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Exploring Germany: Human rights and Communication at Federal level

May 20, 2010

Participants (some are absent) of Blogger Tour 2010 at the Federal Foreign Office with Mr. Michael Zenner, Commissioner for Communication at Federal Foreign Office of Germany

Today was definitely one of the most interesting days of the Blogger Tour 2010, as we spent almost all day at the Federal Foreign Office of Germany meeting with Markus Löning, a new Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, and Michael Zenner, Commissioner for Communication at Federal Foreign Office.

You may say “so what? what is so special about it?”. Well, for a person like me with international relations and political science background, who is also extremely interested in human rights and media issues, this is certainly a great experience.

Mr Löning, despite he is new to office, told Germany’s commitment in promoting human rights values around the globe. Answering to my questions, Mr Löning expressed deep concern about human rights issues in Central Asian region, where Germany has often to balance between its interests and commitment to promoting human rights values. He told me that he would pay a visit to Kyrgyzstan in near future, and we decided to organize a meeting with Kyrgyz online activists to talk about human rights and freedom of speech in the country.

Mr Michael Zenner, who kindly invited us for a fancy lunch in the Federal Foreign Office, spoke how his office got interested in social media and blogging. We had a graet lunch talk, where we shared with Mr Zenner our ideas and thoughts about the role of social media on our countires. And it seems Mr. Michael Zenner was pleased by the fact that the Blogger Tour 2010 was a great success in many senses, as it was his department at the Federal Foreign Office that initiated Tour, which turned out to be one of the greatest experiences I have ever had as a blogger. Why?

(a.) Cuz I met 14 awesome bloggers from different parts of the world. I could have met 15, but Cuban authorities did not allow a blogger from Cuba to leave the country to come to Germany. (c.) I had a great chance to meet with German foreign policy makers  and discuss with them the issues taking place in Kyrgyzstan and broader Central Asia region, (b.) I had enough time to explore Berlin. Not the touristic Berlin, but the Berliners’ Berlin, which is not globalized yet by bloody tourists coming from all over the world.

After the lunch with Mr Zenner, we had a small roundtable talk about the idea of creating a group blog of participants of Blogger Tour 2010. Mr Mahmood Al Yousif, aka father blogger, moderated the discussion which resulted in unanimous decision of creating a group blog the content of which will be original and about issues happening in our countries, but from international perspective. We will discuss it more tonight, so keep tuned for more info 🙂

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