What a delight it was to visit Genoveva Gymnasium school in the center of Cologne city, thanks to my wonderful host and dear friend Frau Dorothee Heyder from Xanten. Dorothee had arranged for me to visit this school, I was highly impressed. With a large migrant student population the school has won an award for celebrating diversity. During my tour of the building with the English teacher. I could tell straight away from the displays and artworks that the school highly valued diversity. The headmaster was highly welcoming as well as the students in a class.
The students, majority of whom were of Turkish and other ethnic backgrounds were very enthuisiatic, engaging, interactive and asked lots of questions. Of course the focal point of my session was my story ‘A Pair of Jeans’ studied in the schools as part of their English Literature course. The students could identify with many of the topics discussed including on racism, prejudice, islamophobia, multiple identities etc. My over riding message to them as global citizens and as students living in Germany with multiple identities was:
“We have a right to be different, value our multiple identities and equally important is to integrate in the host country”.
Some of the Turkish women students were interested in the Turkish Edition of my Holy Woman – Kutsal Kadin.
Of course the literary session as always ended with the signing of books, posing for a group photograph and a selfie with an enthusiastic student.