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Iranian students visit the Center for Global Politics

Workshop on EU-Middle East Relations in Berlin

News from Aug 14, 2014

“Being in this environment is really a class in itself. At home we don´t have this opportunity, we´re a pretty isolated country”, Vahid Biriaei Najafabadi says. The Iranian Master Candidate at the School of International Relations in Tehran (SIR) is part of a student group from Iran that is currently visiting the Center for Global Politics. The young academics take part in a DAAD-funded, two week long workshop on “Different perspectives on EU-Middle East Relations”.

“We are happy to continue our successful cooperation with the SIR, this time in Berlin”, CGP director Prof. Dr. Klaus Segbers says. “Working with Iranian students and the interaction with their fellow German students is the best way to develop mutual understanding. That´s why we do not forgo ‘difficult topics’.”

The workshop comprises courses on “EU-Middle East relations”, “Islam and Politics”, The Crisis in Syria”, as well as some visits to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the  German Parliament and the memorial of Hohenschönhausen, a former prison for people detained by the East German Ministry of State Security.

Among the students are academics that prepare for serving in the Iranian foreign service as well as some human rights activists. One of the students, Parvin Neginraz, appreciates the different perspectives the workshop offers. “This program enables me and the other participants to realize that there are many more ways to look at an issue than your own.” Her German fellow student Leona Hollasch, a BA graduate from FU Berlin, says: “It is enriching to not only compare German, European and Iranian perspectives, but also to become aware of the different viewpoints among Iranians.”

Vahid Biriaei Najafabadi