My package on COP23 Climate Change Conference for Pakistani TV Channel.
Biofach, world’s leading bio organic fair is being organised in a beautiful German city, Nürnberg, in March every year. It was my third consecutive visit, where I had a great time meeting with various interesting producers and trader groups. Being communications consultant, I had a great time meeting with my clients and we had such productive discussions. I updated my clients on their current applications to obtain sustainable certification for their businesses and that I updated them on potential product development and business growth in European market.
February 17, 2017 – My video package for Pakistan’s leading TV channel, 92 News HD, at BioFach fair in Nürnberg, Germany.
The G20 Foreign Ministers meet on 16 and 17 February 2017 in Bonn, Germany’s United Nations City, to discuss the role of foreign policy in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
This panel discussion is part of the T20 process. The Think20 (T20) is a network of research institutes and think tanks from the G20 countries. The T20 provides research-based policy advice to the G20, facilitates interaction among its members and the policy community, and communicates with the broader public about issues of global importance. The Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW) and the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) coordinate the T20 process during the German presidency in 2016 and 2017.
UN Secretary-General’s visit to the City of Bonn to mark 20 years of the United Nations Organizations in Bonn. In honour of this anniversary, Federal Foreign Minister Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier held a panel discussion “20 years of Bonn as a UN city – shaping a sustainable future in the light of volunteering” in the World Conference Centre Bonn. The event paid tribute to the important work of the 18 UN agencies based in Bonn – home of the United Nations Volunteers programme – as well as to the contribution of volunteers worldwide.
When I was in my schooling in Pakistan, I had a great desire to study and graduate from a German University. It seems like a miracle – long story in short – years passed by and finally I turned in to came to Germany for realising my dreams into reality.
I had a great privilege to study in Germany’s best university. I studied two semesters of South Asian Studies at Universität Hamburg from 2011-12. Then I got a Master’s scholarship from Deutsche Welle Akademie to study in a Master’s Program, M.A. International Media Studies. The Master’s Program was a co-organised by University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg and Universität Bonn. So to say, I graduated from and earned my Master’s degree from these three prestigious institutions.
Words fail me to express, how happy was I to attend my graduation ceremony with my mother and wife! It was such a memorable day.
The German Embassy in Islamabad has proudly shared my success story on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/GermanEmbassyIslamabad/posts/927083377337543
WWOOF stands for World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms”. People volunteer on organic farms in exchange of food and accommodation. The volunteers travel to different parts of the world not only to work in the farms but to learn other cultures too. As the volunteers work in farms then they are automatically connected with the nature. I selected the video project title “Sustainable Tourism at Alpacas Farm” because this was closely related to my study project „tourism and travel tourism.” The idea was to go deeper in this topic by visiting one of the farms and asking people how they are connected to this work. Do they think it is an alternative to traditional way of tourism? Why do they do WWOOFing? These were the questions which I wanted to explore in my story.
WWOOF Deutschland – a charity organization
I became interested to know about WWOOF Deutschland activities because of their nature-friendly work. WWOOF Germany was founded in 1987. It is a charity organization and registered as “Freiwillige Helfer/innen auf ökologischen Höfen. e.V.” WWOOF Germany administers a list of organic farms, gardens and smallholdings that offer food and accommodation in exchange for practical help on their land. WWOOF facilitates contact between farms and interested volunteers. The volunteers are required to register at WWOOF Germany in order to travel to organic farms. For me, it is a wonderful combination of eco-friendly nature through travel and tourism.
Alpacas Farm near to Cologne-Bonn region
I sent E-mail to WWOOF Germany office which based in Dresden). A few days later I got an E-mail reply from Mr. Jan and he provided me some farms’ addresses based in North-Rhine-Westphalia. I wrote E-mail to all the contacts provided, and luckily got positive reply from one of them. The name of the farm is called “Alpaka des Westens”. The farm is located in Windeck-Kohlberg, approx. 60 Km away from Bonn. The farm is a 5 hectare of greenland where they breed Alpacas (domesticated species of South American camelid) animals. I exchanged some E-mails with the land owner and she agreed to help me for the project. She told me that there was a volunteer coming on holidays with her boyfriend who she also had volunteered at her farm during last summer. The volunteer name is Anna, 31 years old, a primary school teacher from Ingolstadt in Bavaria province. The farm owner told me on the phone that she was running her farm to promote sustainable tourism and not for business profit.
I visited the farm with one of my nice friends, So Min from Korea, to help me in holding the external mic. The farm owner was kind enough to receive us from the railway station and we headed towards the farm. It was very bright sunny day. I took some shots with Alpacas in and outside the farm. I also managed to interview with the volunteer and farm owner. I had some real challenges of extreme shiny day with heavy winds. Somehow, I managed to survive according to given recommendations by the trainers during our practice week. I was done with all my recording in a same day.
