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The 8-part documentary series MARHABA AFRICA! looks at culture, sports, architecture, economy, politics and social issues in the nations of northern Africa. It's eight steps closer to understanding the Arab world.


The Arab world is young, Muslim and full of diversity. Sawsin Nabil, a young woman in Cairo, for example, is working on a career as a fashion designer - no simple undertaking in a country where more and more women are adopting the Islamic dress code. At the same time, ever more Egyptian women are going in for soccer - in fact, it's a collective obsession in Egypt, the 2008 African champion. Soccer can be far more than just fun and games. It can function as a catalyst for the disadvantaged masses.

In this series, DW travels with architect Magnus Kaminiarz to Libya, where he's directing the construction of a new, 210-hectare business and residential quarter. It's the first time a German architectural firm has ever taken on a project of such dimensions. Does it signal an opening toward the West on Libya's part? Might Libya be looking toward a future as Europe's new reservoir of green energy? Generating environmentally friendly power with the help of technology and expertise from Europe is no longer a utopian vision but a whole new world of opportunity for all concerned.

Tunisia is perhaps northern Africa's most prosperous country. Tourism is the secret of its success. Jockeying with Tunisia for a top spot is Morocco, with great economic ambitions but also pressing social issues, such as migration to the cities and emigration. Has northern Africa become Europe's buffer zone against mass immigration from south of the Sahara? As long as there are young people left without prospects for a future in their own countries, there will be would-be immigrants to the relatively wealthy Europe. Will campaigns to promote education such as the one supported by World Vision in Mauritania make a difference? And what is the state of the democratization process? And of equal rights for men and women in the region? These are just a few of the many questions this series seeks answers for.

MARHABA AFRICA! conveys impressions of the ways of thinking and living and the hopes for the future among the peoples of northern Africa, in particular with regard to relations with Europe and Germany. The series captures snatches of the dialogue between cultures and communication between individuals. It also identifies some of the problems involved in their joint projects.

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