Photo: ifa/Kuhnle

CrossCulture Programm – Alumni and Country Representatives

From Morocco to Bangladesh, from Germany to Saudi-Arabia: in more than 30 countries former participants of the CrossCulture Programme (CCP) alumni meet regularly to further their professional education, discuss project projects and share experiences.  Therefore, the CrossCulture Programme has a far-reaching impact beyond the scholarship period.

The exchange of experiences and knowledge with and between the alumni lies at the heart of ifa. It encourages dialogue and supports cooperation and projects of alumni. Former fellows profit from ifa’s subject-specific information and possibilities for project grants. As experts, they have the opportunity to help shape ifa activities. 

Since 2005 more than 600 persons dedicated to civil society have been supported through the CrossCulture Programme. Ifa alumni are part of a community of open-minded citizens that promote free dialogue between people and cultures. They all are united in their commitment to cultural exchange, freedom of speech and art, justice, peace and peaceful conflict resolution.

Country Representatives

To connect current and former scholarship holders, ifa relies on committed supporters within the countries: CCP Country representatives. They stay in close contact with ifa, organize alumni meetings and prepare new CCP-fellows for their upcoming time in Germany. Furthermore, they are important contact persons for incoming German participants as they are able to give practical and cultural advice for the respective host country. CCP Country Representatives are often in contact with the German diplomatic mission abroad to advise them on questions regarding the programme. Every two years the volunteer position circulates. Applications are possible for every alumni of the participating countries. Information regarding the position are sent to the alumni via e-mail

Country Representatives 2018/2019

Afghanistan: Elias Hatimi (Kabul) (Foto: Hatimi)

Afghanistan: Elias Hatimi (Kabul)

Communication Officer, Actionaid Afghanistan

Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? There are many people in Afghanistan who do not know about CCP. I want to change that by promoting the programme concept.
If you were an animal, which one would you be? I would love to be an eagle, because he wants to see the world from above and supervise everything.
What is the first memory that comes to your mind when you think about your time in Germany?
First hangout with my colleagues to a cafe bar.

Algerien: Assia Korichi (Biskra)

Algeria: Assia Korichi (Biskra)

Research Assistant, Scientific And Technical Research Center On Arid Regions (CRSTRA)-­‐Biskra

Are you volunteering alongside your regular work? I am the founder and president of "Friends of the Environment Association". I really appreciate activities of awareness raising and environment education in particular among children and young people.
Why is intercultural exchange for you important? Intercultural exchange is important since it opens doors to other cultures and it is a means of understanding between people, which leads to openness and more tolerance.
How would your best friend describe you? A sensitive and soft person full of enthusiasm!

Armenien: Karen Tovmasyan (Yerevan) (Foto: ifa/Kuhnle)

Armenia: Karen Tovmasyan (Yerevan)

PR & Communications Manager, Caucasus Research Resource Centre- Armenia Foundation (CRRC-Armenia)

Which aspects of your country, social or political, will get you upset? My country currently is moving in the direction of authoritarism, the increasing apathy in the country is making me disapointed. I wish we still can stop this process.
What three items do you take with you to a desert island? My computer and other devices, a guide book how to prepare everything in a desert island. And the book about the adventures of Robinzo Cruzo.
How would your best friend describe you? Very communicative, friendly and easy going. I can make friends wherever I go.

Ismayil Fataliyev (Baku) (Foto: Fataliyev)

Azerbaijan: Ismayil Fataliyev (Baku)

News Editor, REPORT.az

What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany? In particular, it was my first real experience of living all alone. In general, I admired a lot the way how ordinary people were participating in social and political life of their society via activities in NGOs and CSOs.
If you were an animal, which one would you be? I would like to be an owl. This bird is believed to be wise and shrewd. It thinks twice before taking any step no matter it is hunting or hiding from others.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? Linking local NGOs and CSOs with their counterparts in other CCP countries and Germany and explaining to my compatriots how to easily get used to a new place abroad.

Bahrain: Saba Salem (Al-Muharraq) (Foto: Salem)

Bahrain: Saba Salem (Al-Muharraq)

Interior Designer

Why is intercultural exchange for you important? It help in bridging between different cultures and bring them closer, at the end of the day we are different part of one world, one globe.
What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany? Everyday of the 3 month I spent was valuable experience. Particularly the times I went to Meersburg, Birnau and Salem on site visits.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? To help young people and prepare them for their stay in Germany.

