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Interns 2013

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Rebekka Daubenberger (Germany) Media and Technology, FH Offenburg, January – July 2013

After my semester at the German University in Cairo as an exchange student, I started my internship at CAWU. 
Most of all I wanted to get to know the country better and stay a while longer, but I also wanted to witness the work of an NGO in Cairo. And there was no better decision than this to complete the six months internship required by my university in Egypt.
I mainly assisted in proposing a new design of the website and tried to complete some elements. I also took part in the design of the first Arab West Journal and other small graphical tasks.
Next to the assigned duties the internship was most interesting by the surroundings and the events. We had lots of fun working together in the office and the atmosphere was always nice. During the free time I learned the traditional Egyptian culture and followed up the current events. To learn the language, meet the people and work with the great team at Arab West Report was definitely a life time experience.
Ahmed Khaled Abdallah (Egypt) BA Accounting, British University, June – December 2013
I’m Ahmed from Egypt. I'm a fresh graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the British University in Egypt. As an Egyptian with an overwhelming interest in better understanding the Western culture and lifestyle, and a deep desire to bridge the gap between the East and West, I find being an intern at CAWU a great chance to promote this understanding and communication. While I have a comprehensive accounting background, I am also genuinely passionate about research. I'm currently working on a research paper about the Egyptian Jewish community and attempting to document the lives of the soon-to-be-extinct Jews of Egypt, tracing how the Egyptian Jews went from partners to enemies within the span of a few decades.  As the only Egyptian intern at CAWU, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work and come into contact with so many people of different nationalities. Being an Egyptian guy, I find living here pretty safe even in the midst of the protests that have been going for the last couple of years."
Tarek Hassan (Germany/Egypt), BA Communication and Media Science, University of Leipzig, July 2013
The E-Marketing Internship offered me a valuable insight into the NGO sector while combining this with my field of study.
My tasks at CAWU included translations, creating and managing social media, external communication tasks and organizing intercultural meetings between our interns and interested Egyptian students. 
CAWU is a great place to do your internship when you are willing to be innovative - new ideas are always welcome and the staff take suggestions into consideration. You will gain valuable expertise on Egyptian politics and the administration of a non-profit organization. 
Nadira Mekic (Germany/Bosnia and Herzegovina) BA Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, March 2013
As a student of Near and Middle Eastern Studies at LMU in Munich I have been interested in the politics, cultures and religions of the Middle East for a long time.
After my first travel to Egypt in 2011 and a memorable experience during the Egyptian Revolution, I decided to visit Cairo again and got the opportunity to be a part of CAWU for about 6 weeks in March 2013.
For me the focus on Sufism as an important component of the Egyptian society is important. I randomly came across information about the transition of Sufism from spirituality as an essential part of life towards political actions. That is why I spent most of the time meeting and interviewing some notable Sufi figures, among others Sheikh Abul-Azayem of the Azameya Order, Sheikh Qaṣabi as Head of the Sufi Council or Dr. Ibrahim Zahran, leader of the only Sufi party in Egypt, the Ḥizb al-Taḥrir Al-Maṣry (Egyptian Liberation Party).
The CAWU-staff supported and encouraged me during my research by all available means and let me gain an unforgettable and valuable experience, accompanied by a welcoming and lovely atmosphere. Participating in CAWU's actions gives you additionally a great insight in intercultural and inter-religious relations. Be part of it.
Lila Raouf (United States) Indiana University, May – June 2013
While interning at CAWU, Lila Raouf was a student at Indiana University, majoring in International Studies and Arabic. After spending two semesters at the American University in Cairo, Lila worked as a research intern with CAWU. She researched recent blasphemy cases in Egypt and how they were dealt with under the Muslim Brotherhood. Lila also researched Western reporting of these blasphemy cases in comparison to how they were recounted by Middle East media sources. Her research contributed the (insert name) publication of 2013.
Calum Humphreys (United Kingdom) BA (Honors) Arabic and Spanish, University of Exeter, May – July 2013
I spent two months translating articles and writing news overviews at AWR. As a student of Arabic language and culture this experience has aided my language development greatly and my understanding of the use of Arabic and the issues present in Egyptian media. The work has given me an opportunity to explore the complexity of Egyptian politics, religion, culture and society. The office is full of friendly international staff with a range of interests, who work together in a vibrant, relaxed atmosphere. I recommend this internship to anyone who wants to develop their Arabic language skills through practical application and is interested in contemporary Egyptian affairs.
