White roses for Marwa El-Sherbini
On July 1, 2009, we learned at the Institute with shock that Marwa El-Sherbini, the wife of PhD student Elwy at the MPI-CBG, was stabbed to death and Elwy got seriously injured at an appeal hearing before the Regional Court. Marwa had resisted the verbal abuse and defamation she had experienced. She and her unborn child were victims of this terrible attack in the courtroom. To this day, we are deeply shaken by what has happened. As MPI-CBG, we supported Elwy very much during his recovery and the completion of his doctoral thesis, which he successfully defended in summer 2010. In addition, the Institute has maintained close contact with him and helped him.
Marwa and Elwy are still in our thoughts today. Every year on July 1st, we place white roses in the entrance hall of the institute which remind us of Marwa. In the years that followed after the murder of Marwa El-Sherbini, the Institute and its international collaborators worked against racism and discrimination and for respect and tolerance. In September 2015, we helped organize the “RUN & ROLL - Dresden moves” charity run for the benefit of refugees. In October 2015, we took part in a social media campaign against PEGIDA. An ongoing activity, that originated in an idea of Elwy’s fellow PhD students, is the DIPP School Project “Science goes to School”, where multi-cultural groups of young scientists visit schools in Dresden and surroundings.
Also, within the MPI-CBG we take every kind of harassment, mobbing, and discrimination very seriously. There is a contact person and an ombudsperson for such cases. All allegations and reports about incidents are treated absolutely confidential. All directors and the COO of the MPI-CBG commit themselves to give advice or support in such incidents.
The City of Dresden is organizing a commemoration week with several events to mark the 10th day of Marwa El-Sherbini's death. Since 2009, this event has been commemorated on July 1 of each year to send a reminder against all forms of misanthropy and discrimination and to keep the memory of the victims of politically motivated violence in the spotlight. The city administration of Dresden participates in the preparation circle of the Marwa El-Sherbini Memorial, to which various institutions and associations such as the Ausländerrat Dresden e. V. and the Johannstädter Kulturtreff belong.
More information: www.dresden.de/Marwa