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Hikaya 1914-2014 draws on the history of the First World War in a multi-disciplinary research asking for its meanings beyond the borders of Europe. Avoiding a Euro-centric view, the title “Hikaya” (Arabic: narrative, story) emphasizes the common reconstruction of history and wants to narrate this neglected topic in the discourse between the Arab world and Europe, dealing with the questions: What is the significance and influence of the First World War today? How does yesterday shape today? What lessons can be learned from the past? Are there any lessons learned in war? What influence does war have on the individual and the society?

In this framework, the Goethe-Institut offers a series of tandem residencies for German and Arab historians to reconstruct the history of the First World War and its effects on the Middle East up to this day in a common narrative. The participants explore the above questions at various stations along the former Ottoman railway network, which stretched from Istanbul to Beirut, Haifa, Nablus, Amman to Egypt. German and Arab historians will research, formulate positions, and publish their findings online in the form of blogs on a presentation in an international conference in Germany in November 2014. Content can be individual analysis/observations, maps, photos of locals, talks or movies. Both the Ottoman railway network and Herfried Münkler’s essay “The Fall of the Ottoman Empire” ( should serve as a starting point and as an inspiration.


The program is open for 3 Arabic and 3 German researchers of the humanities (e.g. history, philosophy). The residencies will take place in Amman/Jordan, Beirut/Lebanon, and Ramallah/Palestine. Each residency lasts two weeks, and can take place upon individual agreements in the period between 1 September and 15 October 2014. All costs of traveling, accommodation, and insurance will be covered by the Goethe-Institut. The participants ar expected to document and share their research in the form of a blog (min. 3 postings per week). Co-operation of the two researchers in one residency location is appreciated, but not compulsory. The results will be presented in an international conference in November 2014 in Germany.

Time schedule


The program is open for historians from Germany, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine with at least three years of proven professional experience and verifiable good English skills (age between 25- 40 years).

Formulate a position in an essay form agreeing, disagreeing, elaborating, further analyzing, etc. one or more of the points brought up by Herfried Münkler in his essay “The Fall of the Ottoman Empire”. The Essay must not exceed 1000 words or 2 pages and should meet international standards in terms of form and content. To enable word count, the essay must be submitted in a standard word processing format (for example as a Word document and/or as a PDF). Essay submission in the English language is a requirement.

Please include a personal data sheet (CV) in a tabular form. Both the essay and the CV should be presented as e-mail attachment and send to

Application deadline is 15 August 2014.


Mr. Furat Ibrahim

Goethe-Institut Ramallah

Project Coordinator Hikaya

Phone: +972-2-298 19 22-109

Fax: +972-2-298 19 23

Mail: furat.ibrahim@ramallah.goethe.orgWeb: 

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