Myles Ormerod (China), FCH (Honors) Arabic, Persian and Mandarin, University of Exeter, May – July 2013
I spent two months translating articles and writing news overviews for AWR. The internship has been beneficial to my Arabic and has also increased my awareness for the social, religious and political issues in Egypt, especially the development of Muslim-Christian relations within the country. It was a pleasure working with the young and vibrant staff here and I recommend this internship to anyone wanting to improve their level of Arabic and understanding local issues which are absent in Foreign media.
Robert Bental (United Kingdom) University of Exeter, May – July 2013
I interned with CAWU over the summer of 2013, which was certainly a very educational experience! Obviously there was a great deal of political turmoil in Egypt at that time, which meant that CAWU’s work in adding context to political reporting was more relevant than ever, and being on the front-line of that was an experience I will never forget.
During the previous year I had been studying Arabic in Egypt and so spent much of my time creating English language summaries of Arabic language news about what was happening politically. Seeing first-hand how the media was often slanted or partial in its coverage was an eye-opening experience, and reading some of the previous reports about the media coverage of issues in Egypt, particularly concerning the Coptic Christian minority, was both concerning, as well as a spur to further action.
During the last days of Muhammed Morsi’s presidency the situation was very tense but I was still invited to play a role in interviewing prominent political figures to try to help improve dialogue between the various political factions of the time, which was an amazing opportunity to see Egyptian politics at close-quarters.
Everyone in the office made me feel very welcome and they were extremely flexible with my schedule to enable me to combine my internship at CAWU with other work.
Thank you to all the people at CAWU and especially to Kees and Jenna for giving me the opportunity to work there.
Denise Hartlieb (Austria) BA Transcultural Communication, University of Graz, May – June 2013
After studying Arabic and English at the University of Graz, I came to Egypt for one year to study Arabic studies for non-native speakers at the Ain Shams University in Cairo. At the end of the academic year I decided to work as a translation intern at AWR for five weeks in order to get translating experience. In these five weeks I translated and summarized Arabic newspaper articles into English. At first it was quite a challenge for me as a German native speaker to translate from one foreign language into the other, but week by week I could enhance my skills. My translated articles were always reviewed immediately, which enabled me to benefit from the feedback. I could definitely enhance my Arabic skills and I also learned how to write in proper English. Besides, the work has given me the opportunity to dive into the world of Egypt’s political and religious issues. It was a pleasure to be an intern at AWR, especially because the people were friendly and helpful. Last but not least, I would recommend the translation internship to anyone trying to improve his/her Arabic skills and interested in what is going on in Egypt!
JooWon Kim (Korea) State University of New York at Binghamton, June – July 2013
Hello all, I'm JooWon Kim from South Korea and I'm currently pursuing a B.A. in political science at State University of New York, Binghamton. I came to Egypt and interned with CAWU to contribute to its mission and objectives; conflict resolution between Muslims and Christians along with accurate media reporting. I've learned much during my stay and it was great to be connected with other interns and CAWU staffs. Everyone welcomed and assisted me whenever it's needed. I would love to come back to Egypt one day! I blogged about my experience here.
Robert Forster (Norway) MSc International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic, Edinburgh University, May – September 2013
I decided to intern at CAWU as a means to improve my research and translation skills while studying Arabic at ILI as part of my masters. My main task at CAWU was researching Coptic-Muslim relations during the tumultuous year when Morsi was in power. The eventual chapter was summarily translated and published with Missio. The opportunity has since been proven helpful in a number of endeavors afterwards. 
CAWU was a great place to work and the other staff and interns were kind and welcoming. I addition, due to the difficulties of travelling to the office in Maadi from Mohandiseen, Jenna and Kees were very understanding and flexible and allowed me to work odd hours or externally. Following the evacuation of Edinburgh students, this became a key factor in the continuation of my internship, which was completed from Amman.
I want to thank CAWU for the opportunity and I hope to return to Egypt!
Anton Bondarew (Germany) BA Middle Eastern Studies, Philipps-University Marburg, June – October 2013
My name is Anton Bondarew and I am a student of Oriental Studies at the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Marburg. I've studied Arabic in Germany and the United Arab Emirates. After ten months in the Emirates I wanted to come to Cairo to experience another atmosphere and gain further knowledge on the Middle East. But my main intention was to improve my Arabic as a translation intern for CAWU.
There are a number of articles to translate every day and the working morale in the office is inspiring, so I can say that after three weeks of working, I can already see a notable improvement in my abilities.
For me, Arab West Report is an important source of information on Egyptian affairs, as it is neutral, concise and informative.
The current situation in Egypt is good. I've not had problems walking through the streets while exploring different parts of the city. If you already speak Arabic and live in a nice place, it is very pleasant here.
Daniela De Maria (Italy) BA Linguistic and Cultural Mediation, University of Milan, July – September 2013
My name is Daniela De Maria graduated in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation for the English and Arabic languages and cultures. This was my 4th time in Egypt and during my previous journeys I had learned a lot about Egypt’s Muslim community and traditions, but I still lacked any firsthand knowledge on Christians’ issues and way of life. I therefore decided to come to CAWU and AWR for an internship in translation, not only to improve my linguistic and translating skills, but also to gain deeper knowledge on the topics analyzed in AWR reviews and reports. I find that such topics are almost totally neglected by international and mainstream press, and without AWR’s work I would hardly be able to access them.
My experience and my work at CAWU completely fulfilled my expectations and I was clearly able to see the improvements in both my working skills and knowledge; I was also happy about the workplace area: a classy, safe and calm area far from the political unrest, resided by people very much eager to help.
However, what most made my experience at CAWU unique, is the chance I had to visit the sit-in camp of Rabaa al-Adaweya, where I went with the editor in chief and other interns to interview a representative of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamist groups protesting for the deposal of former president Morsi. 
Whether I agreed or not with what I had seen and heard, I will always be thankful to CAWU for giving me the possibility to see with my own eyes and better understand all the parts involved in the ever-changing Egyptian socio-cultural scene of that historical time.
Federica Raimondi (Italy) MA Languages, Economics and Judicial Institutions of Mediterranean Africa and Asia, University of Venice, July – September 2013
I have been interning at Arab West Report during the summer of 2013, right after the military intervention. It wasn’t my first time in Egypt and I wasn’t afraid of the political or safety situation since I experienced that despite pervious turmoil, Cairo is a very safe city, big enough to ensure peace and quietness in several areas: Maadi, where the organization is based, is among them. 
Concerning my experience at CAWU, I have been interning as a translation assistant and I would recommend it to anyone keen to deepen their experience in the field of inter-religious and intercultural dialogue. Throughout my months at Arab West Report I improved my Arabic translation skills, specializing in the language of media and politics. Specifically, the other interns and I were given daily articles to translate and summarize. English is not my mother tongue and I also improved my writing skills in that language significantly. By reading daily Egyptian newspapers I got to know more about Copts and Muslims in Egypt, realizing how important is to commit to studies in this field and pave the way to a clear and truthful mutual understanding.
I have also had a significant field experience with Cornelis Hulsman, the editor-in-chief of Arab West Report, in visiting the Muslim Brotherbood sit-in at Raba’a al-Adawiyya to interview one of the most influential Islamist leaders in one of the pivot places of Cairo in the summer of 2013. 
Everyone in the office took good care of me and did everything to make me feel comfortable and come towards me and towards my interests. Thanks to this experience I could add to my CV and to my personal richness a relevant experience.
Flynne Rushton (United Kingdom) Arabic and History, S.O.A.S University, July – September 2013
Having completed two years of my BA Arabic and History degree at SOAS, University of London, I arrived in Egypt in September 2012 where I spent the academic year living and studying in Alexandria as my year abroad from university. I then decided to stay on in Egypt for the summer before returning to university for my fourth year. I moved to Cairo from Alexandria and I was warmly welcomed into the CAWU office where I began my work as a Translation Intern summarising relevant items from the Egyptian press in English. My time at the office began shortly after al-Sisi had taken over from Mursi; needless to say it was a time of political turmoil. Therefore, throughout August a lot of my work was completed from my flat in Maadi as the office was closed due to security issues.  I gained a lot from my time spent at the AWR – as well as deepening my knowledge about the political situation in Egypt I developed my understanding of the religious aspects of the conflict especially at a time when religious-based problems were becoming more widespread and detrimental to Egypt’s stability and social cohesion. 
