CCP Country Representatives
Country Representatives of ifa's CrossCulture Programme play a crucial role for new CCP fellows, alumni and the programme as a whole. It is very important to have reliable, active and committed contact persons in participating countries. Since the programme was launched in 2005, more than 600 women and men from over 35 countries have participated.
Country Representatives communicate with the programme headquarters in Stuttgart, CCP alumni in the respective country and programme´s new scholarship holders. They profit from their own experience as CCP fellows; they assist new scholarship holders with their preparation of their stay up to three month in Germany. At the same time they support arriving CCP fellows from Germany in their country with practical hints about daily life. And they are the key figures in building a network of CCP alumni to reflect on intercultural, professional and personal experiences, to share ideas and to keep a dialogue between people, institutions, cultures and countries alive after the programme has finished.
Kabul | Huma Sherzai
I started my career as psychologist six years ago, with high interest in working on youth and children’s strength for development. Currently I am working as ‘Advisor for Psychosocial Wellbeing’, at the Civil Peace Service (ZFD) of German International Cooperation (GIZ) in Afghanistan. I have participated in the CrossCulture Program of ifa in 2015, by working with Taswir Projects, a unique art house in Berlin. I found CCP internship as very interesting opportunity for personal development and learning about different people, behaviours and cultures. As CCP Country Representative in Afghanistan I would like to initiate a community of CCP alumni in Afghanistan, I would like to create and support common interests for contribution to culture and art work in our country. This CCP community could also be part of the peace dialogue process by networking with different peace actors, activists and civil society organization in Afghanistan.
Bonn | Fabian Pianka
Since 2006 I have been working in the International Relations department at Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, where I am responsible for relationship management with media and political organizations in Africa and the MENA region. My CrossCulture scholarship took place at the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) in Tunis, Tunisia. The time of this work placement, at the end of 2010, has been a fascinating and historic period in Tunisia and the Arab region as a whole as it was the time when the so-called “Arab Spring” was in its initial phase. Through this time – and thanks to ifa – my interest in the MENA-region increased even more. As Country Representative for Germany, my aim is to organize regular networking events for German alumni, but also with ifa-alumni from other countries, wherever possible. Other planned activities include workshops and a “laboratory of ideas”, where we can together come up with sustainable project ideas on key issues in the context of the CrossCulture program, such as education, international politics, media or human rights.
Bishkek | Ulugbek Nurumbetov
I have more than ten years of work experience with youth on conflict prevention and promotion of healthy lifestyles. As Country Coordinator for Abt Associates Inc., I managed the Kyrgyz component of USAID funded Central Asia Sports and Health Education Program focused on youth, health promotion, conflict prevention and community involvement in the cross-border area of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan. I was also actively involved into the development of the local civil society institutions by building capacities of the rural and urban-based nongovernmental organisations and their networks. I was an intern of CRISP in Berlin, Germany in 2014. Right now I am the manager of the Peaceful Dialogue project implemented by his former host organisation CRISP. The project is designed to increase awareness for religious extremism and to develop and implement counter-measures.
United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia
Dubai | Nada Salem
I am an Emirati Entrepreneur who carries a wealth of 10 years work experience in the Emirates both in government and private sector. My CCP internship took place in 2012 at Dresden State of Art Collection during my work with Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority which oversees the development of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum. I graduated in Applied Media Studies in 2006 from Dubai Women’s College and I hold a Masters degree of Culture and Creative Industries 2011 from Abu Dhabi Men’s College. Through my professional background of Marketing, Communications, International Relations and exposure to art, culture and innovation, I run my own business development firm in Dubai in a mission to support startups and creative individuals to put their passion into practice. Cultural Dialogue is a passion I live on a daily base. Moderation is the key to successful lives.
Isfahan | Mohammad Hadi Esteki
I am currently a lecture and research PhD student at Isfahan University of Technology. I successfully participated within ifa's CrossCulture programme in 2016. CCP enabled me to enhance my professional experiences in the fields of Nano and Biotechnologies. I attained deep insights into intercultural competences. Being in this unique programme has given me the opportunity to gain knowledge and intensify my motivation for being a Country Representative. For 10 years, I have been working on an international and professional level in the fields of Environment and Renewable Energy plans, Advanced Nano & Bio researches as well as Education programmes. I am convinced that renewable energy is the key to our future. It will improve public health as well as the environmental quality.
