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Multaqa Project honoured with national cultural award


The project ‘Multaqa: Museum as Meeting Point – Refugees as Guides in Berlin Museums’ of the SMB’s Museum für Islamische Kunst is winner in the culture category of the 2016 national competition ‘Landmarks in the Land of Ideas’.

With this year’s theme of ‘NeighbourhoodInnovation’, the initiative ‘Germany - Land of Ideas’ and the Deutsche Bank awarded prizes to over 100 innovative projects. The six national winners of the 2016 ‘Landmarks in the Land of Ideas’ competition were announced and honoured at a celebratory reception in Frankfurt am Main on 10 November, 2016. The Museum für Islamische Kunst won in the culture category with its Multaqa project, in which refugees from Syria and Iraq discover parallels between their old and new homelands.

The cultural and historical relationship between Germany, Syria, and Iraq is one of the central issues addressed by Multaqa: The project educates Syrians and Iraqis to become museum guides so that they can lead other refugees through Berlin cultural facilities. In Arabic, visitors and guides discuss their former homeland and are brought closer to their new one as they trace the cultural and historical commonalities between the two. Workshops with German-speaking audiences contribute to an awareness on both sides of how to live together respectfully.

A project of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz and the Deutsches Historisches Museum, developed by the Museum für Islamische Kunst of the SMB, supported by the Deutsches Historisches Museum, Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Schering Stiftung, the Freunde des Museums für Islamische Kunst, the Deutsches Historisches Museum, and many other donors, particularly the Oetker family. Many thanks to the German Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth’s federal programme ‘Live democracy!’ for providing start-up financing in 2015. The project is actively supported by the patrons society of the Museum für Islamische Kunst. The training courses have the resolute support of the education and outreach departments of the Deutsches Historisches Museum and the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, as well as the teams of the four participating museums.