After my BA in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Sciences and focusing on Yemen in my final paper, I joined the Yemen Polling Center (YPC) for two months in summer 2013 for an internship in the research department. It was my first experience with a research institution and my first visit to Yemen.
Working with the Yemen Parliament Watch project and the first Youth Lobby Group gave me the opportunity to not only meet young and motivated Yemeni activists and journalists but also to meet with international organisations and visit the National Dialogue Conference. Authoring a short brief together with Mareike Transfeld on the needs and priorities of Yemeni youth activists helped me further develop my academic analysis and writing skills. The 2013 International Peace Day initiative, which facilitated a worldwide exchange of school students’ drawings with a message of peace, and reporting on it is a fond memory. Overall, my internship at YPC informed and shaped the course of my following MA in Peace and Conflict Studies and I could later build on my skills gathered there in data analysis, public relations as well as political processes and peace initiatives.
Even though the focus of my current work has shifted from the MENA region towards local peace organisations all across Europe, I still follow YPC‘s research activities and cherish the contacts made and insights and experiences gained at YPC.