Society

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

Young Muslim pupils in Berlin (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Young Muslims in Germany

Forget, but don't forget

If young Muslims are to enjoy equal status within German society, a number of key changes are necessary in terms of language, discourse and policy. These changes can only be effected by the majority society working together with Muslim citizens. By Melahat KisiMore

Pinar Atalay (photo: dpa/Thorsten Jander)

The new face of the nightly news: Pinar Atalay

Not just the token migrant

On 7 March 2014, Pinar Atalay hosted the ARD's nightly news programme "Tagesthemen" for the first time. This was a first in Germany because Atalay was born in Germany to Turkish parents. Together with Dunja Hayali, Pinar Atalay is one of the most experienced presenters with a "migrant background" on German television. By Shohreh KarimianMore

KAFA demonstration on International Women's Day on 8 March in Beirut (photo: Juliane Metzker)

Domestic violence against women in Lebanon

Protection, yes, but not enough

On 1 April, the Lebanese parliament approved a law designed to curb domestic violence. However, the women's rights organisation KAFA, which ran a high-profile campaign demanding a law to protect women against domestic violence, is disappointed with the outcome and says the law does not go far enough. Background information from Juliane Metzker in BeirutMore

Protesters at a demonstration in Hamburg walk behind a very large banner that reads "NO to racism in politics, everyday life and institutions. ENOUGH killing, silence, tolerance, cover-ups" (photo: dpa)

Racism in Germany

Time to talk about racism

Until such time as there is an open debate about racism, the debate about integration in Germany will not more forward. After all, as Aladin El-Mafaalani explains, integration and racism are two key elements of a discourse on participation that a country of immigration has to addressMore

Children playing in the kindergarten for traumatised children in Manshia, Syria (photo: Laura Overmeyer)

Syrian refugee children

A lost generation in the making

In the Jordanian village of Manshia, a German NGO has set up a kindergarten for traumatised Syrian refugee children. Here, they can leave their horrible past behind and learn how to be children again. Laura Overmeyer visited the kindergartenMore

Teacher and pupils in a Turkish class (photo: Andrea Groß)

The Turkish language in Germany

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Turkish is booming at schools and universities

An increasing number of young people in Germany are taking Turkish at school. The German–Turkish Year of Science hopes to further boost this trend. At present, only native speakers can take the subject at schools, but this is about to change. By Andrea GroßMore

Amy Chua (photo: Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images)

Book review: Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld on immigrant culture

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Attack of the power migrants

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld pledge to lift the lid on the cultural secrets of success of certain immigrant groups in the US. According to Daniel Bax, their book is nothing more than an exercise in cod folk psychologyMore

Road sign that reads "Welcome to Germany" (photo: Becky Stares/Fotolia.com)

Attitudes to immigration in Germany

Clear differences of opinion

What do people in Germany really think about immigration? A recent study by the Berlin Social Science Center (WZB) shows that there are definite differences of opinion between the country's elite and the general public. Shohreh Karimian discussed the findings with Marc Helbling, one of the authors of the studyMore

La Mezquita in the Andalusian city of Cordoba (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

La Mezquita in Cordoba

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Is Cordoba denying its Islamic heritage?

Many people in Spain feel that the Bishop of Cordoba would like the world to forget that his cathedral was once a mosque. But Spain is not the only Mediterranean country where religious ignorance poses a threat to architectural treasures. By Dieter BartetzkoMore

Women in the Afghan parliament in 2013 (photo: picture alliance/dpa)

Women's rights in Afghanistan

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New Afghan law curtails women's rights

A new law in Afghanistan makes it virtually impossible to prosecute domestic violence against women. Human rights organisations have criticised the law as a massive blow to women's rights in the country. By Waslat Hasrat-NazimiMore

A Persian "Haft Sin" table featuring seven foods and objects all beginning with the letter "s" (photo: Imago/UPI Photo)

Nowruz: one of the world's oldest festivals

"My paleness is yours, your colour is mine!"

The Iranian New Year celebration "Nowruz" has been a feature of Persian culture for more than 2,500 years. The roots of this festival lie in the ancient Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Today, more than 300 million people all over the world celebrate Nowruz. Shohreh Karimian looks back at the history of this new year celebration and explains some of its customsMore

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

A teacher and pupils in a German classroom (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Teachers with a migrant background

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More or less open racism

They are desperately sought after and yet they still face discrimination: teachers with a migrant background are often regarded as "exotic" at German schools. According to a recent study, all that many of these teachers want is normality. By Anke-Martina WittMore

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

American troops evacuating a badly wounded female American soldier on the hood of a Humvee from a Baghdad police station after the station was attacked by rockets fired from an apartment building across the street, 25 May 2004, Baghdad, Iraq (photo: Michael Kamber)

Interview with American photojournalist Michael Kamber

Dispelling the myths of war and war photography

Michael Kamber is an American photojournalist and winner of the World Press Photo Award. Between 2003 and 2012 he covered the Iraq War extensively for the "New York Times". In 2013, he published the book "Photojournalists on war – The untold stories from Iraq", a mixture of photography and interviews with 39 photojournalists from different countries who worked in Iraq. Felix Koltermann spoke to him about his motivation for making this bookMore

A girl holds up a poster of Amina al-Filali, victim of rape and forced marriage in Morocco (photo: Naqi Tbel)

Women in Morocco

Rape victims no longer forced to marry their aggressors

Although Morocco has done away with a controversial law allowing rapists of underage girls to escape prosecution if they marry their victims, the basic problem of rape remains. Activists say it's time to enact change in society to protect rape victims. By Monika GriebelerMore

Turkish pupils in a German classroom (photo: dpa/picture-alliance)

Multicultural classrooms

An opportunity not a problem

It is increasingly the case that students from different nations, cultures and religions sit together in the same classroom. Experts at the University of Hildesheim in Germany are considering how teachers worldwide can better prepare themselves for this kind of diversity. Anke Martina Witt takes a look at how this issue is adressed in Germany, Canada, Norway and TurkeyMore

Muslim students (photo: Vincenzo Ferrera)

The Avicenna scholarship programme

Fostering talented, socially committed Muslim students

Named after an eleventh-century Persian scholar, the Avicenna scholarship programme will offer its first 50 scholarships to students for the coming winter semester 2014/15. It is the first programme of its kind for gifted Muslims in Germany. Thus far, the country has only had special religious scholarship programmes for Christians or Jews. Shohreh Karimian spoke to Beschir Hussain and Matthias Meyer, the initiators of this innovative programmeMore

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

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