Qaiser Mahmood '21 - Duke Middle East in Europe (Summer 2019)

Qaiser Mahmood '21 - Duke Middle East in Europe (Summer 2019)

This summer I spent six weeks in Berlin, Germany taking classes for summer session two and interning. The program in which I participated in was called Duke Middle East in Europe. Our coursework focused on analyzing the political debates about Islam in Europe and about refugees and immigrants from the Middle East. We focused a lot on the impact of the Turkish population and culture in Germany in order to investigate the shifting political landscape of Turkish-German identities. In addition to that, the we learned a lot about the lived experiences of not only Turkish inhabitants, but also those from North African communities as there was a large influx of migration from the MENA to the EU in the recent years. Outside of class, there was an internship component, where we worked at an education-tech company named Kiron. The mission of Kiron is to help refugees to gain the knowledge and qualifications to attend university. They do this by utilizing their online platform to provide courses (MOOCS) on an array of different subjects and topics. Once completed, Kiron students are able to use these qualifications in their applications to university. My role at Kiron was product management for the language team. I evaluated MOOCs to make sure that they were coherent, accurate, and beneficial to the Kiron students. In addition to that, I did research on different African countries, looking at the accessibility to digital education and technology, behooving Kiron to know where to expand their platform. It was a great summer, a great experience working, and I would do anything to go back!