Local democracy

Project Folder


Democratization starts at the local level. If it doesn’t work there, it doesn’t work at all. Recent observations of the situation in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia respectively have shown that one structural problem of dictatorships is that there is no inclusion of citizens in decision-making processes at the local level.




Header graphic Kurdwatch


From 2009 to 2016, we run an independent website called »KurdWatch« that reported on human-rights abuses against the Kurdish population in Syria. We also reported on the development of the civil war and its consequences for people living in the Kurdish areas. Our news coverage focused on current daily events such as demonstrations, arrests, kidnappings, and torture. In addition we researched background information on topics such as the development of Kurdish political parties or  the expatriation of 1962. (more…)


Strengthening civil-society structures in Syria


The target groups of our projects to strengthen civil-society structures in Syria are especially young people and women. Because of their too often marginalized places in society, these social actors are the ones genuinely interested in real societal change. (more…)


Equal chances for immigrant children


A strong command of the German language when children start school is a key qualification for a successful entry into the German education system. Language acquisition ideally takes place in day care or nursery school. From December 2002 until November 2003 we carried out a project in which we encouraged Kurdish and other immigrant parents to place their children in day care for one year. (more…)


Kurdish Studies program at the Free University Berlin


Since 1993 we have organized several interdisciplinary lecture series at the Free University Berlin (FU) on Kurdish themes. In the academic year 1996/1997 we successfully convinced the university to establish a guest professor for Kurdish Studies in the FU Institute of Anthropology. The position was filled by Professor Martin van Bruinessen. (more…)