Let us know, what makes Astrid Thews a good facilitator?

„I have been working with Astrid

since 2011. We co-founded Mahatat for contemporary art where we developed vision, mission and approaches together.

I don’t remember how many times we brainstormed ideas, and strategies. It happened also that she peer-coached me and facilitated with me different sessions related to management, and personal development topics. From my experience, Astrid is a good partner to work and to develop ideas with. As a facilitator, she excels due to different qualities and attributes:

Attentive listening:

She didn’t study anthropology for nothing. Astrid is a really good observer and attentive listener; she can synthesize what she listens to, reflect and advise with a relative and concrete guidance and approach.


As a coach and facilitator, Astrid can relate to the human experience with all its aspects. She can easily open her heart and soul and invest in the processes to get a deep understanding of the situation. This quality enables her to understand the needs, the context and the circumstances of her peer/ interlocutor and advise accordingly.


Being human-centered doesn’t mean that she bases all her judgement on feelings and intuition. She is one of the rare persons that I know who can correlate easily between the theories and her surroundings. In the same time, Astrid has a flexible approach to assess her theories, reflect, review and adjust approaches and even behavior accordingly.“


Heba ElCheikh, Co-Founder of Mahatat for contemporary art, September 2015

„I met Astrid while

researching my book “Walls of Freedom” and have found her to be resourceful, supportive and extremely knowledgeable of the state of public art in Egypt and the region. She has unknowingly contributed a lot to the book with her recommendations, advice and support. This led to an important collaboration with Mahatat which allowed us to bring the WonderBox project into our classroom at VCUQatar

The collaboration culminated in a talk presented by Astrid and a workshop she co-taught with Manar Moursi and Mohamed Hassan at the Tasmeem 3ajeeb! conference in March 2015. My collaborator, Denielle Emans and I have continued to build off of the great work we did with Astrid, writing and speaking about the collaboration at conferences. Astrid is and will always be a great friend, collaborator and a wonderful person!“


Basma Hamdy, Assistant Professor at VCU Qatar &
Co-author of “Walls of Freedom“, 09/2016

She has a will, she has a sense of commitment and she is ready to accept other cultures.

„Working with Astrid

on preparing and conducting the Wonderbox workshop in
Doha was a real pleasure. Her passion and dedication coupled with a deep commitment and efficiency allowed us to produce wonderful results with the students. 

She is a true team player and knows how to lead, delegate, mediate and acknowledge the work of others.

I’m looking forward to our forthcoming collaboration!“


Manar Moursi, Principal and Founder of Studio Meem, Cairo, Egypt, 09/2015

„Exactly one year ago,

I was asked by Al Mawred to facilitate a three days arts management training in Damietta (a city out of Cairo) with Astrid. We met for a quick preparation meeting, she was very flexible, and she was able to listen and open to cooperate. During the training, I was expecting her to talk about her experience in Mahatat in English language as a German arts manager working to develop the field in Egypt. Being there, she was very practical, we drafted the program, and she started to write in Arabic language on the flip-chart and was very confident to present every detail orally in Egyptian.


Everything went smoothly from the beginning till the end and she was able to communicate with me and with all the participants in a friendly way especially in our daily briefing to enhance our performance during the training. Astrid was aware of the needs of the participants and she managed very well to guide them to find the solutions themselves, not to impose her way and oblige them to follow her opinion.


We went for study visits of some cultural spaces in the old and the new town of Damietta where she showed a great understanding of the habits of the people. For me Astrid was part of the society, not behaving as an external expert in a mission or even as an European expert.


This training had to result in producing a cultural event managed by the training participants. Astrid was following up every detail until the success of the event.

The will, the commitment and being able to accept other cultures are from my point of view the key elements of the character of Astrid.


I wish her good luck in her new journey and I am certain that the projects she implemented or supported in Egypt will continue and being sustainable without her presence, because this was her goal from the beginning.“


Mohamed ElGhawy, Founder of AFCA and Hakawy Festival, 09/2015