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Why We Need Libraries to Fight Social Inequality

In a district in Berlin among its Turkish residents stood once the Jerusalem Library, not far from the city’s Jewish Hospital. With a gloomy face, 10 year-old me walked up to the building in search of a book to read, as ordered by my mother. There was a new rule in our house at the time, that at least two hours of my day as a third grader with little to no…

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Dear Coward From Platform 5,

you will probably never read this because you have no idea who I am but I am sure that there are many more of your kind out there so why not just say it anyway? I still wonder what you were thinking, sticking your hand up my skirt. You did it in passing by. Casually, like it’s something one would just do every now and then. Not brushing slightly against it, not…

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Happy Halloween

For the last couple of days, on the news feeds of my social media accounts, Halloween jokes have been shared and costumes and make-up presented with a pinch of pride. Growing up in Berlin and never having been anywhere near the United States or Canada, this holiday had always appeared to me as something…let’s just say “rather American”. Even though one can find tons of decorations for this theme, I have never seen…

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Germans and Small Talk

I started watching a vlog by a charming American woman who lives in Munich with her German husband. In her cheerful voice full of positive energy, she talks about living in Germany, explaining different aspects of the daily life here to those from abroad while also addressing habits and the lifestyle in the United States. In one of her  videos she talked about how small talk is not really a thing here in Germany…

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Being a Local in Berlin

  A while ago, I wrote about why traveling to other places can be so much more exciting than one’s own hometown. Today’s subject of my random thinking session after I had finally finished my French revision was what makes the difference between living in a country compared to just visiting it for a few days. When you become a local somewhere you notice that the carefree days of being an explorer of…

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A Book Nerd’s Heaven

“I have spent way too much money this month”, my friend Aidah said thoughtfully. I agreed with a nod she couldn’t see and we both crossed the street in the Prenzlauer Berg district, not sure where exactly we were headed. “Look!”, she exclaimed out of nowhere, “a book store! Let’s go in.” In front of the large window stood a row of tables with books that looked as if they had already been read…

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What is Education in University?

The first semester is officially over but now that I think about it, I don’t really know if I have learned anything entirely new. I am not so sure about whether there has ever been a moment when I said to myself: “Wow, there is no way I would have known this or that about the German government system or the Cold War or research methodology. had I not been in university.”…

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10 Signs You Study at a Leftist University

I assume that when you study political science, you might naturally expect there to be a certain tendency towards political ideologies among your fellow students. I began the semester at the Freie Universität Berlin with the same idea but initially I believed to find a few scattered groups here and there, nothing too concentrated. There should be quite some diversity in terms of political believes in a student body made of 37000 souls, right?…

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Lecture Hall Noise: Concerto Nr. 1 in E Major

Some scattered thoughts on all the things you can hear inside a lecture hall instead for the actual lecture: Some people type so vigorously on their laptops, you might think their lives depend on it. Maybe in a way they do. Two more weeks until finals. While the crowd has just now managed to get seated, another group comes in (10 minutes late) like some animals who are finally let out to run…

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Learning German? Read These Books!

A friend of mine who has embarked on the tedious yet adventurous journey of learning German, has asked me whether I could recommend any German books to read. Dumbstruck as usual whenever someone asks me to recommend something, I immediately forgot about any book I had ever seen or read in my whole life and started staring aimlessly into space. What is a book and what am I supposed to do with…

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