Faruk explains: “As is the custom, they offer free food for the needy after the service.”
Faruk certainly appears to fit this scene. And then again he does not.
“They are not allowed,” says Faruk. “German noise protection order.”
“What is the meaning of this?” Carla asks, expecting an Arabic term.
“Oh, this? This is a chandelier,” Faruk says.
We had to postpone the interview several times, as Faruk is a very busy man. When we are finally sitting in the U-Bahn together he shows us his latest acquisition: an smartphone app to improve his sleep efficiency.
“I don’t know. Somehow, sleeping isn’t my favourite activity.” And, does it work? “This app? It doesn’t work, at all.”
Time efficiency is needed. One and a half years ago he joined the Christian Democratic Union—now he’s just been elected as a member on the local board.
“I had a look at both catch-all parties in Germany, and somehow I liked the CDU best. I like the ‘C’ in there. It shows you that there are special values at play. And after all, there is great potential in their education policy.”
To put it mildly, he makes sharp observations.
It takes place at the Heinrich Böll Foundation, affiliated with the German Green Party.
“I really like the Böll Foundation, they are doing great work,” says Faruk.
And the CDU? He smiles: “Well, on second though—you’d better not write this.”
“30 percent of the German students have only basic computer skills,” says the author of the study. Faruk is stunned: “I have to put that on Twitter.”
Then, looking at the grey hair all around, he grins: “But that is something you guys know nothing about.”
“Migration pedagogics?” Faruk shakes his head. “What a stupid term.”
Faruk has studied Educational Science in Berlin and founded several NGOs in the area of education and educational justice in the German school system. One of them, the Forum of Muslim Scholarship Fellows, was one of the first in Germany that focused especially on young Muslim talents. He is beneficiary of the German National Merit Foundation. Further, he served as project manager for the Mercator Capacity Building Center for Leadership & Advocacy and is board member of the CDU Moabit. Turkish and German are his first languages, English is his second. Besides, he has directed several TV ads and short movies.
Photos by Carla; text by Torben; beautiful English by Laurence; final photo by Faruk.