians can prevent conflicts in times when resource depletion are forcing people into emigration. “Policymakers understand the movement of workforces and other types of migration. But this is a whole new scenario”, says head of the research department of social vulnerability and environmental migration Dr. Warner.

The result of the migration can be a more open refugeepolicy towards people fleeing both from poverty and climate changes, states Dr. Warner: “Allowing one migrant to come to Europe to work and provide for the family at home might cause twenty others stay at home – and in that way let you stem a human tide.” Eventually, opening the borders a little bit could save the EU and other countries huge amounts of money as well as resources. A world of refugees But the researcher’s task is not easy: “We don’t have definitions of environmental refugees and economic refugees – but we expect to be surprised, when we get more knowledge of this problem”, Dr. Warner explains.

According to the most recent comprehensive assessment, approximately 50 million people around the world will have been forced out of their homes due to floods and growing deserts by 2010. Dr. Warner and her team believe there will be three different groups of migrations caused by climate changes: “There will be a group of Well-educated, wealthy people migrating from their homes, when troubles starts showing. Then there will be people with few economic resources, who will be forced to move regionally and might cause conflicts. And then there will be the catastrophe-scenario like the one we saw with the Tsunami, where people have to flee urgently.”

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From War to Wine

hu man tide” No water-wars

Israel and Lebanon have more to gain in trading quality wine than trading missiles

© www.photocase.com

By Guy Haran

The massive migrations - predicted to occur mostly in Africa, China, Central America and South Asia - are bound to cause conflicts but not in the scale predicted by the media. Triggered by the first signs of climatic changes, frightening global war-scenarios are thriving in the media these days. But according to Dr. Warner’s team researcher Lars Wirkus there is no evidence of a future world plagued by conflicts due to environmental migration. “It is a fairy tale. Climate change will not cause violent conflicts on a global scale. That will never happen”, he says. Lars Wirkus works as the manager of the EU-funded MICROCON-project at Bonn’s UN University. He just started researching the difficult topic of micro conflicts caused by climate change, such as the drying out of African water resources and the flooding of Vietnamese coastal areas. “There might be conflicts concerning water resources on a regional scale – especially in Africa. But the water-wars that the media are talking about are not a possible scenario.”

A year ago, Israel and Lebanon were at war. The fires that scorched the earth of the two countries haven’t gone out yet. A wine trail along the famous wineries of south Lebanon and the northern part of Israel may sound like science fiction today. Wine enthusiasts, however, preconceive this trail today by flocking the region for its unique spiciness in the wine. Since ancient times, South Lebanon has been renowned for its fertile soil and ideal climate for grapes. The first commercial winery in Lebanon was founded by Jesuit priests in 1857. This winery, known as “Kasara” continues to produce quality wine. Over the years, wines from “Chateau Kefraya” and “Chateau Musar” have impressed critics from around the world. Today, Lebanon produces approximately six million bottles annually, nearly half of which are exported. Lebanon’s greatest competitor in the region is its southern neighbor, Israel. As in Lebanon, Israel’s first commercial wineries were established at the end of the 19th century. The “Teperberg winery” (1870) and “Carmel winery” (1882) are still among the largest wineries in Israel. Due to new scientific findings that link conscious wine consumption to reduced heart problems, the demand for wine in Israel has been increasing. Israel produces approximately 38 million bottles of wine annually, almost a quarter of which are exported. Not only has this industry been booming, the quality has also continued to improve, both in Israel and in Lebanon. In the near future, both countries could be expected to shift their competition from war to wine, and then we can all travel the beautiful wine trail together. Thus, Israel and Lebanon have more to gain in trading quality wine than trading missiles.

The results of the research on environmental migration and conflicts are to be presented at an international conference in Bonn in October 2008.

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Feature article

From Clash to Alliances between Civilizations By Sonay Kanber

In our current age, globalization enables people to be more mobile, interactive and thus knowledgeable about different religions than in the Middle Ages. Therefore, reconciliation among Abrahamic religions should be possible. However the global tension related to both inter- and intrareligious differences has been rising and threatening the world peace for several reasons: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the

9/11 attacks and the post-9/11 policies. Reconciliation can be achieved by inter-governmental cooperation, inter-faith dialogue and secularized education systems. The 9/11 attacks jeopardized Muslim-Christian relations not only in the US, but also throughout the world. Before 9/11, Muslim-Christian relations were far from smooth, but the level of tension reached

its peak after these particular events. The concept “Islamic terrorism” came to the forefront. It created a mistaken generalization equating Islam with terror. The US came to the brink of suspending diplomatic relations with some Islamic states such as Syria because of their connection to terrorists. Getting an American visa became more difficult for citizens of a Muslim country and especially from states in the Middle East. Even

