Shimmering heat, skyscrapers glittering in the sun: Saudi Arabia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world – and it is ruled by sharia and religious police. Rana is ten years old when she first has to don a niqab. She is no longer allowed to feel the sun on her skin, no longer allowed to go out onto the street without a male escort. She is sexually abused by her uncles, almost beaten to death by her brother in front of their mother. As a woman, in the home of her birth she is mere property, without the right of selfdetermination. Rana feels she is suffocating, is plagued by doubts – about God, and for this the punishment is death. So Rana decides to flee. “Saudi Arabia is a disgrace to humanity, a hell-hole especially for women. Rana Ahmad is one of a handful of courageous women who have, at great peril, defied the disgusting Saudi regime and escaped. Her moving story is a brave and important rallying cry for the defense of human rights in the face of theocratic oppression.” Richard Dawkins “In her courageous fight for human rights and women’s rights, Rana Ahmad is an important voice in today’s world. May her fight for women to lead self-determined lives, especially in Muslim countries, inspire many followers.” Ensaf Haidar, Human Rights Activist and wife of Raif Badawi For more information please visit www.randomhouse.de Press “Her moving story is a courageous battle cry, an appeal to preserve and defend human rights.” Der Sonntag Karlsruhe “The autobiography is a moving testimony to the obstacles people can overcome, and the suffering they can endure when they do not lose faith in themselves.” Die Rheinpfalz “A compelling, disturbing and moving book.” bibliotheksnachricht
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Rana did not believe in Allah. And she was convinced that also women deserve a life of freedom and equality. She knew that it was only a matter of time before she would be threatened, persecuted or murdered in her homeland because of her nonconform views on religion, people and the universe, possibly even by her own family. Life in Saudi Arabia became unbearable for her, so she was eventually faced with a choice:
Suicide or escape?
Rana decided to flee. She thought that she would only have to survive the long and for her as a single woman extremely dangerous Balkan route in order to live in peace, to be safe and free. After all, Germany, where she made it to with much luck, was a peaceful and safe country with a liberal constitution: no one could be convicted here for a “thought crime” – her fall from faith in the eyes of the Islamists was nothing else.
But when Rana found herself in a refugee shelter in Cologne, she realized that her dream had not come true. For the danger from which she had fled – it had traveled with her: in the form of other refugees. They too had good reasons for leaving their countries, but apostasy, falling from faith, was not one of them. Many of the refugees Rana met in Cologne were religious Muslims. And some of them thought that apostasy was a terrible, even a deadly crime.
Rana was in shock: she was threatened in Germany – like in Saudi Arabia before. She had to fear for her life – like in Saudi Arabia. “I had the feeling that I had never left Saudi Arabia”, she summed up her experiences later. For a long time she didn’t know what to do. Then she found out by chance that the chairperson of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims (ZdE), Mina Ahadi, also lived in Cologne. Rana contacted her and through Mina she met some members of the Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung (gbs). A short time later they were able to find an apartment for her in Cologne, where she moved in gladly.
Only now she was free. She could have settled into her new life and enjoyed her new freedoms, but she was painfully aware that her own fate was not an exceptional and isolated case.
Therefore, Rana gathered all her courage and, with the help of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims and the gbs Cologne, brought her story to the public. In June 2016, a first major article appeared in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and in September, she was a guest on two occasions in the sternTV programme.
Rana’s commitment attracted the attention of large sections of the German population to the precarious situation of non-religious refugees in Germany. In addition, her case was the final impetus to launch a project that had long been discussed among ex-Muslims and the Giordano-Bruno-Stiftung, namely the establishment of an Atheist Refugee Relief organisation.
Atheist Refugee Relief
Short Term Internship
Imagine what it would be like to be part of, and contribute to, one of the largest projects on the planet. If you’re looking for a short term training (1 to 6 months), how cool would it be to say you’re working in CERN?
At CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, physicists and engineers are probing the fundamental structure of the universe. Using the world’s largest and most complex scientific instruments, they study the basic constituents of matter – fundamental particles that are made to collide together at close to the speed of light. The process gives physicists clues about how particles interact, and provides insights into the fundamental laws of nature. Find out more on Cern.
Diversity has been an integral part of CERN’s mission since its foundation and is an established value of the Organization.
One of CERN’s key missions is education. Our professionals very much enjoy sharing their knowledge and expertise with students who are committed and passionate about their chosen field.
If you’re an undergraduate in the technical or administrative fields and you’re looking to spend a few months training “on-the-job”, imagine doing your internship at CERN in Geneva. An impressive addition to your CV!
We offer a limited number of places throughout 2020 in our practical training programme, with a duration of 1 to maximum 6 months geared towards your particular field of study. How about it?
In order to qualify for a place on the programme you will need to meet the following requirements:
- You are a full-time student at undergraduate (post-secondary) level and are at least 18 years of age.
Please note that candidates who are currently studying for a PhD are not eligible for this programme.
- Your main field of study is in one of the following areas: applied physics, computing, mathematics, electricity, electronics, mechanical or civil engineering, instrumentation, materials science, radiation protection, safety and environmental protection, surveying, ultra-high vacuum, scientific communication. A very limited number of places may be available in administrative fields such as: translation, advanced secretarial work, accounting, legal services, human resources, librarianship, logistics.
- Your work at CERN must be an obligatory or recommended part of your studies.
- You will be returning to your educational establishment after completion of your stay at CERN.
- You have a good knowledge of English and/or French.
Important information for you to know:
- The duration of the internship is minimum 1 month and maximum 6 months.
- You will need to have full insurance cover valid in the Geneva area for medical expenses, work and private accidents as well as any disability arising from professional and non-professional illness and accidents.
- You will receive a monthly allowance of 1,516 Swiss Francs: please note, however, that the cost of living in Geneva is high and this allowance is just a complement. You should have adequate financial resources to support yourself in the local area.
You can apply for a place at any time up to the close of the annual vacancy in October 2020. Your application will be considered by a group of CERN experts who will act as supervisors to the selected students.
Please be aware that we only have a limited number of places for this programme. If you are selected, you will be contacted by the programme coordinator. If your application cannot be considered, you will be informed by email.
Please note that if a traineeship agreement is required by your institute, as an international organisation CERN will not sign external documents. You will therefore be required to use the CERN traineeship agreement provided on This link
This is how you can apply:
All you need is a good CV!
You can apply for a place at any time throughout the year and can indicate your availabilities. Your application will then be reviewed by CERN experts and if successful, you will be contacted by the programme coordinator. Please be aware that we only have a limited number of places for this programme.
Make sure you have your CV to hand as you start your application. Once submitted you will not be able to upload additional documents or edit your application.
Careers at CERN