Tbilisi | Margalita Japaridze
I am an Executive Director at the non-governmental organisation Iris Group - Managing Diversity. Since 2015 I have been working here for local and international educational projects for young people living in Georgia; for those who come from rural areas or represent ethnic minorities and have fewer opportunities for education and qualification. I was a scholar of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty media school practicing multimedia journalism in Tbilisi. I worked in different media in Georgia. I conducted my CCP internship at the European Centre for Minority Issues in Flensburg in 2015 and carried out research about ethnic minority education in Georgia. The CCP was important for me, as it gave me a chance for professional and personal growth. I feel responsibility towards the CCP programme and I want motivated people from Georgia to be empowered by the similar experience I gained. Thus, I want to create and contribute to a CCP alumni network.
Khartoum | Mogtaba Amer
I did my CCP internship (2013) at Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin. I worked in the arabic division where I had close insights into the media industry in Germany. Currently, I work at Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). JICA has more than 100 offices around the world and is trying to help the develpoing countries achieve their development targets. Develpoment and cooperation between nations is a real passion for me. That is why I am trying to bulid a career around this field. I am also very interested in media and film making. As a representative for the CCP programme, I want to promote the program among the sudanese youth and help many of them live this wonderful expereince. I dream of a network of sudanese alumni that can establish communication channels between the youth in Sudan, Germany and the other targeted countries.
Beirut | Tamara Maatouk
Since 2010 I have been working in the field of film production as a screenwriter, sound operator, editor and assistant director. Four years ago, I joined the graduate program at the American University of Beirut where I am currently writing my thesis on Egyptian cinema. At the moment, I do a lot of research on Arab cinema and I give lectures and workshops on video editing and screenwriting. In 2015 I participated in CCP and I did my internship at the Arab Film Festival in Berlin. Through CCP, I had a glimpse not only at the German culture, but at the cultures and traditions of most of the Arab and Eastern countries. I believe ifa has given me a huge opportunity by accepting me as one of its CCP interns, and now as a CCP Country Representative I feel it is my turn to give back.
Yerevan | Mkrtich Dallakyan
I am a facilitator in non-formal education and I have six years working experience with youth development projects at the NGO Youth Cooperation Center of Dilijan (YCCD). From 2011-2013 I was involved in community development with the YouthBank project by Eurasia Partnership Foundation, as well as acting as a member of anti-corruption student working group at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) office in Yerevan. In 2015 I was selected for the CCP in the field of political education & youth participation with the organisation Kreisau-Initiative in Berlin. It was a door to new opportunities and networking; it gave me a unique opportunity to be part of and to feel all the aspects of multiculturalism. My vision as the first CCP Country Representative in Armenia is to contribute to the development of new bridges between Armenia and Germany. Moreover, I plan to deepen the cooperation between all CCP Country Representatives as well as to strengthen working towards the same aim, collective mission and collective passion.
Kiev | Svitlana Tsurkan
I have been working in the field of cultural education since 2009, when I started working in the National Art Museum of Ukraine. Apart from my job I’ve been always engaged in social activism and voluntary activities, trying to make some changes towards a society which is more open and more comfortable to everybody. My internship in the Schoeneberg Youth Museum in 2015 gave me new insights not only about how educators and cultural activists can contribute to social changes, but also about directions these changes can take for our benefit. As a CCP Country Representative I want to help other active Ukrainians to receive this experience, which is so crucial for our country.
Rawalpindi/Islamabad | Syed Kausar Abbas
I have experience of 10 years in dealing with different governance and human rights programs through advocacy interventions at all levels. I have conducted trainings of parliamentarians, public officials, media and civil society. I attended CCP in 2012 and worked with Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb) in Bonn. My experience of CCP encouraged me to establish my own youth led organisation Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO) which I founded in 2015. As CCP Country Representative I want to arrange regular purposeful meetings of CCP alumni and create new avenues in national and international development and civil society sector.
Baghdad | Maryam Jafaar
I work as a senior registration assistant with UNHCR; I do register refugees and asylum seekers and assure their medical, cash and legal assistance. I was an intern of CCP exchange programme in 2014. It supported me lot to improve my skills and to come up with new ideas to improve the work and support for refugees and asylum seekers. I'm a writer, work as a freelance journalist for several newspapers. In 2011 I was the winner of Kamel Shiaa prize to be accepted for three months fellowship in Belgium at the European Journalism Center. The mandate of CCP Country Representative will give me chance to enhance more Iraqi youth to learn from international projects of ifa and partners and to build new comunication channels between Iraq and Germany to share the experinces in terms of education, law, development and human rights.
Mohamed Baba Helle
Since 2007, I work as a teacher for English and Arabic in Mauritanian high schools. I had already gained a lot of experience in this field, when participating in the CrossCulture Programme of 2016 gave me the opportunity to get an insight into the teaching practices in Germany. In the F+U Academy of languages in Heidelberg, I could further develop my educational skills and was able to take valuable impressions and knowledge back to my home organization, a school named “Generation du futur”. Right now, my plan is to establish the organization “Friends of Germany in Mauritania”, which aims at connecting Mauritanian people who are interested in Germany, and to promote the ties between the two countries. As Country Representative, I want to spread the word about the CrossCulture Programme in Mauritania, as it is not very well known yet. Moreover, welcoming Germans to Mauritania is very important to me, as there is a lot of potential in cooperation and we could learn a lot from each other. My country might especially benefit from advice in the fields of medicine and agriculture. However, most of all, I want to initiate regular meetings with the CCP alumni of my country and eventually link our alumni group with other alumni networks. I see great potential in sharing ideas with others and engaging in discussions.
Dushanbe | Ellina Kim
I work as a correspondent in Intergovernmental TV & Radio company “Mir”. I had my CCP internship in 2015 at Filmakademie in Ludwigsburg. It was an amazing experience. We learned how to make films not only in a classical way, but by using technical gadgets so it was very useful for me as for a journalist. My internship showed me new work opportunities and broaden my eyesight. I believe that previous interns can share their experience much better than books, CDs and just general knowledge about Germany’s lifestyle, habits, Germans, food, culture and etc. It is the best way to learn more about different culture. I stand ready to put whatever efforts, energy and motivation it can take to succeed becoming an active mentor and not only share my experience, but build a bridge of friendship between countries and promote its culture, too.
Dhaka | Shah Md. Imran
I work for the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology. I am the group leader of Young Professional Against Corruption (YPAC), an initiative of Transparency International Bangladesh. I am also the founder and president of ONURONON where I work to develop the capacity of youths. I am a CCP alumnus of 2013. My host organisation was Kreisau Initiative in Berlin. After coming back to Bangladesh, I am working as the Program Manager of them and organise several workshops. In May 2016, for the first time Bangladesh team is taking part in Kreisau´s Model International Criminal Court program in Germany, led by me. I believe from my experience as CCP intern and ongoing cooperation partner of my former hosting organisation, I will be able to assist the new interns with the preparation of their stay in Germany. At the same time, I will be able to create more opportunities for the young people of Bangladesh.
Manama | May Abdulaziz Eido
A Bahraini woman with Lebanese roots. Since 2011 I am the Head for the Foreign Affairs Office in the General Organization for Youth and Sport, GOYS. Before I was head for Salman Cultural Center belonging to the same organization. My internship program was in 2012 hosted by “Internationales JugendKunst- und Kulturhaus Schlesische27” in Berlin. I am a very active person, believing in voluntary works. From 2013 I have started writing my weekly column about social issues in Al-Watan newspaper, an Arabic Bahraini newspaper. In January 2013 I conducted a lecture titled “How German People Deal with Down Syndrome Children” by the German Friendship society presented in the Bahrain Down Syndrome Society. I do believe in handicapped people that they can achieve a lot if they found the proper cares and concern. I am very proud for being the first CCP Country Representative of my country Bahrain. I spread the concept of ifa and CCP among my community and answer questions of applicants and new interns.
Tashkent | Maqsudjon Ubaev
Musician, Conductor of Wind orchestra, Head of Orchestra and Ensemble Department of Republic Special Lyceum of Art. I was CCP scholarship holder in the beginning of 2016. I conducted an internship with the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne and with Landesgymnasium für Musik in Dresden. I learned the german approach of education in music and methods of teaching and planning the lessons. CCP gave me a great opportunity to see my colleagues how they do the same what I do but in Europe. I am very grateful to ifa and now I am eager to share this experience with other young professionals of Uzbekistan.
Almaty | Marina Khegay
I am Kazakhstani journalist with experience in media, communications and public relations for 13 years, currently working in “Caravan” newspaper, which one of major print media at the market. Since 2009 I’m part of Arzhan Public Fund volunteer team. Our team strongly stands on the side of barrier-free environment in Kazakhstan. We develop accessible tourism for limited mobility groups, arrange social and cultural events to promote right to access for disabled people. In 2012 I did my CCP internship with the online magazine Qantara.de in Bonn. During this time I have been involved in website daily activities, issued my own article, built new professional contacts which in total was a significant contribution into my profession. Involvement in ifa’s network as CCP Country Representative gives a unique opportunity to establish contacts with international people and its organisations from Central Asia to Middle East.
Tunis | Moez Dhahri
I have worked as an "agrégé" teacher of mathematics in preparatory schools for engineering in Tunisia for seven years. I am also active in the Tunisian civil society since 2011. I am most active in debates and some adjacent fields, mainly education, politics, and advocay. I am a debate master trainer, adjudicator and consultant on the level of the MENA region, especially with the Young Arab Voices regional debate programme that was initiated by the British Council and the Anna Lindh Foundation and also with IDEA MENA. I had been in a CCP internship in Berlin during the summer of 2015 at the Landeszentrale für Politische Bildungsarbeit, where I had the privilege of exploring the features of Germany’s culture, history and political system, and also debate some issues related to those aspects with Germans, which was enriching on many levels.
Baku | Aynur Salmanova
Since 2008 I have dedicated myself to promoting children and youth rights in Azerbaijan. I started as a volunteer and in 2012 I was honored to be the director of the Resource Center Toward the Unity where we supported youth and children from difficult social backgrounds. In 2014 I worked in the Norwegian Humanitarian Enterprise as a project manager and in 2015 in ADDIM Youth Organization. Throughout the time I realized local and international projects in order to fulfill my settled goals. During the CCP with CRISP I learned more about my personal and my professional aspiration. Working with CRISP and meeting ifa representatives encouraged me to make further steps to achieve my goals. With my work I want to inspire young people to believe in themselves and to be active members of society. In order to realize this goal I have created the Youth Power Initiative Group which is platform for sharing experiences and involving many people in actively tackling community problems. Being a CCP Country Representative for the next two years is a very significant opportunity for me. It enables me to build international ties and motivate young activists to be part of the CCP chain. Thus, continuing the wave of societal empowerment.
Palestinian Territories and Israel
Nublus | Raed Debiy
I am working for the Seeds Association for Development and Culture as an executive manager. Furthermore, I am a voluntarily and internationally leader of Fateh youth movement in Palestine as well as the vice president at the International Union of Socialist Youth "IUSY". Currently I am PhD student at Bordeaux university, and researcher in the field of Islamic political groups. I am CCP alumnus since 2012. I did my CCP internship at The Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung / bpb) in Bonn. My motivations for holding this responsibility as a CCP country representative are to build a bridge of communication and cooperation between German and Arab young professionals in the different fields. Furthermore I want to use the real chance for both, Palestinian youth and Germans, to benefit from this very unique opportunity to know each others culture.
Muscat | Kulthoom al Khmaiyasi
I currently work at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries in Oman but have interest and participation in civil service projects of all kids, especially relating to the youth. At the end of 2013, I started a first of its kind internships platform in Oman aiming to provide a space to match-make between internships opportunities in the market and the available students and graduates profiles. I did my CCP internship at Jugendwerk der Arbeiterwohlfahrt Württemberg e.V. which was an amazing experience that helped me gain valuable professional skills. What motivated me to apply as a CCP Country Representative is my personal interest in volunteering and serving the youth of my community. After participating in various programmes, I started having an influence on the young boys and girls who knew me and considered me as a source for such opportunities. Furthermore, my community service project is an online platform that provides internship opportunities for youth in Oman and working on CCP might open the door for my project to go internationally by bringing international interns to work in Oman or sending Omani interns abroad.
Fes | Soumiya Bouchikhi
I am a lecturer at USMBA university and a PHD researcher in renewable energy. I devoted myself to protect the environment, empower girls and women in rural areas. I joined JCI (Junior Chamber International) as a ordinary member and then became the Vice President of International Affairs. My areas of interest are energy, environment, climate change, education for sustainable development and integration of ESD in public schools. My goals are to promote the use of renewable energy and strengthen cooperation and networking among civil society actors and policy making to enhance renewable energy / energy efficiency and climate mitigation measures. In 2015, I was a CCP internship holder at UFU (Independent Institute of Environmental Issues). The internship was a great practical opportunity for me to learn new tools and gain new skills on how to teach students to protect the environment.
