URI Europe meetings in Berlin

Berlin is a city of many faiths and worldviews, place of tradition and history, but likewise vibrant creativity and life.
Our URI and DMLB team – Sheikh BASHIR, Karimah Stauch and Marianne Horling - had come here May 23-27, 2016 to meet various interfaith actors, explore partnerships and inform people about the URI network.


DSC01338 Meeting with URI Berlin CC 20percent


On the first evening we met with members of the URI Berlin CC. We had planned to come together at Alex-Treff, a reading room of the Baha’i Community in the vicinity of Berlin’s famous Alexanderplatz, where URI Europe had also held a 2-day-workshop for the first “Long Night of Religions” in September 2012.
But, as we found it closed, we sat down at a restaurant on the other side of the road, for conversations with Peter Amsler and Taufiq Mempel, founders and core members of URI Berlin CC. Also with us were Gudrun Pannier and a friend of hers, both members of the Pagan network in Berlin, who are very interested in URI and in connecting with other believers. After very good conversations the four Berliners made an appointment to meet up again in June for planning joint activities.

A new and interesting Berlin project is the House of One: at a central place in Berlin Mitte, a house of the Abrahamic faiths is being planned, on the foundation walls of a church which was brought down during the Communist time in the 1960s. An architecture contest was conducted to create a house, in which all Jews, Christians and Muslims are at home in their own religious space; and at the same time encounter one another and others. Crowd funding is being done to raise the necessary funds. The conversations with Roland Stolte and Celal Findik of the House of One association were pleasant and good. They are also very interested in the URI network and already in touch with various URI CCs.


DSC01341 House of One Karimah Stolte Horling 20 percent


In the evening we met with Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild, a very humorous rabbi, author and performance artist – and also an enthusiast of historic trains and railways. His newest project is a cabaret and music program with his team “Rabbi Walter Rothschild and the Minyan Boys”.

The next day we participated in the one-day-conference “Islamic Feminism – the view to Germany” coorganised by the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation and the AMF (Action movement of Muslim women). We met many intelligent, vocal Muslim women being fully involved in public live and standing up for equal rights – be it in German society or the Muslim community. It was inspiring for us to meet friends whom we had met first as school students, now university teachers and to see that the seeds for the full inclusion of Muslim women sown and tended with care by various pioneers - including Sheikh BASHIR – are going up and developing beautifully.


DSC01386 Islamic Feminsm 2

On Thursday we had an appointment with Rafiqa Younes, officer in charge for the Jewish-Muslim Forum of the “Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin”. She welcomed us warmly and we had very interesting interfaith exchanges. We informed her about URI, and she directed us to additional Berlin interfaith initiatives that will be good to contact and get into touch with.


DSC01391 Meeting with Rafiqa Younes Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin 20percent 1


Afterwards we visited the Jewish Museum, which is very modern, offering exhibits with multimedia components, and interesting to visit.


DSC01392 Academy of th Jewish Museum 20percent 1

Two meetings, one with Dr. Thomas Schimmel of the Franciscan initiative 1219, and one with Kofi Ohene-Dokyi of the JUGA project (Young, Believer, Active) had to be cancelled due to unforeseen obligations, but will hopefully happen another time – likewise a meeting with a leader of the Chabad Jewish movement of Berlin.


For more inforamtion please check links below: