Johannes Bertram Experience at FNF Beirut
Intern FNF Beirut ( March-May 2017)
- Who are you? (Where do you come from and why did you look for an internship with FNF Beirut?)
My name is Johannes Bertram. I came from Berlin and worked at the FNF Foundation for two and a half months. I really enjoyed the time here, especially because of the many liberties the Foundation gave me. Originally, I study Islamic Studies at the Freie Universität of Berlin, but my interest here we mainly concerning economics. I applied for the FNF, because I wanted to improve my Arabic and two examine how they approach politics in Lebanon and have an influence on them. When I began, I had a quite socialistic perspective on things, but within the internship I got to know the advantages of Liberalism. Especially the self- responsibility and the ideological-free thinking, will stick to me. I realized that just with these two characteristics: one can get successful and have also the highest impact on society. (Self-responsibility is really important, to make your job decent)
- What were the two most important/exciting/interesting things you worked on while being with FNF Beirut?
The most exciting things, was the workshop: Freedom Academy in cooperation with the FNF. Here, I really had a deep dig into the mechanisms of the Lebanese society and I listen to excellent Arabic. The event had a big influence on the text, I wrote for the FNF Website. Another unique experience was the social-start up summit. I met many interesting personalities and was really attracted by the opportunistic atmosphere. I hope I expressed the atmosphere quite good, in the article I wrote about the summit.
- What was different in Lebanon and Beirut and the office from what you expected before you came?
The level of prices. I went to Egypt before and I had other expectations. Also I expected to be more outside the office and do more with people. I thought that I would get more in touch with refugees, but I soon realized that refugees in Lebanon are quite dispersed and hard to address. Also, the main competence of the FNF is, to think about a strategical integration of the refugees and this needed a lot research and office-work.
- Would you do this internship again? If so, what would you do different?
Of course I would. In these months I learned incredible much. The problem was, that the learning process was continuously. Outside and inside the office, so I mentally I was a bid overworked. Also, I had to write a paper, simultaneously. I would recommend everybody to go Lebanon one week before the start of the internship. After one week, one should have a free mind for the office-work. Also, one should lower his/her expectations about the work of the Foundation.It is unlikely, that one will have a real impact with his/her work. Political work is hard work and one should be practical and not ideological. I think the FNF does an excellent job in Beirut and everywhere an advocate for liberalism, like the FNF, is needed. I defiantly will support Liberalism in the future and persuade my friends to do the same.