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.
    Cyber café in the city centre, Antananarivo, Madagascar. Photo: Markus Kirchgessner

    The Glasshouse
    The Role of the Media in Contemporary Iran

    Iranians have decades of experience both of censorship and of getting around censorship. The new media play a hugely significant role in this regard. Nevertheless, the game of cat and mouse between the government and the opposition continues as before. Only the means have changed. By Amir Hassan CheheltanMore ...
    Young woman chatting online. Internet Café Mogadam, Tajrish Square, Tehran. Photo: Markus Kirchgessner

    Last exit: Internet
    The Iranian Opposition, the Media, and the Diaspora

    The protests against the Iranian presidential elections could scarcely have been effectively organised without the internet. The net has also become Iranian exiles’ most important means of information – especially for those who work in the media and who in turn keep the Western public in the picture. By Golineh AtaiMore ...
    Man reading a newspaper, Al-Azhar Mosque, Cairo. Photo: Markus Kirchgessner

    A State of Ongoing Crisis and Over-Supply
    The Media in Lebanon

    Lebanon is famous for its incredibly diverse media landscape and extensive press freedom. How can a country with only four million inhabitants afford so many media and what problems does it encounter? By Mona NaggarMore ...
    Amr Khaled ©

    Islam as a Lifestyle Choice
    The Effects of the Islamic Media Revolution

    In typical pop Islam style, the programme The Renewers by preacher Amr Khaled makes use of well-known show elements, adds an Islamic slant, and a new format is born. By Julia GerlachMore ...

    Playing with Fire
    Bloggers in the Arab World

    In the Arab world, as elsewhere, the internet opens up new freedoms and opportunities for democracy. However, as in China and Iran it also gives rise to opposition by the authorities. Anyone active on the internet lives dangerously. Blogging involves playing with fire. By Amira al-AhlMore ...
    Chestnut leaf with calligraphic composition. Ottoman Empire 19th century. © VG Bild-Kunst 2010

    The Poem of the Day Direct to Your SmartPhone?
    Modern Arabic Literature on the Worldwide Web

    When it comes to the popularity of Arabic poets and prose writers, it’s not just the number of editions and sales figures that count today but also, increasingly, the number of hits on YouTube. By Martina SabraMore ...
    Tim Otto Roth: Sans point de vue. Mirrored foil on corrugated iron, 2009

    Copyright and the Internet
    The New Challenges Faced by Authors and Publishers

    The revolution precipitated by the Internet has now reached the world of literature. Are publishers an endangered species threatened by extinction? By Ilja BraunMore ...
    Tim Otto Roth: Tristan QR. QR Code mosaic in white tiles

    Media Society – Knowledge Society?
    How the German Media’s Image of Islam Is Created

    For decades now the Western media’s image of Islam has been the object of international scholarly research. Findings show that a negative view of Islam predominates despite numerous positive developments in recent years. Why is that the case? By Kai HafezMore ...
    Abdul-Ahmad Rashid. Photo: ZD

    Friday Forum:
    Muslims in the German Media

    Public service television in Germany now also has its own programme for Muslims and Islamic life – albeit only since 2007. Controversial themes are also covered in a highly sophisticated way – and highly successfully. By Abdul-Ahmad RashidMore ...
    The German Media and Islam. Photo: Institut für Medienverantwortung

    Against One-Sidedness
    Diversity in German Mass Media

    The freedom of opinion that in theory exists in an open society must also be deployed. For this, it is necessary for all the population groups within a country to be represented in the media. What is the situation in Germany? By Sabine SchifferMore ...
    Walid Siti: From the series Family Ties, 2004

    Fresh Dispute over Islam
    Why the German Media are Courting the Anti-Islam Movement

    A well-organised anti-Islam movement has arisen in Germany and neighbouring countries in recent years. There may not as yet be any successful anti-Islamic political party in Germany, but this movement has been hugely successful in the media. What is the explanation for this, and how can these dangers be countered? By Stefan WeidnerMore ...
    Willi Lemke, Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Sports for Development and Peace, with children from Illeys Primary School, Dagahaley Camp, Dadaab, Kenya. June 23rd, 2008 © UNHCR

    ‘A Man of the People’
    What Sport for Peace and Development Really Means

    As UN-Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace, Wilfried Lemke travels to the slums of the world and demonstrates why it is sometimes necessary to make a moral appeal. By Simone FalkMore ...
    Frank Schirrmacher. Photo: Tim Wegner. © Karl Blessing Verlag

    The Symptom Is This Diagnosis
    Frank Schirrmacher’s Non-Fiction Book, Payback, About Our Relationship with Computers

    Payback offers interesting insight into the problematic relationship between humans and machines. But the attentive reader discovers staggering deficiencies. By Simone FalkMore ...