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Report by Ms. Anna Kölling on her internship at the Regional Office of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation from November 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009

The three months in the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF) gave me the great chance to get new experiences in the field of politics on the local level in Cairo and on the regional level. By meeting especially young and motivated representatives of liberal parties at several events, I got to understand the great importance of networking of Arab liberals in the region, which is supported by the Foundation. Since I’m extremely interested in the work of NGO’s (non-governmental organisations) in the region, it was a pleasure for me to join my colleagues in the preparation and organisation of political events with our various partners from many different levels of society.

Beside supporting my colleagues in the administrative work in the office itself I was deeply involved in the preparation of the conference "Moral Responsibility of CSO’s in the Arab World & the Right to Freedom of Association", which aimed at the liberalization of the restrictive laws concerning CSO’s (civil society associations), trade unions and political parties and the workshop "Internet and Human Rights". I profited a lot from my participation in the conference, because I got deep insights in the ways of cooperation between different organisations and institutions in the region. Since I had to arrange meetings on the sidelines of the conference I got a great chance to develop my communication skills in different languages.

Of all the activities I was involved in I want to highlight the promising workshop about promoting human rights on the internet. For me it was the second important event in the time of my internship and I learned a lot about the needs of young people in Egypt concerning media and self-expression. I got the challenge to document several events and write articles for the website of the foundation which gave me the great chance to improve my journalistic skills, since I was in charge of the conceptual design of these articles including taking pictures and designing the layout. Moreover, I had the honour to write the introduction of the FNF publication "Woman and Mirror", after revising the texts presented in the book. This publication deals with women’s rights and discusses the increasing political participation of women in an Islamic framework, and the legal status of women especially in family law. The more global than regional issues concern the impacts of free trade and the importance of knowledge on the society, which provide more chances for women, but confront them also with new requirements.

Altogether, I spent a very valuable and informative time in the foundation and want to thank my colleagues who were very helpful and appreciated all my contributions to their work.

Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty in Egypt :