Kristin Helberg


Mercator Fellowship Program

Granting institution

Period of the Fellowship

October 2019 - July 2020

Project title

The new Syrian diaspora in Germany: political engagement, self-organization, institutional networking and scope for impact

Project description

During her fellowship Kristin Helberg is exploring the way the new Syrian diaspora in Germany views itself and its possible scope for impact. She is investigating how representatives of Syrian civil society succeed in organizing themselves here, forming networks among themselves and cooperating with German institutions. She plans to conduct background discussions and interviews, both with individual Syrian activists and with representatives of German-Syrian associations and initiatives, about their engagement, their plans and the opportunities and difficulties involved in political work in Germany. Particularly interesting and successful projects and charismatic individuals are to be identified and made known to a wider public.

Short biography

Kristin Helberg is a freelance journalist and author. She has written several works of non-fiction, including “Verzerrte Sichtweisen – Syrer bei uns. Von Ängsten, Missverständnissen und einem veränderten Land” and “Der Syrien-Krieg. Lösung eines Weltkonflikts”. She studied Political Science and Journalism in Hamburg. From 2001 to 2008 Helberg reported from Syria for German, Austrian and Swiss media. Today she is a Middle East expert living in Berlin. Her work focuses on the Syrian conflict and its international effects, the integration of Syrian refugees in Germany, and the Syrian diaspora.