Bangladesch: Proma Parmita (Dhaka) (Foto: Parmita)

Bangladesh: Proma Parmita (Dhaka)

Social Researcher & Director "Making Development Effective"

Why is intercultural exchange for you important? Bangladesh is famous for its openness to diversity. Unfortunately in recent years some extremism has risen here which has created many hazards. To come out from this kind of situation, I believe intercultural exchange is essential.
What three items do you take with you to a desert island? Books I can read over and over, my violin and a knife.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you?
My first priority is to help new interns prepare for their internship in Germany. I will keep up the connection and find out what else we can do together to raise awareness about the importance of intercultural exchange.

Belarus: Alena Ignatovitch (Minsk) (Foto: Ignatovitch)

Belarus: Alena Ignatovitch (Minsk)

Candidate of Pedagogic Sciences (PhD), Associate Professor, National Institute for Higher Education

What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany? The most valuable learning experience in Germany was to learn about tolerance of the people and how history shaped the path to the future.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? Networking and Public Relations.
Why is intercultural exchange for you important? It helps to ruin barriers and to create a global world. It enriches people and develops critical thinking skills. It changes attitudes and promotes peace. It assists diplomacy and breaks borders.

Ägypten: Dina Said (Kairo) (Foto: Said)

Egypt: Dina Said (Kairo)

Workshop Coordinator and Office Manager, Orient Productions

What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany? People are different and we have to understand that and act accordingly. Understanding yourself means to understand others.
What is the first memory that comes to your mind when you think about your time in Germany? I remember walking in the streets and discovering places. Meeting and talking to people I did not know - without fears.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? I would like to arrange activities like meetings, networking, workshops or joint projects.

Georgien: Zura Mirzikashvili (Kvareli) (Foto: Mirzikashvili)

Georgia: Zura Mirzikashvili (Kvareli)

Projects Manager, Temi Charitable Union

What’s your professional background? I worked at nonprofit organisations and enterprises for the past 8 years, including local startups, community based organisations and international NGOs. I also had the opportunity for professional work and study abroad in the UK and Germany through different projects. I’ve joined Save the Children Georgia this year.
How would your best friend describe you? Funny, sociable, likes cooking and animals, always ready to go (anywhere).
Why is intercultural exchange for you important? It widens my perspective on issues that I already know, and shows you how sometimes challenges can be very similar and solutions can vary. Intercultural exchange undermines stereotypes and affirms that people have more in common than differences.

Indonesien: Nurul Fadhliati Maulida (Banda Aceh) (Foto: Maulida)

Indonesia: Nurul Fadhliati Maulida (Banda Aceh)

Medical Doctor, Meuraxa Government Hospital

How would your best friend describe you? A multi-talented girl, open-minded person who loves to help and motivates others, charming, smart, likes challanges, respect diversity, and easy to get along with.
What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany? I learned about a very good work-life balance from Germans. That impressed me the most.
Why is intercultural exchange for you important? The most important work for me is to organise alumni activities like making some valuable projects as well as assisting new CCP fellows.

Iran: Mohammad Hadi Esteki (Isfahan) (Foto: Kuhnle)

Iran: Mohammad Hadi Esteki (Isfahan)

Energy Auditor & Counsellor, Isfahan University Of Technology

What’s your professional background? Environment and Renewable Energy plans, Advanced Nano & Bio researches, Education and Cultural Programmes.
What three items do you take with you to a desert island? Nowadays and due to the advancement of technology:
Satellite cell phone, my Persian setar, desert island cash. ;)
If you were an animal, which one would you be? I would like to be a Dolphin. This would indicate how good or exceptional I am when it comes to handling team tasks.

Jordanien: Hamza Arsbi (Amman) (Foto: Arsbi)

Jordan: Hamza Arsbi (Amman)

Director, The Science League

Which three aspects of your country, social or political, make you particularly happy? I am happy when I visit Jordan's sites, from the green nature reserves and Roman cities in the North, through its vibrant capital city to the red sand, ancient Petra, and the sea in the south.
What is the first memory that comes to your mind when you think about your time in Germany? I love remembering my friends around Germany who hosted me, went hiking with me, and invited me to their homes to share in their celebrations. I cherish the deep friendships we have.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? My main focus will be to energize the local network of alumni and create a strong group which will continue to offer friendship and dialogue to its members and to Germany.

