Mulert Award 2013

German Fulbright Alumni Association Announces 2013 Mulert Award Winner Sherief El-Helaifi

The German Fulbright Alumni Association is pleased to announce that this year’s Juergen Mulert Memorial Award on Mutual Understanding is bestowed to Sherief El-Helaifi and the project “Schuelerpaten Berlin”. The Mulert Award is given annually to volunteers, artists, professionals, or researchers across disciplines whose work reflects and advances Senator Fulbright’s idea of “waging peace through mutual understanding”. The award will be presented on February 2, 2013, at the German Fulbright Alumni Association’s annual Winter Ball in Hannover, where Sherief El-Helaifi will be a guest of honor and present the “Schuelerpaten” project.

El-Helaifi, currently a B.A. student at the Berlin Institute of Technology, spent a Fulbright exchange year at the University of California at Berkeley in 2011/12, where he focused on Industrial Engineering and Operations Research. “Schuelerpaten Berlin”, which El-Helaifi supported as co-founder, board member and head of public relations, is a unique project which focuses on the process of cultural exchange and awareness. Geared specifically to young people of Arabic descent, “Schuelerpaten Berlin” organizes tutorings between mentors and mentees. Mentors, usually university and doctorate students, are matched with young people from Arab families. Tutoring takes place in the privacy of the mentee’s home, opening up a whole new world to the mentor and facilitating intercultural education of both mentor and mentee.

Since its start in 2009, “Schuelerpaten” has created more than 220 tutoring partnerships and has thus been instrumental in broadening the public discourse surrounding issues of integration in Germany. In 2013, El-Helaifi plans to expand “Schuelerpaten Berlin” to the Ruhr region, and later to other regions, as well. El-Helaifi, who himself has both German and Arab roots, explains the need for such a program: “As the child of a Muslim Egyptian father and a Christian German mother, I grew up learning to appreciate and embrace two religions and two very different cultures. Sometimes I felt that I was pressured to decide whether I am Egyptian or German, although I just felt as both. But I realized how hard it is to integrate if nobody takes you by the hand and explains cultural differences.”

According to Benjamin Becker, president of the German Fulbright Alumni Association, “the idea of ‘Schuelerpaten’ is both simple and revolutionary, and promotes the growth of volunteerism in Germany”. The statistics are testimony to the success of “Schuelerpaten Berlin”: In a survey conducted in 2011, over 68% of mentees said that their grades had improved dramatically through the “Schuelerpaten” program. 79% had a better understanding of school tasks, 79% had learned and incorporated crucial organizational skills, and 74%, felt more self-confident. Overall, 90% of the mentees surveyed were more than satisfied with their mentors.

Winner of the 2012 Mulert Award

Winner of the 2012 “Juergen Mulert Memorial Award on Mutual Understanding” is Mr. Janosch Delcker and his project “Urban Observations”.

Mr. Delcker realized a series of short videos in which he portrays artists in New York City and Berlin, respectively. The German Fulbright Alumni Association chose “Urban Observations” for its ability to esthetically foster William Fulbright’s idea of “waging peace through mutual understanding”.

The award ceremony will be held in Schwerin during the Association’s Winter Ball.

Urban Obserations
Mulert Award Winning Art Project

The Protagonists

The featured artists were supposed to represent a cross section of artists working in the respective city. Urban Observations, therefore, included various genders, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, and ages. The youngest one is in his late 20s, the oldest one in her early 60s. Some of them are very established, some of them up-and-coming. Some of them are natives to their cities, some of them from other parts of the country; some of them are foreigners living in the city.

Featured Artists

1. Drag Queens: Linda Simpson (New York), Gina Tonic (Berlin)
2. Cartoonists: Isaac Littlejohn Eddie (New York), Ulli Lust (Berlin)
3. Curator: Andrianna Campbell (New York), Nico Anklam (Berlin)
4. Filmmaker: Joshua Sanchez (New York), Stephanie von Beauvais (Berlin)
5. Author: Wickham Boyle (New York), Anton Waldt (Berlin)
6. Painter: Benjamin Weber (New York), Chris Winter (Berlin)

Janosch Delcker on Urban Oberservations

Christoph Janosch Delcker, M.A.

born October 22, 1985, is a video journalist based in Berlin and Brooklyn, New York. Heʼs produced and published videos for i.a. Spiegel Online, The New York Times, ZDF Online, and dpa (Deutsche Presse Agentur). Furthermore, he has published print articles in i.a. European Voice (The Economist), Die Tageszeitung (taz) and Idealist Magazine.

He holds a Bachelorʼs degree in Literature, Music and Media from Humboldt-University, Berlin, and Universidad de Salamanca, Spain. In 2009/10, he spent one year on a Fulbright scholarship at the Department of German at New York University, where he finished his Masterʼs degree in German Literature and Media in May 2011.

Since then, heʼs been working as a freelance video journalist in Berlin, Germany.

Mulert Award 2010/11

Abstract of the Mulert Award paper 2010/2011

In a time of global economic downturn and political crisis in the Middle East the very ideas of development aid and poverty reduction have been seriously challenged. The classical arguments for poverty reduction (to fight violence and terrorism, democracy promotion, moral obligation etc) seem not to be adequate any more to prevent an identity crisis within the endeavour of global development policy. The question is: Why do we and should we engage in development aid and poverty reduction? Regrettably the answer is not as clear as it used to be. This essay tries to engage the devils advocate and to find appropriate responses to the onsets brought against poverty reduction and to make way for a new “Why” of development policy.