The story behind
“What would you do if all jobs were paid the same?” For a long time, I had no real answer to this question a friend and colleague repeatedly asked me. Then, by chance, I stumbled on a rainy day in Edinburgh on a book published by the Financial Times. I entered the bookstore with the hope to find something interesting, from which I could learn a lot.
On the first floor, there was all kind of literature, but nothing appealed to me, even if I like reading fiction a lot. I went down to the ground floor and found books on specific topics like entrepreneurship and psychology. Nevertheless, I was looking for something that would provide me with a broad learning experience. Finally, in the last corner, I found what I was unconsciously looking for: “Lunch with the FT. 52 Classic Interviews” edited by Lionel Barber. It contains a selection of the best interviews with “the ambitious, the influential and the eccentric” personalities from around the globe, ranging from Saif Gaddafi (the son of Gaddafi), Angelina Jolie, Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon) to Angela Merkel. Reading it provides you with insights and learnings from oligarchs and Royals to African presidents and sumo wrestlers. The book shows the real people behind the public facades and opens up new worlds and perspectives in just 350 pages.
A simple answer to a difficult question
Some weeks later, just when I was about to get fired from my company, I finally had the answer to my question. If all jobs were paid equal, I would like to travel around. I would like to interview people on their lives, their challenges, their hopes and on the topic, there are working on. This would not only allow me to learn a lot of new and interesting things but also to meet new and interesting people. Sharing these encounters and this knowledge will allow others to also learn a plethora of new things. It will also allow getting to know different cultures and countries.
The Mediterranean is my home
I do live for over 10 years now in the Mediterranean region (first in France for four years, and since 2012 in Spain). I traveled already to various countries along the Mediterranean coastline. For example, I went to Italy, Tunisia, Turkey, Malta, Morocco, and Croatia.
There are in total 22 countries that share the view of the blue Mediterranean Sea. The region, as well as the countries themselves, are diverse, full of (common) history and stories. With my interview project, I want to show this richness. I want to show that the people living here share more than they think. The people of the Mediterranean, across borders and religions, share similar hopes, encounter similar opportunities and face similar challenges.
Intercultural topics are my passion
Intercultural studies have always been interesting to me. In Germany, I studied media and communication science, French and Intercultural communication. In France, I studied Business and Foreign Applied Languages with a specialisation of Negotiating International Projects.
In Spain, I worked for over 5 years in a communication agency specialising in social and educational projects. I worked on international consulting, awareness raising and youth participation projects, across cultures and religions. I really enjoyed interviewing people from all over the world and collaborating with them.
I hope I can take these experiences from the office world to the ground. I want to share my passion for discovering new places, meeting new people and learning about new topics and cultures.
I will concentrate on interviewing creatives and entrepreneurs for several reasons. It will give the project a bit more focus, and I know a lot of people that are creatives and entrepreneurs, respectively people that know people.
Understanding the limits
I am aware that the situation in some of these countries is (very) difficult, especially for the people that live there. Some interviews will for sure also speak about that. In the ‘Culture’ section of the website, I will try to also outline some of these points in more detail. Nevertheless, one of the projects’ objective is to show also positive and encouraging things, that give hope or add to the joy of the people. That’s not a nihilistic attitude from my side. I am just tired of negative biased articles and representations of some of the Mediterranean countries in the media. It is important to not only see through rose-colored spectacles, but it’s also important to show as well another side, another reality that exists as well. Nothing is neither black or white.
So, this will be my starting point for a project that aims to cover all 22 countries of the Mediterranean (over the years). I am aware that I will need a lot of help and support, but am sure that it will work out. I am open to suggestions and collaborations, so looking forward hearing from you.
Give me some music, please!
I always did ask my friends to share some music from their country with me. Listening to music, reading books and seeing films from different realities is also like traveling. It allows to grasp a glimpse of how people live, feel and see the world. Therefore, I will ask all the people that I will meet in the future within this project, to share their favorite songs, books, and films. They will be published under each interview with the links. Some will also get closer attention in the Culture section of this website.