Foto: Kuhnle/ifa

"Celebrating Diversity" by Jumana Eltgani, Sudan

It seems that a return to nationalism has once again become socially acceptable in Europe. But the panel discussion Celebrating Diversity organised by Jumana Eltgani showed that there is another way. She believes that: "Our coexistence is not enriched by boundaries and cultural uniformity, but by real diversity." Arguments in support of this view were aired before the audience at a jointly organised event involving Jumana Eltgani, the Nuremberg Human Rights Centre, Terre Des Femmes Nuremberg and ifa on July 13. The members of the panel vividly described what it takes for different cultures and viewpoints to come together in a mutually enriching coexistence.

Impressions of "Celebrating Diversity"

The Speakers

Reinhard Kleist © Wolf Dieter Tabbert

Reinhard Kleist was born in 1970 near Cologne. After studying graphic and design he moved to Berlin in 1996 where he has been living and working up until now. He has worked as an illustrator for different publishing houses and magazines as well as movie and TV productions. Moreover, he published a large number of comics and graphic-novels (among others “An Olympic Dream: The Story of Samia Yusuf Omar”), for which he was honoured with numerous awards. As one of the most successful German cartoonists, he regularly holds lectures and workshops and has been involved in exhibitions all over the world.

Rasha Khayat © Anna Maria Thiemann

Rasha Khayat, born in 1978 in Dortmund, grew up in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. When she was eleven years old, her family relocated back to Germany. She studied Comparative Literature, German Studies and Philosophy in Bonn until she moved to Hamburg in 2005, where she has been living and working as freelance author, translator and lecturer until today. She shares her wide-ranging experiences, gained on her journeys to Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia, amongst others, on her blog „West-Östliche Diva“. Her first novel “Weil wir längst woanders sind” was published in March 2016.

Cooper Thomson © K-F Hohl_0294

Cooper Thompson was born in 1950 in the US and lived in different cities until he got married with his German wife and immigrated to Germany in 2003. In the first years, cultural and linguistic differences had posed a real challenge for him. He reflects on his experiences in his book “Deutsche Sprache, meine Sprache?”.  In the US he had already worked with schools, companies and religious groups on the subjects cultural diversity, equality and discrimination. In Germany he continued his work as a consultant, coach and supervisor and was elected to the board of integration in Nürnberg in 2010.


Argile © Manfred Hierdeis

The music project „Argile“ initiated by Dieter Weberpals has been one of the most international renowned world music acts from Germany for many years. Numerous appearances on major festivals all over Europe (London, Paris, Rome, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Warsaw) and in Africa (Abidjan, Ouagadougou, Bobo Dioulasso, Lome), 5 CDs and well-known (guest) musicians (Sona Diabate, Famoudou Konate, Mansa Camio, Barry Sangare, Ramesh Shotham and many others) have made Argile popular not only among fans of African and world music.

About the Initiator

Jumana Eltigani; Foto: ifa/Kuhnle

Jumana Eltgani describes herself as „product of diversity“. She is an African Muslim born in Saudi-Arabia, she currently lives in Sudan and completed parts of her studies in South Africa. After she finished her studies in chemistry, her inner urge to foster social justice grew. She thus continued studying in the field of community oriented work. In 2015, she supported the human rights center in Nürnberg within the framework of her CrossCulture fellowship. “Unfortunately, the world we live in gives us serious headache. We fail to perceive the benefits of positive diversity”, Jumana Eltgani reflects. Therefore, she initiates her event “Celebrating Diversity”. A passionate plea for diversity and the urgently needed counter model to nationalist movements.

"Celebrating Diversity" took place: 13 July 2017, 6:30 p.m. at Caritas-Pirckheimer-Haus, Königstraße 64, 90402 Nuremberg.

In Cooperation with

Nürnberger Menschenrechtszentrum e. V.

The Nürnberger Menschenrechtszentrum e.V. (NMRZ – a human rights center in Nürnberg) is an independent, non-profit association. From Nürnberg, the NWRZ advocates for human rights on the local, national and international level. Together with other organizations it complements the urban human rights work with a civil society perspective. The NMRZ informs about human rights, invigorates the exchange on human rights and offers human rights education. It intervenes in human rights politics and contributes its expertise to different national and international bodies. The NMRZ is mainly driven by voluntary work and supported by young interns from Germany and abroad. In the framework of the CrossCulture Programme, the NMRZ was already able to supervise six motivated and highly appreciated young women from countries that are mainly influenced by Islam. The women transferred the idea of human rights into their respective home countries and helped the NMRZ to gain valuable intercultural insights and knowledge.