Always something new
By Ute Kaiser
Hajera Sheikh lives by the motto: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Her life required a strong will and the ability to adapt to new situations again and again.
Her family moved often, with a father in the Pakistani Air Force who later started a law firm with his father in Pakistan and a mother as a biochemist, between Pakistan and Dubai. Hajera speaks Urdu, Punjabi, English, Hindi and German. Her friends and family in Pakistan usually visit her once a year.
In 2008, Hajera came to Tübingen with her father and sister, who is five and a half years younger. Her mother had moved here in 2007, and had received a scholarship to complete her doctorate in Biochemistry at the university here. She currently works at the University Hospital.
Until the eleventh grade, Hajera attended the Carlo-Schmid-Gymnasium in Tübingen, after which she returned to Lahore in Pakistan. She completed her British A-Levels there and, in 2014, returned to Tübingen and attended the Leibniz College. Leibniz offers a year-long orientation study program. There, Hajera had “time and space to try something new.” The 24-year old student had many interests: medicine, law, biochemistry, art, theater, and architecture. But things turned out differently.
At college, Hajera made a short film, an experience she enjoyed immensely. To learn the theory as well as the practice, Hajera decided to study Media Science and Ethnology. Her bachelor’s thesis, a film on the Kashmir conflict in Indian and Pakistan, is complete. In October, she began her master’s degree.
Hajera’s mother and sister are already German national. Her father applied and is studying for his language test. So far, Hajera only has a student visa. Her attempts at changing her visa have, so far, been unsuccessful. As a non-EU foreigner, she must pay nearly 1700 euros for tuition each semester and works to earn money while studying. Hajera has a mini job at the Tübingen “Marktschenke”, is the online editorial assistant for TüNews INTERNATIONAL and volunteers in the world shop: “Fair trade is very important to me.”
She came to TüNews by chance. She met the publisher Wolfgang Sannwald while he was looking for someone with video experience for online editing. “It couldn’t have worked out better”, says Hajera. As a working student, she enriches the editorial team. Among other projects, she made a video about the Tübingen Flatboat Race. She has been able to show off her artistic streak for the past three years with the “International Art Workshop” and has already presented her works in an exhibition.