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Franziska Knupper

Berlin, Germany
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About Franziska
Franziska Knupper is a journalist based in Berlin and Tel Aviv with a strong focus on Israel and the Middle East. She is currently writing for German- and English-speaking audiences and contributes both to radio as well as print media such as Deutschlandradio, Jerusalem Post, SWR, Spiegel Online, Freitag, VICE, Chrismon, Intro, Punkt, Trend or Berliner Zeitung.
Danish German English
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) News Gathering
Fact Checking

High Times

19 Jul 2024  |  www.torial.com
The Israeli cannabis industry, with strong ties to the North American market, may benefit from the Republican election victory in the US. The administration of President Donald Trump is expected to take a cautious approach towards cannabis, prompting US companies to look abroad, particularly to Israel, for opportunities in the recreational and medicinal cannabis sectors.

Modest Fashion: Beautifully Veiled

15 Jul 2024  |  www.torial.com
Orthodox Jews call it a Bubu, and religious Muslims call it a Puff. Both terms refer to a style where padding is used to create a bulge under the headscarf at the back of the head, simulating an abundance of hair. The similarities in religious fashion among the three major monotheistic religions extend beyond this: the cuts are looser, skin is mostly covered, and knees and elbows are always concealed, with skirts typically reaching the ankles.

Dschisr al-Sarka in Israel: Ein Hostel gibt Hoffnung

12 Jul 2024  |  www.torial.com
A Jewish woman opens a hostel in Jisr al-Zarqa, the last Arabic village on the coast of Israel, bringing hope and potential challenges to the community.

Palestinian Music Event: Shooting in Gaza, Dancing in Ramallah

06 Jul 2024  |  www.torial.com
In the Middle East, even music is political. Palestinian rappers from Ramallah discuss the cultural and political significance of their music, highlighting the contrasting experiences of life in Gaza and Ramallah.

Out of the Offside Trap

06 Jul 2024  |  www.torial.com
The West Bank experiences intense heat early in the morning, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius. Despite the heat, markets and buses remain busy. In Al-Ram, a suburb of Ramallah, the largest football stadium in the Palestinian territories is located. Instead of advertisements for beer brands or energy drinks, the stadium features posters of current President Mahmud Abbas and the first President of the Palestinian territories, Yasser Arafat.

Virtual Reality against Fear - Touch Digital Spider Legs and Lose Phobia

05 Jul 2024  |  www.torial.com
German scientists are exploring the use of Virtual Reality to treat deep-seated fears, such as arachnophobia and acrophobia, by allowing individuals to interact with digital representations of their fears in a controlled environment.

Christian Pilgrims From Across the World Come to Israel to Visit This Site

04 Jul 2024  |  www.torial.com
Christian pilgrims from around the world travel to Israel to visit significant religious sites, highlighting the country's importance as a spiritual destination.


02 Jul 2024  |  www.torial.com
The article traces the journey of mysterious gems from a mine in India to their final destination on an index finger in New York City, highlighting the global trade and intricate processes involved in the jewelry industry.

University for All

26 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
An Israeli university is making efforts to bridge educational gaps by providing opportunities for talented individuals who lack formal education. This initiative aims to create a more inclusive educational environment.

The Drugs of Love

25 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
Explores whether the feeling of love is merely a result of a combination of molecules, featuring insights from experts in the field.

An Ecological Revolution

18 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
Gardens in the ocean, indoor growing without water, and greenhouses on the bottom of a lake exemplify the ecological creativity required in the next century.

The First Drop?

15 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
An Israeli company is developing technology to produce water from air, aiming to address future water crises. The article explores the potential of this innovation in mitigating water scarcity issues.

Palestinian Music Event: Shooting in Gaza, Dancing in Ramallah

12 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
In the Middle East, even music is intertwined with politics. Palestinian rappers from Ramallah share their insights on the political dimensions of their music, contrasting the experiences of those in Gaza and Ramallah.

Hippies with Guns

12 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
A famous Israeli Hippie couple reminisces about their years of freedom spent on a beach near the Lebanon border, highlighting their determination to stay despite the challenges.

Visit to a Palestinian Village - The Enclosed

07 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
A Palestinian village on the outskirts of Jerusalem is grappling with its identity amidst the construction of a high-speed train track. The village's struggle is framed within the broader context of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, highlighting issues related to zones, checkpoints, and territorial disputes.

With Techno to God - For the Na Nachs, 'Being Happy' is a Religious Duty

02 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
The ultra-orthodox Nachman Meuman Jews are known for their unique religious practice of spreading joy through dance and techno music. This article explores their belief that happiness is a religious duty, highlighting their vibrant and joyful approach to faith.

With Techno to God - For the Na Nachs, 'Being Happy' is a Religious Duty

02 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
The ultra-orthodox Nachman Meuman Jews are known for their unique approach to religion, which includes spreading joy and happiness as a religious duty. The article explores their practices, including dancing to techno music as a form of worship, highlighting the cultural and religious significance of their joyful expressions.