Hina Fathima (India) Haverford College, July – August 2013
I was lucky to find a short term research internship at CAWU during my last month in Egypt. Although it was only for a month, CAWU was very accommodating with my working hours. I worked on a comparative essay on the portrayal of Coptic Christian community in the media before and after the 2011 revolution. I found this topic intriguing given the political climate at that time, as major protests were shaking the country once again.
CAWU is among a handful of organizations in Cairo where interns are truly valued and given meaningful work. I found the internship a rewarding experience as I enjoyed my work, met some great colleagues—a small but surprisingly diverse group of interns—and had a coordinator who was supportive and offered constructive criticism and feedback. Additionally, I felt that I was able to positively contribute to the organization’s work (and that my paper would not ultimately end up in an obscure folder on some computer!).
I would love to work at CAWU once again, for a longer period, and perhaps as a translation intern.  
Verena Walther (Germany) BA Near and Middle Eastern Studies, LHM Munich University, July – August 2013
I first came to Egypt in 2011, interning with a German political foundation. This had increased my interest in research related to my undergraduate studies (Near and Middle Eastern Studies), in order to improve my skills in analysis and writing. My time at CAWU in 2013 had been spent performing research on Egypt's media system and journalism. Field work such as interviews with media professionals, journalists and lawyers helped me to visualize what I had previously read about. The experience of living and working in Cairo has been highly rewarding. 
Esther Schoorel (the Netherlands) BA Cultural Anthropology and Development sociology, University of Amsterdam, September 2013 – January 2014
I started working with AWR as a research intern in September 2013, during this time I mainly worked on a research related to Coptic population statistics. In university I followed a minor in Middle Eastern Studies and the University of Amsterdam mainly focuses on Egypt, therefore I had the idea that I had a pretty solid base of knowledge about events in Egypt. However when I started my time at AWR I realized how little I actually knew and how much I had to learn. During my time at AWR I got a lot of in depth knowledge about Egyptian society and of certain problems in the country, that I am convinced I could not have easily gained anywhere else. This internship has thus been a very beneficial and enriching experience for me.
One of the highlights of my work at AWR was the interview we did with Dr. Amr Darrag in October. Amr Darrag was the Minister of International Cooperation and Planning in the Morsi cabinet. With a team of eight people we visited the office of the former minister and conducted an interview with him, which I later transcribed and wrote a newsletter about. It was very exciting and insightful to attend an interview with an important Muslim Brotherhood leader at this time, right after the disposal of Mohamed Morsy and when the Muslim Brotherhood was in such a state of crisis.
I really enjoyed working at AWR. I had a warm welcome of the staff from the first moment and I have really enjoyed working with everyone. From the first moment I noticed that everyone at the office shows great interest both in each other as people as in each other’s work and there was always time for help and feedback on your work. Furthermore Dr. Hulsman would always make sure that we as interns would come to conferences, interviews and meetings, so that we could learn and expand our knowledge. Dr. Hulsman has also always been prepared and ready to give good and quick feedback on the research and to help out when I got stuck with anything. I experienced the office therefore as a place where I could develop myself in a very stimulating environment.
Overall my time at Arab West Report has been an invaluable experience that will help me a lot in my future studies and career. Thank you to all of the AWR staff that made my experience at the internship so positive and to the new interns who are reading this: I would really recommend this internship to all of you, good luck and enjoy it!
Nadja Ayoub (Germany) Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, May – July 2013
Kevin Yi (United States), BS Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, July 2013
Marco De Blasi (Italy) MSc International Relations of the Middle East with Arabic, University of Edinburgh, June 2013
Aidan Mascarenhas-Keyes (United Kingdom) Modern Middle Eastern History and Arabic, University of Manchester, March – June 2013
Fouad Ben Massoud (the Netherlands) Economics & Business, University of Amsterdam, June 2013
Quinta Smit (the Netherlands) MSC Arab World Studies, University of Edinburgh, February – July 2013
Michael East (United Kingdom) Arabic, University of Exeter, June 2013
Rebekah Paulus (United States) Fuller Theological Seminary, June – July 2013