Amman | Sara Ziadat
I am a human rights activist, theatre performer, translator. Currently I work with the Women's Rights Committee in the Jordanian Parliament, with the National Democratic Institute and also as a board member with Friends of Archeology organization under her Excellency Sharifa Nofa Bent Nasser. Since the age of 18, I have devoted my full energy to serve the less fortunate and serving and empowering women has been at the top of my list! I have worked in media at a radio station to advocate for women's rights, worked on interactive theatre, and have participated in flash mobs, public campaigns, petitions, protests, training volunteers and a documentary film. Studying abroad, doing an international internship and working in a hostel in Italy gave me a great chance to experience and adapt to a multicultural environment, taking into consideration different approaches on seeing things. These different perspectives gave me greater personal understanding and I was also encouraged by the fact that the high quality of my professional service resulted in my name being a hash tag on Trip Adviser's hostel page! CCP will give me a chance to facilitate my intercultural experience, bridging gaps connecting people, and will help me to achieve my personal goals. I am honoured to be the country representative of Jordan.
Cairo | Elham Khattab
I am founder and curator of the "Out of the Circle" initiative that was launched in March 2008. Since then, it has been the cradle for numerous arts projects in Egypt and abroad. I was graduated in 2004 from Helwan University with a major in graphic design in Cairo. I also received curating and arts criticism short courses from the University of Arts in London in 2012 as part of a cultural leadership international program by the British Council. In addition I did my curating internship in Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig October/November 2012 as part of the CCP internships programme. It was a very important experience for me, it helped me to build a good partnership with my host organization and later we did different projects with them after I returned back to Egypt. Being a CCP representative is something important for me because it builds bridges between the two cultures from Egypt and Germany, plus it is such a pleasure to be responsible on connecting the big egyptian Alumni family together with the activities in order to build a big network.
Kuala Lumpur | Ammar Gazali
I am working as a policy officer for the office of state minister of Selangor for Youth Development & Sport, Culture and Entrepreneur Development. In the meantime I am also attached with the Institute for Policy Research as editor for the political and cultural website, jalantelawi.com. My interests are policy development, political education and cultural empowerment. I attended the CCP internships programme in 2007 by interning with Litprom – Society for the Promotion of African, Asian an Latin American Literature in Frankfurt. Being in Frankfurt for three months and working closely with Frankfurt Book fair has provided me meaningful experiences and appreciation towards diversity in expressions of culture. I hope to be able to interact and organize more programmes with CCP alumni.
Sanaa | Mustafa Al-Sufi
I am an internationally educated young professional, experienced in youth related issues, youth policy formulation, project management and advocacy. Since 2014, I work with INTERSOS as a project manager for educational programme called DAFI. This is funded by the Government of Germany through UNHCR. Also, I have different voluntary positions with different international and national initiatives such as: Y-PEER and World at School. I participated in the CCP in 2013 at the Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin. I am really excited of my new role as a CCP Representative. This is a great chance to promote cultural dialogue within countries and young people. In this position, I will do my best to help new interns to cope with their new experience in their host organisations and in Germany.
Ghadames | Nader El Kanadi
I am working in the archaeology department in Libya since October 2012. I hold a Master degree in archaeology from the Academy of Graduate Studies in Tripoli, Libya. My work experience includes conducting field archaeological surveys in the Libyan desert in groups as part of a team or individually where I monitored archaeology work of international Oil and Gas international companies such as BP, Total and Western Geco during their exploration and seismic campaigns. I attended training courses on conservation and restoration of archaeology and participated in workshops related to promotion and preservation of world heritage, last of which was a workshop on implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Libya, which was held in Tunis under sponsorship of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Besides my interest in world heritage, I participated in several volunteering activities in humanitarian relief campaigns. During my CCP internship in Germany (2015), I participated in trainings of the maintenance and restoration department at GRASSI Museum für Völkerkunde in Leipzig. I am very happy to represent Libya in this organisation and I will try to do my best to network effectively with the Alumni, support new participants in the program and to organize a variety of activities to build, develop and improve capacity of youth in Libya.