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Deutsch-tunesische Jugendbegegnung - „Match up with gender roles“ - Bericht

Today, our project finally got started. We, a group of young people from Magdeburg, were exited to travel to Tunisia to join a German-Tunisian youth exchange with students of both countries. We met at 4:30 a.m. to catch the train to Frankfurt. It was quite early, but we quickly realized that it was worth it as we were picked up from the airport of Tunis. The group of Tunisian students greeted us warmly, and we got all together escorted to the hotel. The hotel itself was located in Hammamet. There, we got to know each other better just from the beginning and started to exchange the different experiences we´ve already made in our home countries towards the topic ‘gender roles’. Afterwards we went to the city center, the ‘Medina’ (as in many Arabian places). Because of the reason that locals don´t care about traffic rules, we worried about our health while sitting in the taxi. Finally, we were glad about getting from one to another point without any accident. At the medina, we ended the day with shopping, drinking a cup of traditional tea and watching a magic show with cultural dances of each region of Tunisia.


The day started with a typical Tunisian breakfast. We got served some dishes, which we also would have in Germany for breakfast like buns or croissants with jam. Besides this we got to try oven-baked flatbreads and sweet pastries with a donut-like consistency, called Khobz Tabonna and Bambaloony. Everything tasted delicious except for juice and coffee, which were way too sweet to enjoy. After finishing breakfast, we finally started to work on our project having the theme “Match up with gender roles”. First of all, we talked about the meaning of gender, feminism and women empowerment. Besides this, some members of the group gave us information about the actual situation of women in Tunisia and Germany. Afterwards, we had a discussion about current problems belonging to the situation of women in the different countries and shared prejudices about women. It was very interesting to see, how the rights of women have increased over the years in both countries. We came to the result, that women and men are already the same in many aspects. Towards it, we ended up the day at the pool with swimming and playing water ball.


Subsequent to the previous day, we got to know more about the violence against women in the different countries. During lunch break we got enough time to explore the surroundings and jump into the sea. The way to the beach was quite exciting because we have gone past some wild camels looking at us with expectant faces. Cooled from swimming, we started thereafter again - continuing on our project. We made posters that should support the idea of equal rights for women and call for the cessation of violence against them. We took them to Hammamet and launched a flash mob by letting other people sign the posters and
simultaneouslysupporting the project. It was a great experiences because we got to talk to many people from all over the world. They were all very open minded and excited about being a part of the flash mob. It was a great feeling to have created such a great project with the whole group of us. After we arrived back at the hotel, we had dinner. Here we settled once apprise why the Tunisian appeared both - breakfast and dinner – in pajamas. They told us, that this was normal in Tunisia. Afterwards we could end the day just as the day before by swimming, relaxing and playing some card games.


Today we went on a trip to Tunis - the capital of Tunisia. With it, both groups of countries managed to service their clichés. We Germans were at breakfast on time and could have left punctually to Tunis. The Tunisian students came at least half an hour later for breakfast. But that wasn´t supposed to be a big problem. We set off on our journey just a little bit later. It follows, that we already learned in the morning, that you do not need to be on time, while you´re travelling with Tunisians. Upon arrival in Tunis, we visited some NGOs, which also stand up for women rights. We were given the opportunity to talk with the leaders of the organizations. They even answered us outstanding issues and gave an insight in the work of the organizations. Besides this, we visited the Bardo Museum and got to see lots of wonderful mosaic arts. Afterwards, we went to a place called Sidi Bou Said. There, we ran to the highest point of the city, to have the best view of Tunisia. We had a great view of the sea and the coast during the sunset. Everyone enjoyed this moment while taking lots of pictures with newfound friends. Before we had to go back, we got some time to by souvenirs and explore the city characterized by all the beautiful looking blue and white traditional Tunisian houses. Finally, it is to say that it was a great day full of new impressions.

On this day we got to learn more about the role of a leader by attending a workshop, which had the theme “Leadership among women”.  We dealt with the question of how to become a leader and what it means to be one. In the course of this, we tried to find out, whether we – ourselves – are leader somehow by participating in different exercises and little games. At the end of the workshop, all were aware of the role they usually play in groups. We also discussed the challenges to support women in being a leader or to convince them about their strengths as a leader. Afterwards, some people went to the beach, while others decided to spend some time in the city until the karaoke night got started. We organized our own karaoke night and were singing songs all mixed up, from “Tausend mal berührt”, over “Barbie Girl”, up to some Tunisian ones. Besides this, we were introducing the Macarena song and learned more about the way of traditional dancing in Tunisia. We all had lots of fun and a great time, even if some tones went wrong.