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The need is urgent for global action to eliminate religious tensions among the Abrahamic faiths. Our forefathers have lived together harmoniously during the Ottoman Empire and the Moorish period. Now in the age of globalization, the peaceful coexistence of religions should be more feasible than ever

citizens of Muslim countries aligned with the US came to see severe entry regulations to the US as discriminatory, and this has damaged the image of the US in the region. Similarly, in Western Europe, immigrant Muslim communities have found themselves increasingly uncomfortable because they are perceived as a threat to democratic secular Western Europe. Western European governments have introduced measures that can provoke non-militant Muslims. For example, new stringent regulations for obtaining citizenship challenge Muslim immigrants from integrating into the Western societies in which they live. These changes in policies and regulations do not achieve their purpose. Extremists know how to evade these policies whereas, for law-abiding citizens, life becomes more complicated. The “Islam equals terror” assumption disturbs moderate Muslims who believe that Islam is a religion of peace and brotherhood. As a consequence, these stricter regulations and policies post9/11 upset innocent nonmilitant Muslims. To prevent religious tensions from threatening world peace, governments should promote constructive cooperation and policies rather than succumb to religious stereotypes, biases, and ethnocentrism. First, on the macro

level, the need is urgent for cooperation at the highest level of governments. For example, a UN project proposed by the Spanish and Turkish Prime Ministers and known as Alliance of Civilizations is an attempt to undermine “Clash of Civilizations” arguments that suggest the incompatibility of the Western civilization with the Islamic one. Second, clerics should come together more often, and governments should support such visits. The Pope’s last visit to Turkey was a success in terms of inter-religious dialogue and inter-governmental cooperation for reconciliation of religions. The Pope and his Turkish counterpart, the head of Directorate of Religious Affairs, held several meetings as the Orthodox Patriarch and the chief Rabbi in Istanbul likewise hosted the Pope. This visit showed once again that Turkey is an example of Christians, Jews and Muslims coexisting in a secular Muslim country. Turkey could therefore be considered a role model for reconciliation of Christianity, Judaism and Islam in the Middle East. Furthermore, concrete steps for peace in the Middle East in the form of a new blueprint are required. Iraq, for instance, needs urgent international attention and support for domestic conflict resolution. Rising anti-Americanism in the region can be dampened through a settlement in Iraq. In addition, new constructive anti-

terrorism measures – instead of the negatively-perceived stricter visa regulations – could help the US rebuild trust and support in the Middle East. Likewise, Western European governments need to reconsider their integration and immigration policies, and come to understand that Muslim immigrants are not temporary guest workers anymore but permanent residents. Recognizing the potential these immigrants offer would speed reconciliation. Finally, on the micro level, education is critical to a well-functioning inter-religious dialogue among the Abrahamic faiths. Globally, religious education should be multi-faceted and secularized. It should aim to give a general understanding of religions of the book that includes major knowledge about all Abrahamic religions. A religious education that teaches only about the superiority of a particular religion over the others is the biggest danger to the peaceful co-existence of religions. The need is urgent for global action to eliminate religious tensions among the Abrahamic faiths. Our forefathers have lived together harmoniously during the Ottoman Empire and the Moorish period. Now in the age of globalization, the peaceful coexistence of religions should be more feasible than ever.

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BIG DREAMS – Garba – BIG DREAM That there are no borders to cross – that we all share the global space and resources equally Garba – SMALL HOPE I want as many people as possible to cross borders peacefully Sheera – BIG DREAM That all my small hopes will come true Sheera – SMALL HOPE That there is no reason to have big dreams Onur – BIG DREAM That all people will have more empath Onur– SMALL HOPE To understand the world better Nissan – BIG DREAM To achieve my targets. Nissan – SMALL HOPE To see my targets. Zuheir – BIG DREAM A Palestinian state

Ashwas – BIG DREAM Independence for Palestine Ashwas – SMALL HOPE Cancel all the checkpoints

Zuheir – SMALL HOPE To live peacefully and move freely from one city to another Serene – BIG DREAM To have an independent state called Palestine were people are treated equally Serene – SMALL HOPE To found an international institute that teaches people how to understand each other. To make a world where everyone cares about each other in spite of their differences. Eness – BIG DREAM To be a writer and to reach many people Eness – SMALL HOPE To live quietly

Yehia – BIG DREAM That all people will love each other Yehia – SMALL HOPE That we can forgive

Benjamin – BIG DREAMS That everybody will be born equally with same possibilities to pursuit their dreams and goals Benjamin– SMALL HOPE That children all over the world can go to school and get an education

Sonay – BIG DREAMS To increase the level of education all over the world Sonay– SMALL HOPES Make everybody literate in Turkey

Ali – BIG DREAMS That the Middle East will unite including Israel and form a union similar to The European Union, so everybody can cross borders without limitations Ali – SMALL HOPE That there will be two states, Israel and Palestine, living in peaceful neighbourhood

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What does

culture-, conflictand gender-sensitive media mean

to

you?

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

Katarina: “You can never leave your cultural- gender- or conflictbackground when you are writing an article, but it is important to mark the perspective you are talking from.” May: “My mission as a female journalist is making all women’s voices heard.” Anne: “Culture sensitive media is about stepping out of what you are in the middle of and seeing through the power structures in terms of gender, culture and conflict.” Sheera: “Conflict media is continually faced with performing their function in narrowing and challenging circumstances that test their ethical boundaries.” Sonay: “Culture sensitive media to me is reporting with awareness, consciousness and knowledge about different cultures, beside these one should never have the intention of making fun of another culture.”

What I see from here is not what you see from there. Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

Special Edition of Crossing Borders Media Course • Bonn • 18-28 August 2007

Crossing Borders issue 28  
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