Category: Asia

Study Regional Sciences from the Near and Middle East Abroad

Study Regional Sciences from the Near and Middle East Abroad

Hardly any other region appears as frequently in the media as the Near and Middle East. The region is of great international interest . It is based primarily on historical and economic interdependencies. Because of Germany’s responsibility for the acts of the National Socialists, the FRG has maintained close political and economic relations with Israel since the 1960s.

The international economy depends on the oil reserves in countries like Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran. At the same time, countries like Turkey or the United Arab Emirates are popular holiday regions that are associated with sunshine and oriental flair. Against this background, experts are in demand who are familiar with politics, the economy and the cultural history of the region.

Course content

According to thembaprograms.com, the courses in the area of ​​regional studies in the Near and Middle East or Middle East studies are still quite new in Germany. So far, they are only offered at a few universities .

They differ from the established courses of study in Arabic, Jewish and Oriental Studies in the following respects: There is not only an occupation with either the Arabic language and culture or the Jewish language and culture, but both areas flow into the course.

Set priorities

At most universities, however, students can set priorities and specialize in a region such as Turkey or a topic such as Judaism in the Middle East.

In addition, at most universities, students have the opportunity to choose a minor and thus specialize even further. Depending on the university, you can choose from subjects such as political science , history or communication studies .

In the bachelor’s degree

Language acquisition is initially the focus of the bachelor’s degree programs . The students decide on two languages ​​that they learn in the further course of their studies. Depending on the university, you can choose between Arabic, Turkish, Hebrew, Persian and ancient languages ​​such as Syriac or Greek . In language courses, they learn vocabulary and grammar rules, but aspects of geography and culture are always highlighted.

In the further course of their studies, the students then deal more intensively with their chosen region or focus . Depending on the university, the focus can be on cultural, historical, economic, social or political topics. The students then deal, for example, with the Middle East conflict, but also with Islam, post-colonial theories or the economy in the United Arab Emirates.

In the master’s degree

Most of the graduates add a master’s degree to their bachelor’s degree. This serves on the one hand to further specialize in content and on the other hand prepares for management positions in business or an academic career . The individual universities offer master’s programs with very different focuses.

There is a choice of courses with a linguistic focus, but also programs that focus on the politics, culture or economy of the Middle East. In most master’s courses, students also have the opportunity to learn a third foreign language .

Requirements

Applicants should first and foremost be interested in the region to which they are devoting their studies. A certain talent for languages is also helpful in learning two foreign languages. Most universities do not require any language skills, but first knowledge of Arabic or Hebrew at the beginning of the course is definitely helpful. In addition, applicants must have a good command of English in order to understand the English-language specialist literature.

Career prospects for Middle East experts

The study of regional sciences in the Near and Middle East does not provide training for any specific occupational field . The choice of the minor is all the more important. Internships completed alongside your studies are also helpful in order to orientate yourself professionally and acquire additional qualifications.

With their language skills and their cultural background knowledge, graduates have a wide range of career opportunities. Many aspire to work for an international organization, an NGO, a foundation or another development cooperation institution .

Most of the graduates work there in scientific and advisory roles . With knowledge of Arabic, positions in the diplomatic service are also possible.

The inner-German migration policy has to rely on the expertise of Middle East experts. Those who prefer to work in the cultural field can, for example, work in museums and other cultural institutions related to the Middle East.

A journalistic activity is conceivable. In addition, graduates can work as translators or in the tourism industry. Master’s graduates are free to pursue a doctorate and pursue an academic career.

Stay abroad

A stay abroad in a country in the Near or Middle East is compulsory for students. On the one hand, it serves to improve language skills . On the other hand, a semester abroad gives students the opportunity to really experience and understand the culture of the respective country.

However, one or two semesters abroad are also recommended, because studying on-site opens up a new perspective on the subject. This can also be interesting in the context of thesis or research. In addition, the students have the opportunity to make international contacts that can prove to be valuable when starting their careers.

Study Regional Sciences from the Near and Middle East

Children Education in Lebanon

Children Education in Lebanon

Lebanon, on the Mediterranean coast, has been hit hard by civil wars and there are still conflicts between different groups in society. The war in Syria has put further pressure on the country with millions of people fleeing. More than half of Lebanon’s Syrian refugees are children.

Since the outbreak of the war in Syria in 2011, around one million Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon. Even before that, many Palestinian refugees lived in camps around the country. Children, and especially girls, are hard hit by conflicts and disasters. A total of 1.4 million children in Lebanon are expected to grow up in vulnerability, without access to the essentials such as protection and clean water.