Kasachstan: Begzod Hakimov (Almaty) (Foto: Hakimov)

Kazakhstan: Begzod Hakimov (Almaty)

Co-Founder, B&R Projects Education Center

Why is intercultural exchange for you important? It helps us to understand each others' mentality, customs, traditions and supports to resolve many emerging conflicts.
What three items do you take with you to a desert island? Faith, persistence and water. :)
What is the first memory that comes to your mind when you think about your time in Germany? Usage of bicycles by Germans. I was amazed by the popularity of using bicycles as a means of transport in Berlin.

Kirgistan: Ulugbek Nurumbetov (Bischkek) (Foto: Nurumbetov)

Kyrgyzstan: Ulugbek Nurumbetov (Bishkek)

National Field Supervisor for European Commission funded Democracy and Religion: Dialogue between Moderate and Equal Voices Project, DVV International

What's your professional background? I have more than ten years of work expirience with youth on conflict prevention. I was an intern of CRISP in Berlin in 2014 and now I am the manager of CRISP's projects in my country since 2015.   
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? I would like to improve communication and interaction between Kyrgyz alumni.
How would your best friend describe you? That I am responsible, kind and hard working man.

Libanon: Charbel Dadde (Beirut) (Foto: Bundestag)

Lebanon: Charbel Dadde (Beirut)

Project Manager, German Embassy Beirut

What’s your professional background? In 2008, I graduated from the school of engineering. However, my passion for education drove me to work in underpriveleged areas as a teacher and as an education manager.
Are you volunteering alongside your regular work? Besids my work at the German embassy, I volunteer to continue my mission enhancing the education system in Lebanon. One of the project I am volunteering in is called "Sustainable minds".
Which three aspects of your country, social or political, will get you upset? Corruption, education inequality since many kids do not have access to schools and if they do they receive low quality education. A third problem is discrimination in all its aspects.

Libyen: Shadda Elmagri (Tripoli) (Foto: Elmagri)

Libya: Shadda Elmagri (Tripoli)

Architect, Deraz Design

Why is intercultural exchange for you important? Its important because it gives us an opportunity to grow and to learn - both about the others and about ourselves. It alows us to enrich our network, experience and knowledge.
How would your best friend describe you? My best friend might say: "She’s funny, adorable, kind of loud. She can be crazy sometimes, specially when she is mad, she’s really good at her work, she loves perfection, she is a sweetheart. And a very caring person."
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you?
Guide new fellows throughout the whole experience, so that they make the most out of their CrossCulture Programme fellowship.

Malaysia: Aizat Shamsuddin (Kuala Lumpur) (Foto: Kolle)

Malaysia: Aizat Shamsuddin (Kuala Lumpur)

Founder and Country Director, Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU)

What’s your professional background? I am a founder and country director of Komuniti Muslim Universal (KMU) (2015-present), founder and chair of Alliance of Inclusive Muslims (AIM) (2017-present) and I was an economic and political analyst at Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism, Malaysia (2017).
Which three aspects of your country, social or political, make you particularly happy? Many people still embrace tolerance and do not encounter disagreement with violence. There are still people who are doing proactive work to promote tolerance.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? I look forward to keep engaging in the CrossCulture Programme (CCP) that brings in inspiring youth across the world through programms and networking. I would also love to introduce Malaysia, truly Asia, to CCP fellows from its wonderful nature to delicious cuisine that are not comparable to other countries.

Mauretanien: Saleh Lo (Nouakchott) (Foto: Lo)

Mauretania: Saleh Lo (Nouakchott)

Visual Artist

Which three aspects of your country, social or political, will get you upset? Racism and slavery are issues that upset me most, as any human rights violations. Unfortunately they are recurrent.
What three items do you take with you to a desert island? Water, fire and lots of pens. If I don't find paper I would start writing or drawing on myself, on trees, on any surface.
If you were an animal, which one would you be?
A lion. Lions are not mean but very strong.

Marokko: Moustapha Laalioui (Rabat) (Foto: Laalioui)

Marocco: Moustapha Laalioui (Rabat)

Alumni & Outreach Coordinator, The Moroccan-American Commission for Educational & Cultural Exchange

Why is intercultural exchange for you important? I think when we expose to another culture we become more aware of ourselves and people around us. We find ways to promote mutual understanding and we realize that diversity makes life special.
What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany? Teaching refugees children about journalism was of the precious moments I had in Germany. It influenced me professionally and personally.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you?
CCP alumni are an immense wealth, bringing them together is a challenge that I embraced.

