About Fikrun

    Fikrun wa Fann was a cultural magazine published by the Goethe Institute from 1963 to 2016 that supported and shaped the cultural exchange between Germany and Islamic countries. Together with the publishing of the last issue, “Flight and Displacement” (issue 105), in autumn of 2016 the maintenance and updating of this online portal was ceased.
    Door opening to the courtyard of the madrasa Bou Inania in Fes, Morocco, one of the most splendid in the Islamic World. It was build 1351-1356 by the Marinid ruler of Morocco Abu Inan Faris. Photo: Stefan Weidner

    The Dream of a Madrasa
    A Short Story from Pakistan

    What are the worries and problems confronting the pupils of an Islamic madrasa in Pakistan? And why are there madrasas at all? This short story essays a literary approach to a highly complex phenomenon. By Jamal Malik and Bushra IqbalMore ...
    Drawing from the book Es war einmal oder nicht. Afghanische Kinder und ihre Welt (Once Upon A Time Or Maybe Not At All. Afghan Children and Their World) by Roger Willemsen, S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2013..

    Progress Against All Odds
    Universities in Afghanistan

    The Afghan university system faces some unenviable problems. In the near future the field of academic education will struggle to cope with the consequences of a huge rise in the country’s birth rate. Two-thirds of the Afghan population are under the age of twenty-five. This means that, every year, more and more schoolchildren are competing for places at institutions of higher education. Can the Afghan education system handle it? By Martin GernerMore ...
    Female students at the private IT-University Dibagaran Tehran in Tehran. Photo: Markus Kirchgessner

    Linguistic Diversity as Opportunity
    Mother-Tongue Instruction in Multi-Ethnic Iran

    Iran is a state of many ethnicities where over a dozen languages are spoken, including, among others, Persian, Baluchi, Luri, Arabic, and Turkish. Unfortunately, the country’s education policy does not take account of this linguistic diversity. By Manutschehr AmirpurMore ...
    Syrian theatre writer Mohamed al-Attar in the house of Egyptian theatre writer Laila Soliman in Cairo in December 2012. Photo: Stefan Weidner

    Theatre as a Medicin – Or a Weapon
    Palestine as a Model of Theatre Education in Crisis Regions

    Despite the difficult situation in Palestine and the harassment of the Israeli occupation, there are an astonishing number of active cultural centres there, and artistic work is done with children and young people in the majority of the refugee camps. Theatre and theatrical means are a key element of this. There is therefore promising scope for theatre education in Palestine. By Miriam LemdjadiMore ...
    Qattan Centre for the Child, Gaza, Palestine. Photo: Stefan Weidner

    The Children of Gaza
    A World of Passion

    The idea behind the Qattan Centre for the Child was to provide a cultural oasis for Palestinian children in the city of Gaza and the surrounding areas, through a library that would be the largest of its kind in Palestine, specialising in the cultural needs of children up to the age of fifteen, while also serving their families and professionals who work with children. By Reem Abu JaberMore ...
    Discussions at the debating club in Cairo. Photo: Heike Thee

    Education and Democracy
    Participation Is the Key

    A specific population’s level of education is considered an indication of how likely an authoritarian regime is to develop towards democracy. At the same time, a country’s education policy also reflects its political situation. How can states that have problems with their education systems still make democratic changes, and how can foreign institutions such as the Goethe-Institut provide assistance? By Heike TheeMore ...
    Anti-Mursi graffities in December 2012 at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Photo: Stefan Weidner

    The Sea of Knowledge
    Taha Hussein and the Democratisation of Education in Egypt

    The Egyptian author Taha Hussein warned as long ago as the 1930s that the future of Egypt depended on reforming its education system. His book The Future of Culture in Egypt is a plea for an enlightened, democratic and Mediterranean Egypt. By Andreas PflitschMore ...
    Lecture of Stefan Weidner organized by the Bosch Cultural Manager at the University of Minya, Egypt, in December 2012. Photo: Alexander Besch

    Taking Culture to the Provinces
    The Educational Work of the Robert Bosch Cultural Managers

    The cultural activities undertaken by foreign cultural institutes in the Islamic world are concentrated on capital cities; the provinces tend to get a raw deal. The Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Cultural Managers want to change this situation. Taking Egypt as an example, it’s clear how rewarding, but also how difficult their task is. By Amira El AhlMore ...
    Huda Lutfi: The streets are Yours and Mines. Photo: Stefan Weidner

    The Difficulty of Teaching Islam
    Islamic Religious Instruction in German Schools

    Germany has been waiting for the introduction of denomination-specific Islamic religious instruction in schools for many. Finally, things have started to move but the process has been dogged by numerous problems and disputes. By Rabeya MüllerMore ...
    Drawing from the book Es war einmal oder nicht. Afghanische Kinder und ihre Welt (Once Upon A Time Or Maybe Not At All. Afghan Children and Their World) by Roger Willemsen. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2013.

    Excluded in a Number of Ways
    The Difficulty of Being a Person of Migrant Origin with a Disability in Germany

    ‘It’s normal to be different,’ says the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and in theory, at least, Germany agrees. However, research into the day-to-day experiences of people of migrant origin with disabilities show that when it comes to turning this good intention into reality, Germany still has a long way to go. By Donja AmirpurMore ...
    Discussions about the German war crimes with witnesses at a German school. Photo: Javier Sa Cordeiro

    What Does Hitler Have to Do with Me?
    On the Difficulty of Teaching German History Multiculturally

    How can German schools shed light on National Socialism, when many pupils in Germany today are not of German descent, but of Arab, Turkish, Iranian or Eastern European – and so have a completely different relationship to German history? Our author, who is himself of Polish extraction, sat in on one such history lesson. By Stanisław StrasburgerMore ...
    Roger Willemsen: Es war einmal oder nicht. Afghanische Kinder und ihre Welt (Once Upon A Time Or Maybe Not At All. Afghan Children and Their World). S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt 2013.

    ‘I Was Given a Schoolbag and I’m Happy’
    Afghan Children and Their World

    Children in Afghanistan are very special. They love school and know all about the conflicts in their country. German journalist Roger Willemsen has devoted his latest book to them and the world they live in. By Nouria Ali-TaniMore ...
    Rolf C. Hemke launching his book on Arab theatre at the Theater Mühlheim an der Ruhr in December 2013. Photo: Stefan Weidner

    Playing Brecht in Damascus
    A Book on Post-Revolutionary Arab Theatre

    Theatre is often described by practitioners as a ‘safe space’: a forum in which it is not only permissible but desirable for performers to express emotions, break taboos, speak uncomfortable truths, reach out, experiment, fight, and come together. ByCharlotte CollinsMore ...


      Huda Lutfi: You don’t want to upset me. Foto: Stefan Weidner

      Salafism or Philology
      What You Can Learn from a Scholar of Islam

      The Islamic scholar Angelika Neuwirth has had a greater impact on Koranic research in Germany than anyone else in recent decades. What she has to say is revolutionary – not only for Muslims, but also for Europe. Salafists, in particular, could learn a great deal from her. By Navid KermaniMore ...

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