Poor finances affect children

To cope with everyday life, families become dependent on the children contributing to their livelihood. Children are forced to work in agriculture, in a factory or as a street vendor in the middle of traffic. The most vulnerable children are at risk of being exploited in prostitution, falling victim to human trafficking or being recruited by armed groups.

Deteriorating situation for girls

Girls and women are negatively affected by the difficult economic situation and an unequal view of girls and women in particular, both among Lebanese and refugees. Among other things, girls are forced to stay at home to take care of the household and can therefore not go to school. Without education, their ability to control their own lives diminishes.

Six percent of children in Lebanon have been forced into child marriage. But for the girls who have fled Syria, it looks even worse, among them just over one in five has been forced to marry before they have turned 19 years old. Young girls are married off because someone is responsible for them or because the family is poor and needs money. Girls in child marriage are particularly vulnerable to violence.

Lebanon

This is what Plan International in Lebanon is doing

Plan International has been in place in Lebanon since 2016. Our highest priority in the country is to prevent children from being married off or forced to work, by focusing on the right to education and protection from violence. We work on several levels to increase girls’ power over their lives and opportunities to avoid child marriage and sexual violence.

In Tripoli, northern Lebanon, we work to support teenage girls’ schooling, which gives them a more stable foundation for the future and at the same time reduces the risk of them getting married early. We also work to ensure that the sexual and reproductive health and rights of girls and young women are met. We do this by informing, working to change attitudes and ensuring that girls have better access to health care and relevant products.

Plan International Lebanon informs and provides support to both children and adults to counter violence and to let them know where to turn if they are exposed. We also run preschools where both children and parents receive support. We educate young people so that they can support themselves and take a place and influence society in a positive way.

Plan International has a series of reports on the situation of teenage girls in humanitarian crises . One of the reports is about girls on the run in Lebanon and describes how violence is part of their everyday lives, that many are married off and how the economy affects their opportunities to go to school.

Together with girls of different ages, we discuss what their rights are and how they can take power over their lives.

Children Education in Lebanon

Youngest and strongest in the family

Ten-year-old Kholud was only three years old when the war broke out and her family was forced to leave Syria. The family sought refuge in the city of Tripoli in northern Lebanon, where they now live in poverty.

The difficult situation has forced Kholud’s family to marry off her older sisters. Her two brothers have also been forced to leave school to work.

Despite the challenges, Kholud is determined to follow his dream and train as a lawyer. She has joined one of Plan International’s programs that we run together with one of our partner organizations in the city where Kholud lives.

– I want to become a lawyer so that I can defend the rights of all people and make my voice heard in the society where I live, says Kholud.

The program that Kholud is part of is developed for children who are at risk of getting married or forced to perform harmful work. Together with the other children, she gets to learn more about her rights but also practice different skills. She also gets to learn basic reading and writing skills so that she can start studying and have better opportunities to support herself.

Kholud says that her sister is introverted and that their mother often underestimates her potential and says that she will soon be married off. But Kholud refuses to accept that her sister’s fate is already predetermined and urges her to decide for herself about her future.

– My sister can neither read nor write but I try to teach her everything I learn in the lessons so that she can become a stronger person, says Kholud.

Kholud’s stubborn struggle for his sister’s future has finally paid off. The family has agreed to let her sister take part in Plan International’s program.

– I can already see a difference in my sister’s personality and I am very happy about that, says Kholud.

Facts about Lebanon

Facts about Lebanon

Capital: Beirut
Population: 6 million
Life expectancy: 80 years
Infant mortality rate: 4.5 per 1000 births
Proportion of children starting school: 86.3%
Literacy: 91%
Proportion of women in parliament: 3%

Kyoto Travel Guide

Kyoto Travel Guide

The former capital of Japan, Kyoto, is the embodiment of Japanese culture colored by world heritage sites.

KYOTO

KYOTO AS A DESTINATION

Imperial Japanese crown jewel

The Kyoto legend originated about 1,500 years ago. The most significant turning point in the city’s glamorous history saw the light of day a few centuries later when Kyoto became the capital of Imperial Japan.

Although the residence of the country’s emperor and the importance of the city to the country varied over the years, Kyoto maintained its position as the capital for almost an entire millennium.

The years have passed, but surprisingly little has changed. Once so glorious, the capital is still glorious Kyoto today, even though it is no longer the administrative center of the country.

The splendor of Kyoto persisted over the war

KYOTO AS A DESTINATION

Unlike almost all other major Japanese cities, Kyoto survived the devastating World War II virtually intact.

Due to this good fortune, Kyoto is Japan at its most authentic and flowering. Centuries-old temples of the capital era, Shrines and other impressive buildings still stand in the same places as proud as ever.

As many as 17 of the Kyoto monuments have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The most famous examples of these are probably the Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Nijo Castle.

In addition to individual top attractions, the city is worth the same without a precise destination. In the midst of nearly endless history and stagnant architecture, the mind rests.

Districts of Kyoto

By Japanese standards, Kyoto is at most a medium-sized city. In Finnish terms, however, with a population of one and a half million, it is a giant with many things to see.

The city center is an interesting combination of new and old. The Imperial Palace and Nijo Castle bring a historic touch, counterbalanced by a state-of-the-art train station.

Western Arashiyama, on the other hand, is a little more natural because of its lush hills. The eastern part, Higashiyama, is again known especially for its geishas. The southern part is largely the area of ​​the old capital, while the northern part is home to many World Heritage sites.

At its best in spring and fall

Most tourists head to Kyoto in the spring and fall, largely due to favorable weather. Temperatures revolve around twenty degrees on either side, and rain doesn’t do much of a headache.

In summer, of course, it is hot, but also very humid. Winter frosts are instead a congestion-avoiding choice.

FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN KYOTO

FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN KYOTO

Trips to Kyoto

There is no airport in Kyoto, but the connections from Finland to the rest of Japan are so great that you should not miss the trip.

The most convenient way to get there is by flying from Helsinki on a Finnair direct flight to Osaka and continuing the journey by high-speed train to your destination.

The flight takes about ten hours and usually costs 800 to 1,000 euros for the round trip. By train from Osaka to Kyoto in just over an hour.

Many accommodation options

According to DigoPaul, Kyoto offers accommodation for every taste. As a rule of thumb, hotel accommodation in the city center is expensive, a little further away a little cheaper. Also in high season, prices follow the increase in passenger numbers.

At a cheaper price, you can stay in a more traditional hostel or, in Japanese, a capsule hotel, if you are not bothered by the cramped place. In Finnish, internet cafes also represent a rather exotic accommodation option.

For the experiential, the right direction is temple accommodation instead. While the language barrier and bedtime may be surprising at first, the morning devotion of the temple certainly begins the day out of everyday life.

The train is the best ride game

With public transportation, Kyoto makes an exception when compared to many Japanese metropolises. The two-line metro is quite modest in the city, and you can’t get anywhere from it.

It is still worth favoring railways in Kyoto as well, albeit overground. The trains cross and cross almost everywhere. Buses, in turn, patch the shadows left by the train network.

KYOTO ATTRACTIONS

KYOTO ATTRACTIONS

The splendor of the Imperial Temple

There are a total of four imperial temples in Kyoto, the most famous of which is probably Kyoto-gosh, simply the Imperial Temple, right in the center.

The whole thing is absolutely beautiful and the historical hum is palpable. The palace garden with its cherry trees is also enchanting, especially in spring. The temple still occasionally serves as a stage for state events.

However, those intending to attend the temple should note that access to all Imperial temples must be requested from the Imperial Household Agency, and during the busiest seasons, there will not be enough time for guided tours for all applicants.

Other Imperial Monuments include Sento Imperial Temple, Katsura Villa and Shugakui Villa. Access to these must also be requested, but unlike the Central Temple, they do not offer English-language tours.

The rugged beauty of Ryoanji’s rock garden

When the mind gallops after overtaking a rally of sightseeing, it is worth taking the direction of Ryoanji Temple.

The Temple of the Peaceful Dragon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is considered the most impressive example of Zen Buddhist achievements in the whole country.

There are a total of 15 larger boulders in the temple courtyard, of which only 14 can be seen at a time — regardless of location — according to Buddhists, all the stones can only be seen after the tent , the Enlightenment.

Stopping Kiyomizu-dera

Kijomizu-dera’s history goes far, in fact, further than the entire Kyoto story. The temple, from its place, on the slope of a mountain, has seen all the colorful stages of the city.

The view from the temple over the city is impressive, but there are plenty of wonders inside the building as well. Namely, there is a waterfall in Kiyomizu-dera, where the water of the mountains flows.

The temple is one of the city’s most popular attractions, and for good reason. It is definitely a must-see for every visitor to Kyoto.

THE BEST OF KYOTO

THE BEST OF KYOTO

The best attractions

  1. Imperial temple
  2. Kiyomizu-deran Temple
  3. Ryoanji Stone Garden
  4. Nijo Castle
  5. Gionin geishat