Nigeria: Ibrahim Mohammed (Bauchi) (Foto: Mohammed)

Nigeria: Ibrahim Mohammed (Bauchi)

Information Officer, Bauchi State Government

Which three aspects of your country, social or political, make you particularly happy?  Nigeria is diverse and it is a potential land of economic opportunities.
How would your best friend describe you? 
Honest, hardworking and responsible. Also warm, friendly, flexible, enthusiastic and understanding.
What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany?
It was an experience in the heart of Europe, learning much of a free society. I learned that individuals and societies need more knowledge and comprehensive understanding of intercultural diversity in order to keep up smoothly with the constant and fast changing world.

Oman: Amur Al-Rahawi (Muscat) (Foto: ifa/Kuhnle)

Oman: Amur Al-Rahawi (Muscat)

Founder, Director, Arab Adventures

What’s your professional background? I am an tourism guide expert in different fields like desert, mountains and cities. Also, I have experience in managament.
What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany?
Getting knowledge about agriculture and to be productive besides management and teaching friends.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you?
Being a focal point between participants from my country as well as the programme as such makes me focus on how I can increase the knowledge about CCP among Oman people.

Pakistan: Saba Khalid (Karachi) (Foto: Khalid)

Pakistan: Saba Khalid (Karachi)

Business Administration Specialist & Founder, Aurat Raaj

What’s your professional background? I'm a writer, journalist, blogger turned social entrepreneur. Having contributed for newspapers & magazines around the world, I founded my organisation for gender equality Aurat Raaj in 2017.
Are you volunteering alongside your regular work? I run self-defense campaigns in Karachi where we teach young women about consent and coach them on safety. My team voluntarily showcases films on gender issues to disadvantaged areas of Sindh. 
What three items do you take with you to a desert island?
1. Music, 2. E-book reader with a million titles uploaded in it, 3. A diary to write about my experiences.

Palästinensische Autonomiegebiete und Israel: Osama Awwad (Bethlehem) (Foto: Awwad)

Autonomous Palestinian Territories and Israel: Osama Awwad (Bethlehem)

Multimedia Expert (Television and Radio), Radio Bethlehem 2000

How would your best friend describe you? My friends describe me as an easygoing person as I'm flexible and I like to join all activities. They describe me as a caring person and a good secret keeper.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? It is important to convey the experience that was given through the experience of living in Germany, and to talk about it to others.
What was your most valuable learning experience in Germany?
I learned that theatres in Germany can have many forms. In Palestine, Theatre only exists somewhere inside. In Germany, it could be on the streets or inside train stations or at the bar.

Russland: Anastasia Mokrushina (Krasnoyarsk) (Foto: Mokrushina)

Russia: Anastasia Mokrushina (Krasnoyarsk)

Educational Project Coordinator, Regional Non-Governmental Organization For Non-formal Education And Intercultural Communication “INTERRA”

What’s your professional background? I graduated with a degree in International Relations. My current activities are combination of my education and professional interests (educational methodologies) that resulted into international youth work.
How would your best friend describe you? A person with a strong sense of justice. A person who can support a healthy debate and deliver her viewpoint. A person who generates ideas for active and interesting leisure.  A person with a great willpower, self-management skills in her work and in her life. 
What three items do you take with you to a desert island?  A water purifier, a fire, a philosophy book.

Saudi-Arabien: Mai Abdulwahab (Jeddah) (Foto: Abdulwahab)

Saudi Arabia: Mai Abdulwahab (Jeddah)

Team Leader, Credit Risk Controller, TNT SAB Express

Which three aspects of your country make you particularly happy?  I am happy that our youth number is growing along with their awareness of the necessity for change toward enlightenment society. Despite the fact, the existence of many complex barriers.
How would your best friend describe you? Reliable, courageous, deep and intelligent.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? To keep in touch and connecting different cultures & social roles is my core interest because I believe that this what keeps societies moving forward toward their full potentials.

Sudan: Ismail Ibrahim Elkafi Ibrahim (Khartoum) (Foto: Ibrahim)

Sudan: Ismail Ibrahim Elkafi Ibrahim (Khartoum)

Founding Director, Green Space Khartoum

How would your best friend describe you? He might say that I am a flexible & caring human. He is a genuine, creative problem solver and a committed hard worker. He is indeed a good friend, serial entrepreneur and yet Anti-aging kid.
If you were an animal, which one would you be? Maybe a bee! It works hard with its team mates in order to produce honey and be fierce when protecting the hive.
What is the first memory that comes to your mind when you think about your time in Germany? Countryside: greenness, People: young ones, Tools: bicycle, Weather: sun & snow.

