The world’s first schools were in Iraq

By Michael Seifert “A house that someone covered with a sheet like a treasure chest. … One entered closed-eyed, one came out open-eyed. The solution to the riddle: the school.” A famous Babylonian riddle, almost 4000 years old, shows that schools already existed at that time in Mesopotamia, the Mesopotamia of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in what is now Iraq. These were the oldest schools about which anything is known through written tradition. Among others, Konrad Volk, Professor Emeritus of Ancient Oriental Philology at the University of Tübingen, who was interviewed by tünews INTERNATIONAL, is researching these schools. Writing… Read More

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People in Iran die for freedom

By Ute Kaiser “Woman, life, freedom”—this slogan can now be heard not only in Iran, but all over the world. In Berlin, too, around 80,000 people recently took to the streets under the slogan of the Iranian women’s movement. They showed solidarity with the protests in Iran against the regime of the Shiite mullahs. The riots were triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody in mid-September. Guards of the morality police had arrested the young Kurdish woman. She allegedly did not cover her hair according to the rules. Parents of young Iranian women fear for their… Read More

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Turkish lawyers criticise deportation to Afghanistan

By Ute Kaiser Elias (name changed) is not an isolated case. Time and again, Turkey deports refugees from Afghanistan to the country in the Hindu Kush. The 20-year-old experienced this a few weeks ago. A plane transported Elias and others from Istanbul to Kabul. There, the father picked up his son and took him on a journey of several hours to the hometown of the dissident family in northern Afghanistan. Elias felt bad at first afterwards. “He got depressed,” reports a cousin of the 20-year-old who lives in Tübingen. One reason: Elias considered Turkey only as a transit country during… Read More

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No swimming in rivers

Rising temperatures increase the temptation to swim in natural waters. The health office in the district office in Tübingen however pointed out that no river or stream in the district is officially classified as bathing water. These are not examined for the criteria of the Baden-Württemberg Bathing Water Ordinance. Fecal bacteria were significantly above the limit and guide values in earlier random measurements. This also applies to Neckar and Steinlach. It is, therefore, recommended to avoid bathing in these rivers. The homepage of the State Institute for the Environment, Measurements and Nature Conservation (LUBW) at provides an overview of… Read More

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“Iraq has three suns”—50 degree heat

By Sameer Ibrahim and Michael Seifert Hot days in Germany? Not for Sameer Ibrahim, who came to Germany from Iraq seven years ago: “When I went to work this morning, I had to put on a jacket, it was so cold. And in the afternoon 35 degrees in the shade, that’s perfect weather for me. It only gets bad above 40 degrees.” Southern Iraq and the capital Baghdad, his old home, are currently experiencing highs of 45 to 48 degrees, with maximum temperatures of 51 degrees expected again, as in recent years. Sameer’s sister said on the phone: “We are… Read More

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Changing jobs–this is how to do it without hassle

By Brigitte Gisel Workers are in demand in many sectors. So, the chances of finding a new job that pays better and offers new perspectives are quite good. But if you want to change employers, you have to follow a few rules. You can’t quit from one day to the next. How quickly you can leave your old job to start somewhere else is regulated by labour law. The notice periods that apply to employees are usually stated in the employment contract or the applicable collective agreement. The usual notice period is four weeks to the 15th of the month… Read More

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A Car bomb, war, and the museum of Aleppo

By Youssef Kanjou and Wolfgang Sannwald Youssef Kanjou who directed the Archaeological Museum in Aleppo, Syria, from 2009 to 2013 describes his experience working in the museum as “one of the most beautiful professions”. Russia’s war against Ukraine reminds him of how his dream job became “a terrible nightmare”. That was during the Assad regime’s war against its civilian population, which lasted from 2012 to 2016 in Aleppo. The horrible conflict came in the form of a bomb near the museum. He was at home, just about five miles away from the bomb. There, he heard the car bomb explode… Read More

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Refugees do not enter Germany illegally

By Michael Seifert In statements to the media in recent weeks, interior ministers of various federal states and also the former federal interior minister have repeatedly spoken of illegal entries of refugees into Germany. These increasing “unauthorised” entries are worrying and must be prevented. However, these politicians do not talk about the fact that people have a good reason to come to Germany when they seek asylum. tünews INTERNATIONAL asked the Tübingen lawyer Holger Rothbauer what the legal situation is. He is an expert in foreigner and refugee law. “If a person from a third country crosses the border into… Read More

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Europe was a Princess from the Orient–coins show it to us

By Stefan Krmnicek On 9 May 1950, the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a merger of German and French coal and steel production in a government declaration. This Paris speech, which later became known as the Schuman Declaration, is regarded as the political initial spark and structural cornerstone for the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, from which today’s European Union developed. Since 1986, this event has been commemorated by events and festivities on 9 May as Europe Day of the European Union. To mark this day, in this article, the roots of Europe are to… Read More

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Ukraine war exacerbates hardship in Syria

By Ute Kaiser and Lobna Alhindi A man begs customers at a bakery in Damascus for a loaf of bread. His neat clothes suggest that he was once better off. A single mother of four in a refugee camp in northern Aleppo province searches through trash bins for leftover food. Like other parents, she often goes without a meal. There should be more for her children. Aid organizations such as Action Against Hunger, the World Food Program (WFP) and Welthungerhilfe are ringing the alarm about the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Their assessment after eleven years of war, violence and destruction… Read More

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