The DAAD Regional Office Cairo hosted the alMena٢ Conference: '(Teaching) German in Arabic speaking region' from the 5th to the 7th of November 2018.
For the second time the the alMena conference attracted scientists in German Studies from the whole MENA region and Sudan. 30 speakers from nine countries and more than 80 attendees came together in Cairo to discuss current issues and developments in the field and to exchange expertise.
Following the first edition of the format in 2018, this year the conference focused on current challenges regarding curriculum development in the MENA Region, the tension between study contents of German as a foreign language and classical German studies and philology, attempts to reform higher education systems, and the increasing demand for extracurricular German courses and technical language.
German studies – quo vadis? German as a foreign language as a panacea? Among different topics the audience intensively discussed job opportunities and the question of employability for graduates from German studies and German as a foreign language. The panel discussion focusing on that topic also included the perspective of representatives from German entrepreneurs in Egypt.
The conference was rounded off by an all-day workshop on Dhoch3, a new funding programme in which the DAAD is cooperating with its partners to develop an offering to enhance the academic training of future teachers of German at schools and higher education institutions worldwide. Benjamin Schmäling form the DAAD headquarters in Bonn offered the tutorial for the heads of German departments and lecturers in the MENA region.
The attendees’s large interests in the conference and their active participations in the discussion underlined the high importance of formats like the alMena conference. It is necessary to further connect experts in the region – especially regarding innovative teaching methods and the sustainable orientation of degree programs.