Tadschikistan: Ganjina Mavlonazarova (Khorog) (Foto: Mavlonazarova)

Tajikistan: Ganjina Mavlonazarova (Khorog)

Administrative Assistant, Jamaatkhana’s Development Committee

What’s your professional background? I am a dedicated volunteer, having 15 years of professional and volunteering experince.I have worked with many International Organizations and nowadays i am an Administrator for Ismaili Center Khorog.
How would your best friend describe you? I think my best friend would highlight characters showing that I am reliable, honest, always there for any need, ready to listen and help.
What is the first memory that comes to your mind when you think about your time in Germany? I loved traveling through Germany and admire its beautiful old buildings, architecture, everything was so new. Starting from buildings, lifestyle, cute couples with their kids hurrying on bicycles.

Tunesien: Amina Gharred (Ben Arous) (Foto: Gharred)

Tunesia: Amina Gharred (Ben Arous)

Office Manager, Tunisia Language Centre, Tunis

Are you volunteering alongside your regular work? I am a co-founder and Secretary General of The Tunisian Association of Female Photographers since 2014.
Which three aspects of your country, social or political, make you particularly happy? Young people civic engagement, equal good education and access to culture in the interior regions as in the big cities.
Why is intercultural exchange for you important? For me intercultural exchange is a continous process of empowerment at the personal, social, cultural and professtional levels that enlarges oneself's vision and extends future prospects.

Vereinigte Arabische Emirate: Naveed Majeed (Sharjah) (Majeed)

United Arab Emirates: Naveed Majeed (Sharjah)

Marketing & Advertising Coordinator, Sharjah Art Foundation

How would your best friend describe you? As quote by my dear friend “Naveed is a good natured, happy-go-lucky person with a witty sense of humor.
Which three aspects of your country, social or political, will get you upset? On a social and political level, the freedom of expression, discrimination against certain nationalities and in tolerance towards certain basic human rights is what makes me dismayed in my country.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? Bringing in more people from this region to gain through this cultural exchange experience. Spread out the word of this great initiative. Assist in any possible manner to CCP fellows going to Germany as well as coming from Germany and most importantly keep the dialogue of cultural exchange on going.

Ukraine: Oleksandr Vasylkivskyi (Kiew) (Foto: Vasylkivskyi)

Ukraine: Oleksandr Vasylkivskyi (Kiew)

Political Consultant, Ukrainian Parliament (The Verchovna Rada of Ukraine)

Which three aspects of your country, social or political, will get you upset? Absence of middle class that creates a huge gap between rich and poor people, political corruption, wide-spread populism. 
How would your best friend describe you? Communicative, result-oriented friendly person.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you? Coordination of CCP fellows and alumni. Creating an Ukrainian CCP network with its further integration to global CCP network.

Usbekistan: Maqsud Ubaev (Taschkent) (Foto: Ubaev)

Uzbekistan: Maqsud Ubaev (Taschkent)

Teacher of Music and Ensemble, Conductor of Wind / Symphony Orchestra, Youth Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan

What’s your professional background? I have been working at schools and lyceums as a teacher, deputy director, school band conductor for 10 years of my job career. And now I'm Conductor of Youth Symphony Orchestra of Uzbekistan.
What three items do you take with you to a desert island?
Agriculture book, seeds and my wife.
Which work as a Country Representative is particularly important to you?
Informing people here about the opportunity that probably can be a sharp turn in their life for better.

Jemen: Sameha Mohammed Ali Al-Muradi (Ibb) (Foto: Al-Muradi)

Yemen: Sameha Mohammed Ali Al-Muradi (Ibb)

English Teacher & Supervisor of the Educational Social Coordinator of Almashanah District, Ibb

Why is intercultural exchange for you important? In order to live in peace we should understand and respect the values of each others culture. 
How would your best friend describe you? Easygoing and open-minded.
Which three aspects of your country, social or political, make you particularly happy? Diversity of traditional values, eagerness of the new generation for knowledge and simplicity.

Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen
CrossCulture Programme

Charlottenplatz 17
D-70173 Stuttgart
Fax +49.711.2225.195
crossculture(at)ifa.de