Monday, August 20, 2007

Muslim Students Group at University of Kaiserslautern Germany

Some days ago we decided to attend a lecture in Karlsruhe. We being the Muslim Students Group at University of Kaiserslautern (Muslimische Studenten Gruppe, TU Kaiserslautern). This group existed before but ceased to be active some years ago. We reconstructed this group to actively arrange activities for all the students at the university. We are starting from smaller activities and progressing towards bigger ones. So first of these activities were an Islamic weekend. We went to Karlsruhe on Saturday to attend a lecture by a converted German named Pierre Vogel. The lecture was arranged in a sports hall which was full with audience, both Muslims and non-Muslims (including German) with as many women as men; reason being perhaps the topic: Position of Women in Islam. The lecture was in German and the speaker was a native speaker. So I understood less than my level of German understanding. Before going to the lecture we had lunch together and saw the Karlsruhe castle. We 10 men had travelled from Kaiserslautern with Train while about 8 women came in a van we had rented. Photos.

The next day we arranged a Bar B Que party for the members and potential members. Though it was summer, summer was nowhere to be found. It rained that day as well, however, with a bit of wind. So we found two covered places at the Uni for Grill. One saved us from the wind but not rain; the other saved from rain but not wind. After some to and fro motions, we opted for the second option. There were about 50 people at the party. We had beef sausages and chicken and people brought salads. We also gave small talks about our MSG in German, English and Arabic. As soon as we started the party, the weather got good. Photos.

Now we are planning a trip to Trier to see the city and attend a couple of lectures there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Independence Day

happy independence day to all. The independence to be corrupt and to rob and kill each other. Let us promise today that we will never do corruption, never give or accept rishwat, never accept or do sifarish, see our fellows above the divisions of language, province, ethnicity, sect, etc. Only then do we deserve to celebrate our freedom. Otherwise: long live our new masters (internal or external).

Monday, August 13, 2007

Receiving Pakistanis in Frankfurt

Last week we decided to go to Frankfurt airport to receive a batch of Pakistanis coming to Germany. They had received the HEC scholarship for phd and were being sent in 3 groups. Two groups had their flights 4 hours apart and the third group was coming 3 days after them. We opted to receive the first group while others chose to receive the second group. We started our journey in the morning, reaching Frankfurt city in the afternoon and strolled to a Pakistani restaurant "Shahid ka Dhaba". There we were served delicious dishes with hot roti and lassi. Then we went to a Bengali mosque to pray and subsequently to a Pakistani sweet shop (Akmal). We bought freshly made "Gulab Jaman" and returned to the train station to catch a train to the airport. The flight was delayed half an hour. PIA was banned from Europe shortly but now was allowed to operate again. This time around, they probably didn't have flights to Frankfurt. So the students were flown to Milan, Italy. Then they were to reach Frankfurt through Al-Italia airline. When the scholars finally reached Frankfurt, they told a horrible story of their change-over. The luggage of some of them was placed in the next flight. So these people chose to stay and wait at the airport.

We came back after sending the scholars on their way to their respective cities. Some other Pakistanis were to receive the remaining scholars at night. One of them tells the story of reception like this:
"In the next flight 8 scholars were missing. They were supposed to spend night at Milan airport as they were not allowed to go out side the airport but I heard that then some Pakistani from tribal area helped them & they spent night at some hotel. They arrived then next day at 11:30 am & went to their cities. Two or three of them had lost their luggages. The students arriving with 10 pm flight were very upset & many of them had lost their luggage (as well). All the clothes & important things were missing. I helped them to claim the luggages & hope the airline will send them when they (are) found. This was really very bad & was due to the PIA & HEC officials. All have told all the story to Pakistani embassy & also to DAAD."

btw, a funny thing happened as well. One of the students gave me the telephone number of the hostel's manager where they were supposed to stay. I called there and asked if all of the 8 scholars of that city will stay with him. He sounded like a Turkish guy. After confirming, he asked me a question: "these people coming from Pakistan, are they some high officials or some ministers or something?" At my surprised answer that they were just students, he exclaimed: "You are the sixth person to call to inquire about them".