“Jerusalem Connects”: An educational trip to the heart of a conflict

What is political and cultural cohabitation like in Jerusalem’s diverse society? What are the conflicts – and how are they resolved? What can we in Germany learn from this? From 15 to 22 September 2019, alumni of the Young Islam Conference sought answers in Israel where, for centuries, lives have been shaped by immigration and emigration, refuge-seeking and displacement.

To better understand the lines of conflict and possible solutions, Mercator alumni met with academics, activists and civil society actors in Jerusalem. In the weeklong programme, they discussed the city’s inter-religious history, structural discrimination of Palestinian students and university lecturers and other subjects with prominent Islamic scholar Mustafa Abu Sway. The group also visited the Yad Vashem Memorial, which commemorates the systematic persecution and annihilation of Jewish life in Europe under National Socialism. There they took part in a guided tour with a descendant of survivors of the Shoah in Prague and Vienna.