Christian Michael Lowry
As a Brueggeman Fellow I researched Turkish immigrants in Germany and Western Europe, and I had the opportunity to spend time in Germany and Turkey to conduct some of that research. The time that I spent researching at Xavier University, with guidance from the Brueggeman Center, prepared me for the interviews and extended conversations I had with the stakeholders in the immigration and integration debates; it broadened my intellectual curiosity and appreciation of nuance. The research I later did on the ground in Turkey and Germany shook me out of that academic framework and convinced me that solutions to these, and all, challenges will require an understanding of the human element in public policy. I ended the Brueggeman Fellowship convinced that the world’s problems are complex but not insoluble. No single person, or country, can tackle these challenges alone, but we all have a part to play and a perspective to contribute.
The Moment When I Wondered What I Had Gotten Myself Into:
I landed at Istanbul Ataturk Airport at about midnight, waited almost 2 hours to get through security and then haggled for a van ride into the city together with Italian newlyweds and an older Austrian couple. I was dropped off last at about 3am, barely awake after nearly a day of travel, and walked into my hostel to settle in for the hottest, loudest and least restful night of ‘sleep’ I’d ever had. Because I didn’t speak Turkish, I had no idea where my luggage had been taken by the hostel manager, how long my reservation at the hostel went, or how much they had charged my credit card for that first night.