On our last day of program, we played the Island Game. First of all, we got divided into three groups. Each group was assigned by different rules of conduct which the others did not know about it. Step by step, the teams had to figure out how to deal with the different ruling within each group. We had to work together by building a bridge, even though we were not the same and had to find ways how to communicate and work with the others. It worked well in the end and we had lots of fun by cooperating and pretending of being an inhabitant of the island. Thereby, we learned to be open-minded and to find solutions about getting along with others and not to change someone else. In the evening we had our Farewell Party. With it, we Germans got typical Tunisian Henna tattoos and paintings. Afterwards, we spend the whole night together by dancing and talking to each other or just listening to music.

After a night almost without sleep, we already left for the airport at 4 o´clock in the morning. It was way too early for all members of the group and everybody was asleep while getting to the airport by bus. There, we all had to say goodbye to each other. Some tears flowed, but we all knew that we´ll see each other hopefully again in the beginning of next year in Germany, where part two of the exchange project will take place. We went on the plane and at noon we were already back in Frankfurt. After an eternity of train trip, we finally got home, all happy to have participated in this great project.

Just like us. - So wie wir.

Wir, die Internationalen Jugendgemeinschaftsdienste Sachsen-Anhalt e.V. haben vom 15.-23.Juli 2016 einen deutsch-jordanischen Fachkräfteaustausch „Supporting Refugees“ durchgeführt. Dieser fand in Magdeburg und Berlin statt. Mit unserem jordanischen Partner „Leaders of Life for Sustainable Development“ in Irbid arbeiten wir schon viele Jahre zusammen.

Gerade Jordanien ist im Nahen Osten und besonders in der heutigen Zeit von den Umbrüchen des arabischen Raums von Flüchtlingen geprägt. Früher gab es einen Zustrom von Palästinenser nach Jordanien. Mittlerweile ist das Land durch riesige Zeltlager von syrischen Flüchtlingen an den Grenzen geprägt. Wie Freiwillige und Helfer der verschiedensten Vereine und staatlichen Institutionen beider Länder mit dieser herausforderung umgehen, sollte in unserem Fachkräfteaustausch deutlich werden. Fertigkeiten ihrer Arbeit mit Geflüchteten wurden erweitert und ein länderübergreifender Wissensaustausch zur Kinder- und Jugendarbeit in diesem Bereich führte zu neuen Anregungen auf beiden Seiten. 

Wir konzentrieren unsere Aufmerksamkeit auf die Verbesserung des Status von Flüchtlingen in der jordanischen und der deutschen Gesellschaft. Gerade in einer sich ständig verändernden Welt des Terrors und der Kriege ist es wichtig, die Rechte und Möglichkeiten der Flüchtlingen zu kennen und ihnen zu helfen.

Die Gruppe von 20 interessierten jungen Menschen (Studenten, Ausbilder, Multiplikatoren und Freiwillige) aus Jordanien und Deutschland hatte die Chance, persönliche Ansichten und Erlebniss mit anderen Teilnehmern auszutauschen und mehr über die Herausforderungen der Arbeit mit und für Flüchtlinge in Erfahrung zu bringen. Ein Fokus lag dabei auf den unterschiedlichen bürokratischen Hürden und Abläufen, die das deutsche System bereit hält. Dabei wurden viele Gemeinsamkeiten – just like us – sichtbar. Die wichtigste Frage für die Organisatoren ist die Förderung und Verbesserung der Chancen für Flüchtlinge im wirtschaftlichen, sozialen und politischen Bereich, um ihre Rollen in der Gemeinschaft zu erhöhen.

Es war allen Teilnehmenden ein Bedürfnis innerhalb der internationalen Gruppen die Planung und Organisation von künftigen Workshops zu konzipieren, die Probleme der Flüchtlinge zu erkennen und zu verstehen, mit denen sie in unseren Ländern konfrontiert werden. Das Verständnis über die Rechte der Flüchtlinge sowie das Prinzip der ethnischen Gleichheit bieten eine große Chance, um mit den zuständigen Organisationen und Institutionen den Kontakt zu erhalten.

Alle Teilnehmer waren sich einig, dass dieses Training die beste Chance war, eine große interaktive Debatte über Flüchtlinge zu führen und auch mit einigen ins Gespräch zu kommen. Viele empfanden den informellen Austausch mit Teilnehmenden aus den verschiedenen Bereichen der Flüchtlingshilfe vorteilhaft. Das Gespräch mit Flüchtlingen sowie neuen Projekten innerhalb Deutschlands wie das Sharehaus Refugio  in Berlin verdeutlichten die Lebenssituation der Geflüchteten und ihre Dilemata. Es war eine gute Zeit, Erfahrung zwischen Jordanien und Deutschland und für das Auftreten von neuen Ideen zu teilen.

Von: Ewelina Lepionko und Friederike Lange