– Internet Portal Forms a Bridge to the Islamic World | Press Releases | DW | 21.03.2003
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Press Releases – Internet Portal Forms a Bridge to the Islamic World

The German institutions Federal Agency for Civic Education, Deutsche Welle, Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes and Institute for Foreign Relations provide a platform for dialogue with the Islamic world

"Qantara" is the Arabic word for bridge. With their Internet portal "" ( the Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung (bpb – Federal Agency for Civic Education), Deutsche Welle (DW), the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes (GI) and the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa – Institute for Foreign Relations) hope to form and maintain a bridge to the Islamic world.

The website, which went online on March 13, will initially be available in English, Arabic and German. The four-member editing team wants to give both western and Islamic voices a chance to speak, providing a forum characterized by openness and mutual respect, even in times of crisis. Contributors include Egyptian literary scholar Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd, German Muslim ex-diplomat Murad Hofmann, Islamic theologian Halima Krausen, conflict researcher Heiner Bielefeldt and physicist Ernst-Ulrich von Weizsäcker.

The portal takes up a variety of political, cultural and social issues. Due to the present world situation, the current page naturally includes a look at developments in Iraq. The German writer Michael Kleeberg and his Lebanese colleague Abbas Beydoun will exchange correspondence about the war. Other key topics are Turkey's EU candidacy, feminism in Islam, interreligious dialogue and globalization. The featured articles reflect both common interests and distinct differences, not hesitating to broach controversial themes. A database is included, which provides information on important projects promoting dialogue with Islam. New topics and articles will be added to the site on a regular basis. is sponsored by the German Foreign Office.

21 March 2003

Photo on demand: T. 0221/389-2022 oder or mailto:

Editors (f.l.t.r.): Lorenz Lorenz-Meyer, Larissa Bender, Mona Naggar, Arian Fariborz.

English version:

Arabic version:

German version:

Editorial department:

c/o Deutsche Welle
50588 Köln
Tel.: +49 (0) 221 389-2828 / -2596 - Fax: +49 (0) 221 389-2150


Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb
Swantje Schütz / Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Berliner Freiheit 7
53111 Bonn / Germany
T. + 49 (0) 1888/515-284 – F. + 49 (0) 1888/515-293
eMail: - Web:

Deutsche Welle
Berthold Stevens / PR and Communications
50588 Cologne / Germany
T. +49 (0) 221 389-2049 – F. +49 (0) 221 389-2046
eMail: - Web:

Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes (GI)
Klaus Krischok / Leitung Zentrales Marketing
Ber. 002 Kommunikation und Marketing
Dachauer Straße 122
80637 Munich / Germany
(postal adress: PO Box 19 04 19, 80604 Munich)
T. +49 (0) 89 15921 500 – F. +49 (0) 15921 414
eMail: - Web:

Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa)
Susanne Klug / Presse-/Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Charlottenplatz 17
70173 Stuttgart / Germany
T. +49 (0) 711 2225-212 – F. +49 (0) 711 2225-131
eMail: - Web: