Founded with 8 members in 2009, GDAB currently counts 12 members promoting tolerance, mutual respect, and friendship between Germany and the Arab World.

Introducing the executive board:

  • Chairwoman: Naimeh Hollmann

Naimeh Hollmann has more than 20 years of experience in organizing German-Arab exchange programs for both students and multipliers (e.g. teachers). Committed to fostering intercultural understanding through encounter and dialogue, Naimeh continues with her invaluable involvement also beyond retiring as a teacher. Born and raised in the Arab World, Naimeh knows both the German and the Arab context and can effectively mediate between the two.

In recognition of her work and achievements in fostering intercultural dialogue, Naimeh received an award at the One World School competition of Open School 21 in 2003. In 2005, she received an award for intercultural engagement from the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the States in the Federal Republic of Germany and the Koerber Foundation.

  • 1st Vice Chair: Jonas Grabbe

More than ten years ago, Naimeh Hollmann entered Jonas' class room and introduced the Arabic language club at his school: right away, Jonas was thrilled about this unique opportunity to learn Arabic and gain insight into Arab culture. Subsequently, he participated in five student exchange programs with Tunisia and Jordan either as full participant or hosting guests coming to Germany. Still today, Jonas counts himself lucky having good friends in Tunisia and Jordan. Inspired by those invaluable experiences, Jonas decided to learn more and contribute to intercultural dialogue also after he had graduated from high school. He did his alternative civilian service in a German-French kindergarden in Paris. During his bachelor studies of math he did coursework on Arabic to further strengthen his language skills.

Currently, Jonas studies for his masters in math. Again he puts an emphasis on international experiences with a semester abroad in Nancy, France, and another one in Madrid, Spain.

  • 2nd Vice Chair: Marc-Jullian Hensel

Jullian first developed an interest in the Arab culture when he had the opportunity to participate in an exchange program with Tunisia organized by Naimeh Hollmann back in 2000. Preparing for the trip, Jullian enrolled in the Arab club at his school and learned about the Arab culture and language for one and a half years. The many friendships formed back then still continue to this day. Two years later, Jullian participated in another exchange program to Jordan, gaining yet a deeper insight into Arab culture and traditions.

Building on his positive experiences with international exchange, Jullian decided to go abraod for his alternative civilian service. After a year of service at a circus school in the South of Costa Rica, Jullian enrolled at the University of Hamburg. Currently he studies English and Physics towards a teaching degree for secondary schools.

  • Secretary: Benjamin Linden

Benjamin first participated in an exchange program organized by Naimeh Hollmann in 2002. Through his own experience from interacting with peers from the Arab World he came to appreciate the importance of exchange programs for international dialogue and interfaith tolerance. Also due to his Arab language skills, Benjamin specialized in issues revolving around communications with the Arab World and integration of Muslims in Germany.

Currently, Benjamin pursues a degree in sport management at the University of Cologne and the Victoria University of Melbourne, Australia. In addition to his studies Benjamin works for a number of sport organizations including “Kölner Sportstätten” and soccer club Fortuna Köln.

  • Treasurer: Hinnerk Braun

Already at a young age, Hinnerk Braun was fascinated by foreign cultures. As a sixth grader he participated in his first exchange program traveling to France. From thereon he made sure to gather more international experience and learn about other cultures. Hinnerk was first exposed to the Arab World when he and his family spent their vacations in Tunisia and Egypt. It was just a logical next step for him to join the Arabic language club offered at his school and organized by Naimeh Hollmann. Studying the Arab language and culture, Hinnerk was able to gain a more comprehensive perspective on the realm of Arab culture. Building on his insights from participating in student exchange programs to Tunisia and Jordan, Hinnerk also spent part of his professional career in the Arab World. He is now glad to leverage his positive experience and help promote international exchange and thus dialog and respect between people of different cultural backgrounds. When not crunching numbers for GDAB, Hinnerk works as business administrator with an international shipping company.

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