Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Qantara.de (Arabic: qantara = bridge) is an Internet portal in German, English, Arabic and Turkish, designed to promote intercultural dialogue between the Western and the Islamic world.
The portal was founded on the initiative of the German Foreign Office, in reaction to the crisis ridden developments in relations to Islamic cultures in the wake of the shock of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in the USA. Online since March 2003, the platform is jointly run by the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), the Goethe-Institut (GI) and the German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), and is funded by the foreign office. The task of the joint dialogue project is to promote understanding between the various cultures, with the aim of combating ignorance and prejudice through knowledge.
The editorial team works to publish writing by Western and Islamic authors who seek open and respectful discussion of both commonalities and controversial subjects, even in times of crisis.
These have included such diverse contributors as the Egyptian literary scholar Nasr Hamid Abu Zaid, the German former diplomat and Muslim Murad Hofmann, the Islam theologian Halima Krausen, the conflict researcher Heiner Bielefeldt and the physicist Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker.