Dossier: Places of Dialogue

Paolo Dall'Oglio (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Abduction in Syria of Paolo Dall'Oglio

A voice of peace in a wilderness of violence

The Italian Jesuit Paolo Dall'Oglio was abducted eight months ago in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. There has been no trace of him since. A popular figure in Syria, the priest has been a consistent champion of dialogue between Christians and Muslims. He was one of the few members of the Church to align himself with the opposition right at the start of the uprising against Assad in March 2011. By Claudia MendeMore

Ibrahim Nehme, editor-in-chief of "The Outpost" (photo: Ieva Saudargaite)gaite

The Lebanese magazine "The Outpost"

Road map to an uncensored world

The pan-Arab magazine "The Outpost" is produced on a quarterly basis in Beirut. Only one year after its establishment, it is already attracting international attention. Astrid Kaminski took a closer look at the magazine and spoke to its editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Nehme, about its successMore

Esra Küçük (photo: David Ausserhofer)

Young Islam Conference

Interface between politics and society

The Young Islam Conference sees itself as both a forum for dialogue and a mouthpiece for young Muslims and non-Muslims alike. It seeks to counter prejudice and negative ideas about Islam in Germany. Shohreh Karimian spoke to Esra Küçük, the managing director of the Young Islam Conference, about the forum's background and aimsMore

People at the Bait al Karama restaurant sit down at table in anticipation of a meal together (photo: Ulrike Schleicher)

Women's centre "Bait al Karama"

Nablus is cooking again!

Kanafeh, spices, oils and breads of the finest quality – Nablus has always been renowned for its excellent cuisine. The Bait al Karama initiative seeks to raise the profile of this cuisine and to underline the importance of food for any culture. Ulrike Schleicher visited Bait al Karama and its cookery school, the first organised by women in the West BankMore

Dr Naika Foroutan (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Interview with Naika Foroutan on Germany's Islam Conference

Encouraging developments

Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has announced that the German Islam Conference will no longer concern itself with security issues. For sociologist Naika Foroutan of Berlin's Humboldt University, this is a positive sign. At last, the conference will be able to concentrate on ensuring religious equality for Muslims in Germany. Claudia Mende spoke to herMore

Photo of a Nemashim theatre production entitled "Remembering the return to Haifa" (photo: Flickr.com)

Book review: Uri Shani's "Nemashim" theatre project

Creating a level playing field

In his book, the Israeli theatre director and drama teacher Uri Shani describes the ups and downs of an Arab–Hebrew community theatre project known as "Nemashim". Julie Schwannecke read the book and spoke with the authorMore

The Greek town of Dimitsana (photo: Fotalia/Dimitrios Rizopoulos)

Nefin Dinc's documentary "The Other Town"

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A universal story of ethnic hatred

Two towns – one in Turkey, the other in Greece – similar yet infused by mutual dislike. Birgi and Dimitsana are both "the other town" in Turkish film-maker Nefin Dinc's eponymous prize-winning documentary, which investigates the mutual animosity between two towns. By Danilo EliaMore

Turkish riot police in clouds of tear gas in Istanbul during the move to clear Gezi Park on 15 June 2013 (photo: Reuters)

Culture in Turkey before and after Gezi

The end of Cool Istanbul

By bursting the bubble of mainstream discourse, there is no doubt that the Gezi protests transformed the horizon of grassroots political praxis in Turkey. Should we expect an equally drastic change in the domain of culture and the arts? After Gezi, is it still possible for the cultural industry to cling on to the easily marketable "self-Orientalising" currency that has been so fashionable over the past 10 years? By Mutlu YetkinMore

Film scene from “Bethlehem” (photo: real fiction film distribution)

Israeli cinema: "Bethlehem"

Beloved enemy

The friendship between an Israeli intelligence officer and his Palestinian informant makes for an explosive subject. Film director Yuval Adler takes up the theme in his gripping thriller "Bethlehem". Annabelle Steffes watched the filmMore

Young demonstrators on Istiklal Street in Istanbul on 6 July 2013 (photo: BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

Youth and protest in Turkey

"The pieces of the mosaic are shifting"

The Gezi Park protests in Turkey may have died down, but the social commitment of many young people is still high, and their battle for self-determination and participation continues. An overview by Anna Esser in IstanbulMore

Translations of Classical Islamic Literature

From the Emotional Orient to the Distortion of Islam

Why does classical Oriental poetry still sound so ornate to western ears? Blame the translations. These are still following the model of the eighteenth century, when the myth arose that Islamic poets were sentimental geniuses in the realm of emotion and romance. An essay by Stefan WeidnerMore

Caroline Link's Film "Exit Marrakech"

Understanding the Cultural "Other"

With her exquisite and sensitive film "Exit Marrakech", Caroline Link demonstrates genuine openness towards Morocco – the beauty of its landscape, the social diversity, and the country's cultural wealth, as well as for its social extremes and contradictions. A review by Christoph LeistenMore

Raid Yosif (photo: private copyright)

Iraqi Pop Music

Raid Yousif – A Superstar in Limbo

After fleeing his native Iraq and settling in Germany, Raid Yousif is devoting himself to developing his music career. Despite setbacks, he's intent on breaking new ground. Eike Rüdebusch reportsMore

Lisa M. Gimsa (left) and Sihem Mahjoub (photo: EMA)

Women Entrepreneurs in the Arab World

Successful Together

"Ouissal" means "connection". A new project bearing this name offers women entrepreneurs from Germany and Tunisia the opportunity to get to know each other and offer mutual support in their professional careers – a dialogue between equal partners. By Martina SabraMore

Protests of the Cihangir Park Forum in Istanbul (photo: private copyright)

"Open Forums" in Turkey

New Forms of Participation

The Gezi Park protests have led to the emergence of local grassroots committees or "Open Forums" in many Turkish towns and cities. Their goal: To preserve quality of life in residential areas and foster political dialogue and development. A commentary by Ceyda Nurtsch from the "Open Forum" in the Istanbul neighbourhood of BeyoğluMore

'Wonderland' by Halil Altindere (photo: © Servet Dilber)

The Istanbul Biennial

A Missed Opportunity for Art

As the art biennial opens, the smell of violence once again lies in the air in Istanbul. Can a major exhibition respond to the language of the street and fulfil its promise of a free and modern society? By Catrin LorchMore

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