I had transferred the video files to MacBook by myself. It was kind of nice experience to know the basic technical things. There were around 90 short video clips. I tried to put as many interesting visuals as I could. The story of Anna felt quite emotional due to her love and passion with Alpacas. But I really felt sorry in cutting some useful information by the land owner due to time limit (max. 4’00”). It was a big challenge for me where to assemble them in a proper manner. I really enjoyed learning and playing with different options in Final Cut Pro 7 software. I had to do a lot of work on narration part. I done the narration from the sound recorder and felt some difficulties in fixing the clips properly in timeline.
It was such a great experience all in all! I would love to plan my holidays to do WWOOFing this summer. Do you?
Your luck is so good that you bite your fingers to make sure it’s not a dream because you got an admission at your dream institute and you got a room in the student dormitory. Finally all the sweat and tears you shed has paid off. And now the coming months will be all sunshine and rainbows for you. But wait. Now you have to move your stuff! This is a quest that you will not triumph. Even if
you succeed you will be a mere survivor. Moving is a quest which requires significant financial and physical resources. And students usually do not have both. However there are a few options available. One of these options is the “Studibus” by AStA at University of Bonn. Since October 2012, the environment club at AStA has been cooperating with a car-sharing company to run the Studibus project. We went to Elisa, representative of environmental club at AStA, to know more about this project.
Studibus at AStA
We asked Eliza what the project Studibus is about. “If a student wants to move his stuff he can rent Studibus with by paying 25 € for half-day and 35 € for the whole day plus 41 cents per kilometer as fuel charges. One can transport luggage with a total volume of 10 square meters. It is good for the environment since students only use bus when they really need it”, said Elisa.
Students are Studibus users
But how do students feel about this idea? We had a chance to have a chat with Lea, a Masters’ student at University of Bonn, while she was loading her stuff on Studibus. “I’m moving today in my first own flat”, she said with a smile. “I thought it might be a good idea as well because its cheap and a friend of mine used this service just a month ago. So far it was quite easy. I think its especially good for me because I am younger than 21 and most private companies rent vans and so cars for people who are older.”
However not everyone is happy. Shahid Nadeem, a student of Masters in North American Studies at University of Bonn said that his experience with studibus was not good. “I want to give one suggestion to AStA about Studibus that they should increase the number of their, eh, carriage van.”
Another Master student of University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Seig said that after trying for many weeks to book the bus he finally gave up and became a member of Flinkster – a service by Deutsche Bahn. However, when he went there to pick up the bus, he saw Studibus parked at the station. “There were four Studibus standing in front of me. So, Deutsche Bahn Flinkster service is actually renting Studi buses. I really don’t know maybe they are renting to Flinkster in order to get hourly earnings from them.”
The students’ issues could be resolved by talking to AStA authorities in order to get positive results of this service which is especially meant for students.
In my home country the farmers harvest their crops in winter and celebrate a harvest fest known as ‘Basant’. We get wonderful citrus fruits in winter there and is the only time in the whole year when we can bear to sit under the sun. Winter, for me, like New Year and Christmas celebrations. Christmas in Germany is beautiful I love all the colorfulness and cheerfulness that comes with it. So for all these reasons I am fascinated towards winter season.
I really enjoyed the Pakistani winters back home. Because the place where I belong to is located near to Pakistan’s second largest desert (Cholistan) and the winter season really cool there. The average temperature remains around 15 to 20 degree Celsius. Winter season means a lot of festivities to cherish.
I got the “Winter” topic for my study project. I was interested to work on it because I like winter season and eagerly wait for it. I wanted to make a report on a student similar to my home country’s weather conditions, i.e. Asian or African student. I wanted to explore their viewpoints on German weather like what they actually do in winter. How they celebrate their holidays in winter, especially on Christmas Eve?
Have a look at what Mr. Shah says about his personal experiences on German Winter.
Christmas is a festivity which is celebrated with great zeal and zest by millions of people around the world. Whole the year round people wishes for the Christmas day come soon and have fun with their families.
Around five weeks before Christmas Eve (last week of November) the city centers, town halls, public offices, buildings, offices etc. are starting decorated in Germany. Many people visit the Christmas markets (in German, “Weihnachtsmarkt”) during the nights and enjoy the cool atmosphere by sharing the specialties “Glühwein” (hot wine), gingerbread or whatever they feel good with their family and friends.
I had a chance to visit ‘Bonn Weihnachtsmarkt’ and tasted a famous German fish, though enjoyed it much but was quite difficult to finish a big portion of fish in the end, ha-ha!! Well, I did observe the long queues outside the main post office located in the city center where people were waiting for their turn to send greeting cards, souvenirs, and gifts to their loved ones. From there I had an idea that why shouldn’t I send something to my German friends who they live in different parts of Germany. The question was to send what? Being lost in thoughts for couple of days, suddenly I had approached a unique idea to send something sweets, the Pakistani sweets!
Yes, I baked Pakistani home-made biscuits, called ‘Nan Khatai’, for the first time in my life. It took me less time to buy the required ingredients and started making dough, which is a main laborious part of making and the rest is done by oven. When I was finished with my baking, I was so happy the taste it had produced and the kitchen was completely filled with sweet biscuits’ fragrance. I was also much delighted the response I received from my friends that they liked them very much.