Fabian Brüggemann is probably best known for his mediation work in AEGEE, amazing workshops and for founding AEGEE-Düsseldorf. His baby steps in AEGEE, however, were in AEGEE-Münster. Nihel Missaoui is quite a fresh member and is part of the new AEGEE Contact in Münster. Nevertheless, she already attended her first AEGEE events and is ready to take the Contact to the next level: refounding AEGEE-Münster. In this Golden Times interview Fabian and Nihel look back at the past and future of this legendary antenna. The questions were asked by Timon Turban and Davide Viero.

Fabian – with beard

Question: Fabian, you were active in Münster for AEGEE from 2004 to 2006. Nihel, you became recently active and joined the new contact founded in 2018. Tell us more about you – and what did you do in AEGEE?
Fabian: Hey, I am Fabian! I joined AEGEE-Münster in the end of 2004, after spending one semester as an Erasmus student in Lund, Sweden. I was leading the Erasmus team back then, and I was told: “okay, but then you have to be in the board of AEGEE-Münster”. So I said: “okay, whatever”. Shortly after I found out what great possibilities AEGEE offers and went to my first Agora in Izmir in 2005. Later on, I became member of the Members Commission and made a proposal to change its tasks and give it a new name: the Mediation Commission – MedCom. I was MedCom speaker in 2012/2013. In 2009, I founded AEGEE-Düsseldorf.
Nihel: Hey, I am Nihel, I am one of the members of the new AEGEE contact in Münster. I joined a meeting of AEGEE-Osnabrück and AEGEE-Enschede in Osnabrück in June 2018 and I participated as a visitor at the last Agora in Istanbul in October 2018, which was an amazing experience for me.

Nihel already attended her first Agora

Question: Why is Münster a city where AEGEE can work? What makes this city so special?
Fabian: Back then, Münster had an amazing international office who gave a lot of support to AEGEE. Also, a lot of international students come to Münster, the student life is quite international in general. And Münster is close to some dutch locals, like AEGEE-Enschede – all the exchanges with the antennae in Enschede, Nijmegen and so on were a highlight of my AEGEE-life!
Nihel: I agree with Fabian. Münster is a very multicultural place with a lot of students from all over the world. I believe people in Münster in general are very open-minded, show a lot of solidarity and try to make a positive impact for a more colorful, diverse and united world. This is why I think Münster is the right place.

Question: How would you describe life in such a city? Would you recommend your fellow AEGEEans to visit such a town or to even consider to live there?
Fabian: Oh yes, for sure! In Münster, the “world is still alright”. Even though the city is rather catholic and conservative, student life is amazing!
Nihel: Totally! This city is so beautiful and student life here is so much fun. People are very friendly and always in a good mood. I love living here. Everyone should experience this.

21 years ago: one of many great events of the old AEGEE-Münster

Question: How did you discover AEGEE?
Fabian: By joining the Erasmus team. I was obliged to join the board, so I was board member the day I became a member – and then found out how great it is!
Nihel (laughs): It was not possible to miss one of Timon’s Facebook posts! They were everywhere in every students’ group of the University of Münster! It sounded very interesting, so I decided to write him. The next day I met Timon, Tim and some other guys of AEGEE-Aachen at Lake Aasee. They told me a lot about AEGEE and showed me some videos. I was immediately thrilled and wanted to become a member of this network.

Fabian was sort of a giant in AEGEE.

Question: Fabian, how do you think AEGEE changed your life? And Nihel, how do you expect AEGEE to change your life?
Nihel: I am trying to make my contribution to making the world a better place, and I hope to find amazing people who have the same dream in AEGEE and try to achieve it together in many different ways.
Fabian: AEGEE changed my life in different ways. First of all, I travelled a lot, to cities and countries I would have never gone to otherwise, like Macedonia, Romania or Ukraine. I met so many amazing people from different countries, as well as breaking a lot of stereotypes. It gave me experiences, which were very valuable to find a job in consulting after my studies. I still have great friendships with AEGEE-people, I have a network all over Europe. And AEGEE was a playground for me, in AEGEE I tried and learned how to give workshops. By now, this is my profession – I am a coach and trainer, teaching soft skills for companies. That would not have been possible without AEGEE!

The city hall of Münster in the evening sun.
Photo: Presseamt Münster / MünsterView / Heiner Witte

Question: What was your favourite AEGEE related moment in Münster so far?
Nihel: Not in Münster, but the Agora in Istanbul. To feel the spirit of AEGEE, especially the big applause when the new contacts were announced, and to see how highly motivated all these people are gave me goose bumps!
Fabian: Organizing my first Summer University. The day when 20 students from all over Europe came to Münster and we were responsible to give them a great time. I loved it!

Question: How did other locals help you in Münster in the past and how could they help you?
Fabian: The Dutch locals are run very professionally – which is great to learn from. That helped us a lot!
Nihel: AEGEE-Osnabrück is helping us in every possible way, which is just amazing and we are so thankful! We still have to learn a lot and we appreciate any offer that reaches us!

More about the AEGEE Contact in Münster: Check their Facebook page!