Study Tour Life of Muslims in Germany: Ita Fajria's Motivation Letter

I’m writing this essay to apply for The 2nd Study Tour “Life of Muslims in Germany-Study Program 2018” in Berlin-Germany, on July 7th-21st July 2018. Since for a long time, I have a deep interest in Europe countries especially Germany. I’ve learned a lot about Europe and Germany geographically. They have four seasons that is so interesting for an Asian person like me that only know two season only in my country. Germany is also one of the largest countries in Europe with total population is about 82 millions people.

Germany is famous with it contributions to the world in many areas. For example, technology, literacy, politic, art and even spirituality. Germans is well-known as creative, focus, efficient, discipline and hard-working people. There are so many Germans that are well known all entire the world including in Indonesia because of their contributions. In classical music, there are Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart, Johann Sebastian Bach, Johannes Brahms, Scumann and Strauss as composers. I do love listening their composition. Then there are Karl Marx, a famous philosopher, that wrote Das Capital. In cultural field there is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. In politic, we all know about Otto von Bismarck, Adolf Hitler and Angela Merkel. Even Albert Einstein with his well-known relativity theory was born in Ulm, Germany. And recently, we all know famous Germans actresses like Heidi Klum, Kirsten Dunst and Claudia Schiffer.

In sport areas, Germany is also outstanding. Many names like Michael Schumacher, Steffi Graf and Dirk Nowitzki are well-known in Indonesia. And most of all, Bundesliga is very famous among Indonesian people. Their football clubs like Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Dortmund have so many fans here. Names like Oliver Kahn, Mesut Ozil, Franz Beckenbauer, Michael Ballack or Lewandowsky are very popular. Even, when Germany became the Champion of World Cup 2014, There were a lot of mothers in Indonesia that gave her newborn name as Ozil.

Germany is a country with the second largest muslim population in Europe after France. Islam itself entered Germany since Ottoman Turk Empire surrounded Vienna with their troops in 1683 but was defeated then. At that time there were a lot of moslem Turkey soldiers prisoned and brought to enter Germany. Islam was also broadly learned by Germans orientalists. Some of them did deep studies about Islam. Heribert Busse (1926) wrote Die Theologischen Beziehungen des Islam Zu Judentum und Christentum. He affirmed that Islam was independent from Christian and Jude’s influences. He actually admitted that there was strong relation between Islam and Christian-Jude, but he was sure Islam didn’t imitate them. Gustav Weil (1808-1889) wrote a monumental Historich-Kritische Einleitung in der Koran (1844) that told about logical chronology in Quran. Otto Pretzl (1893) who continued his Proffessor’s research, Gothlaf Bergstars from University of Minns, wrote about variety in Quran reading. Another Quran researcher was Bergstraesser who reconstructed Quran history.

For me personally, I’m very interesting to learn about life of muslims in Germany because I used to be minority when I lived in Bali for about 7 years to finish my medical doctor degree. Balinese people actually was warm-hearted, humble and friendly people. They are also very welcome to other people even foreigners. But, Bali bomb tragedies that happened at 2002 and 2005 hit them quite hard. After the tragedies, suspiciousness to muslim was increased among them. And I, as a muslimah that wear hijab, experienced some sceptical attitudes from some of them.

I have some expectations of being participant of this program. First, I want to know how Germans muslim handled the issue that linked terrorism with Islam. Especially because they are minorities in Germany. Then I want to learn about tolerancy among religions in Germany. I want to share this tolerancy issue in Madura later, because Maduranese is well-known as religious muslims and I concider that this issue is importan for them. Second, I want to learn about economical aspect that Germans muslims face in Germany. This issue related to my concern in developing economical aspect and entrepreneurship in Pesantren environment. And third, I want to learn about Germany health system superficially, related to my concern in developing health services in Madura.

All of experiences that I will get in this program surely will be shared extensively. Sure I will take time to presentate about insights and experiences that I get in front of our students and santri in all of Pesantren that related to us, especially Nazhatut Thullab Boarding School Sampang, Mamba’ul Ma’arif Boarding School Jombang and Darul Ulum Boarding School Jombang. I want to inspire the students to do something great. And then I will also share my experience to all of mothers in my village that join in Komunitas Ibu Pembelajar (Learning Mothers Community) Nazhatut Thullab. I want inspire and motivate them so it can elevate their spirit in educating their children. Last, I will write down my insights and experiences to my social media account, especially instagram. I have more than 3000 followers, most of them are students in high school, college or university and also housewives. Some of them used to say that caption in my instagram inspired them a lot.

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