Time went by swiftly in Beirut’s diverse landscape. After a few weeks of getting used to the new environment, everyday life and the work tasks started to run smoothly, and we quickly made acquaintances through the hospitality of the people.
During the fall there were two interns at FIME’s office for the first time, and there was plenty of work for us both. Most of our working hours were spent on communication assignments. In early autumn we organized events and an after work gathering. We were also involved in organizing the lecture series Badaro Talks and a book launch discussion in collaboration with the German Orient Institute. In October our tasks changed somewhat due to the war in the neighbour country, and many local events were put on hold. Since October, there was a lot of contemplation about the future and what will happen next, and how the situation affects on Lebanon too. However, daily life continued as usual, and also the winter rain finally arrived to Beirut in December. The vivid everyday life in Beirut was always full of surprises, and even it was very extraordinary, it required also constant adaptation.
In November, our office participated in the Beirut Marathon and in December we organized a student course in Cairo, through which participants got to dive deeper into Cairo’s urban structures and development. The organizing work for the course made it possible for us interns also to explore Cairo!
The internship time was not only spent at FIME’s office, but on the weekends we usually went for ventures outside Beirut to enjoy the country’s other cities and villages and hiking trials with local guides, and through that we had the opportunity to explore widely the northern parts of Lebanon. During the five months of our internship we studied Levantine Arabic. Although language learning takes time, energy and can also be a bit frustrating sometimes, it was rewarding to notice after a few months of learning that you are able to communicate about everyday things. It was great to see how locals open up differently when you can speak a few sentences in their own language.
Through the internship, we received more knowledge about the Middle Eastern context and gained expanded perspectives on the region. Now in January, a new intern has started at the FIME office, and continues with the intern’s activities. She will also introduce herself better soon. For us fall interns new opportunities and adventures await!
Sara and Sofia offer a thank you and signs off!