Steinreich - Franziska Knupper

02 Jun 2024  |  www.torial.com
From a mine in India to your index finger in New York City - we followed the mysterious gems.

Designing urban spaces for social change

27 May 2024  |  www.torial.com
Toqod Omer is planning a studio room for his next community project, a TV channel dedicated to news from Sudan. He discusses the need for acoustic pads with Robert Ungar, highlighting the ongoing efforts to design urban spaces that foster social change.

How Researchers Want to Put Death on Ice

26 May 2024  |  www.torial.com
Researchers are exploring the potential of medical advancements to halt or reverse aging and death, reflecting a significant trend in life extension research. Leon R. Kass, an American scientist, highlighted the human desire to overcome death, describing it as a profound barrier to self-determination. The boom in life-extending treatments is seen as a manifestation of humanity's fear of non-existence.

For Love? - Franziska Knupper

21 May 2024  |  www.torial.com
An emerging trend of Israeli-German love stories is gaining attention, raising questions about the underlying reasons for this phenomenon.

Designing urban spaces for social change

18 May 2024  |  www.torial.com
Toqod Omer is planning a studio room for his next community project, a TV channel dedicated to news from Sudan. He discusses the need for acoustic pads with Robert Ungar, highlighting the ongoing efforts to design urban spaces that foster social change.

Social Media Intifada

01 May 2024  |  www.torial.com
Both Israelis and Palestinians are engaging in a 'Social Media Intifada' by using their phones to shift the conflict into the digital realm.

Must armed mean dangerous? The Israeli example.

04 Apr 2024  |  torial.com
Firearms, including M-16 rifles, are a common sight in Israel, carried by off-duty soldiers, security guards, and civilians in various public settings. Over time, the presence of guns becomes a normalized aspect of everyday life for those living in or visiting the country.

Fashion Made in Israel

04 Apr 2024  |  torial.com
Israel's fashion industry is diverse and aims to give the country a new image. Franziska Knupper, who has been living in the small Middle Eastern state for two years, has taken a closer look at the fashion scene in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.



With Yoga and Drums Against Netanyahu

07 Sep 2020  |  Deutschlandfunk Kultur
For weeks, thousands of Israelis have been protesting for political change, uniting diverse groups such as ultra-Orthodox, students, and Ethiopian immigrants in a movement that is unique to Israel. The protests, featuring music, drums, and yoga, are calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing multiple corruption charges. The movement includes various forms of expression, from artistic performances to silent meditation, and has gained momentum amid the pandemic and economic struggles. Despite the protests, Netanyahu has been ignoring the demonstrators, focusing instead on portraying himself as a global peacemaker. The article captures the sentiments of different participants, including a musician, a yoga instructor, and a photographer, all of whom are seeking to change the values in their country through their respective forms of protest.

Virtual Reality in Psychotherapy: Overcoming Fear and Panic

22 Apr 2018  |  www.spiegel.de
The article discusses the use of Virtual Reality (VR) in psychotherapy, particularly for treating phobias, trauma, and obsessive-compulsive disorders. The Evelyn VR platform, developed at Unity Lab, allows patients to confront their fears in a controlled virtual environment. The technology is praised for being cost-effective, low-risk, and efficient. The project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aims to equip psychiatric clinics with VR systems by October 2019. The article highlights the potential for patients to continue therapy at home using mobile VR applications, although it advises against unsupervised use in early treatment stages.

A paradise for split personalities and free trade

11 Jan 2018  |  www.jpost.com
Residents of Barta’a, a town divided by the Green Line and the Israeli security barrier, navigate a complex identity crisis. The town, split between Israeli and Palestinian territories, exemplifies the absurdities of the Middle East conflict. Despite the division, the community has adapted, with some residents benefiting from Israeli health and unemployment insurance while others live under Palestinian Authority administration. The construction of the security barrier has ironically fostered economic growth, turning Barta’a into a bustling free-trade zone. The article highlights the daily challenges and unique dynamics of life in this divided town.

US Embassy to Jerusalem - A Step Towards the Apocalypse?

01 Jan 2018  |  www.torial.com
In 2018, the US embassy officially moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, marking a significant achievement for evangelical Christians who view President Trump's actions as fulfilling biblical prophecy. This move has sparked discussions about its implications for US foreign policy and Middle East politics.

US Embassy to Jerusalem - A Step Towards the Apocalypse?

01 Jan 2018  |  www.torial.com
In 2018, the US embassy officially moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, marking a significant achievement for evangelical Christians who view President Trump's actions as fulfilling biblical prophecy. This move has sparked discussions about its religious and political implications, particularly in the context of US politics and Middle Eastern affairs.

Textiles: When the Pant Leg Vibrates

01 Dec 2017  |  www.spiegel.de
The article explores the emerging trend of smart clothing and e-textiles, highlighting innovations such as LED dresses, GPS pants, and interactive shirts. Designers like Zac Posen and companies including Google, Samsung, and Levi's are at the forefront of this movement. Despite the excitement, experts like Gerhard Tröster express skepticism about the practicality and market viability of these technologies outside sports and health sectors. Contrarily, Lisa Lang of ElektroCouture believes in the potential of generating power through movement, eliminating the need for batteries. The article also touches on historical aspirations for interactive clothing, exemplified by Marlene Dietrich's desire for a light-up dress.

High times in the Holy Land

26 Sep 2017  |  www.jpost.com
The article discusses the burgeoning cannabis industry in Israel and its connections to the North American market. Dr. Ascher Shmulewitz, a key figure in the industry, and his son Omri, are involved in companies like Therapix Biosciences and Entou, which are innovating in the field of medical marijuana. The article highlights Israel's pioneering role in cannabis research, dating back to the 1960s with Prof. Raphael Mechoulam's isolation of THC. It also covers the business aspects, including the recent $12 million raised by Therapix on Nasdaq, and the potential for economic growth as predicted by Saul Kaye, CEO of iCan Israel-Cannabis. The government's support for the industry is evident through subsidies and increased medical licenses. The article also touches on the cultural and religious acceptance of cannabis in Israel, which may contribute to the industry's success.

Out of the Offside Trap

24 Aug 2017  |  fluter.de
The Palestinian women's national football team trains under difficult conditions, including heat, fasting during Ramadan, and societal challenges, especially for girls. Despite these challenges, the sport offers hope. Dima Youssef, a Christian player, and Gina Khnouf, who trains girls under 19, discuss the lack of support and the conservative views that hinder the development of women's football in the region. The team, founded in 2006, has participated in the West Asian Football Federation Championship but faces limitations due to political and economic constraints. Yousef Zaghloul, a trainer and director for women's football, has worked to overcome societal barriers, promoting the sport among girls and creating one of the first girls' football clubs in Palestine. The article highlights the deep-rooted passion for football in Palestinian society and the ongoing struggle for women to gain recognition and opportunities in the sport.

Buried close to the sky

03 Aug 2017  |  www.jpost.com
The article discusses the growing trend of vertical cemeteries as a solution to the burial space crisis, particularly in densely populated urban areas. Israeli architect Tuvia Sagiv has designed such a space with the Yarkon Cemetery in Tel Aviv, which can accommodate around 250,000 new graves. The article explores various global practices in burial, including reusing graves in Western Europe, living with the dead in Cairo, and high-rise cemeteries in Brazil. It also touches on religious considerations in burial practices, particularly in Judaism and Islam. Alternatives to traditional burial methods are presented, such as the eco-friendly burial pods by Capsula Mundi and the futuristic burial technologies in Japan. The article also mentions a proposed solution in China by Bread Studio, which involves a cruise ship that circles the city with urns. The piece highlights the need for cultural adaptation to new burial practices due to practical necessities.

Fashion made in Israel (Intro, 2017)

Why Hackers Go to the Desert

20 Jul 2017  |  Deutschlandfunk Kultur
Be'er Sheva, a city of 200,000 in Israel, is becoming a hub for cybersecurity and espionage, attracting soldiers, scientists, and international companies to work closely together. The Gav Yam Advanced Technology Park, led by Roy Zwebner, is central to this transformation, with significant investments from companies like Deutsche Telekom, PayPal, and IBM. The Israeli government, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, supports this initiative, aiming to create a synergistic ecosystem. Concerns are raised by Idan Landau, an author and activist, about the militarization of Israeli society and the potential misuse of cyber technology. The article also touches on the infamous Unit 8200 and the use of cyber weapons like the Pegasus software, which has been implicated in the surveillance of journalists and activists in Mexico.

Modest Fashion: A Billion-Dollar Business with Concealing Fashion

01 Jun 2017  |  www.spiegel.de
Modest Fashion is a billion-dollar industry catering to women who prefer to show less skin for religious reasons, with increasing trends among Muslim women who spent over 40 billion euros in 2015. Specialized labels like Amirah Couture and Inayah Fashion, as well as international brands such as Mango and Tommy Hilfiger, have developed collections targeting this market. Events like the International Modest Fashion Week showcase these designs. Entrepreneurs like Nava Brief Fried from ModLi and designers like Diana Kotb and Dian Pelangi are redefining modest fashion with bold designs and colorful textiles. The industry's growth reflects a demand for modest yet fashionable clothing that transcends specific religious origins.

Hummus-Hopping in Tel Aviv: Giggling Your Way to Satisfaction

16 Apr 2017  |  www.spiegel.de
In Tel Aviv, hummus is not only a culinary staple but also a subject of political debate, with Israelis and Lebanese disputing its origins. Mickey Pisarevski, a native Ukrainian, has been running Nachmani Hummus for 15 years, known for its creamy texture and sweet aftertaste. The dish's political nature is highlighted by Lebanon's failed attempt to have hummus recognized as a national dish by the EU. Tel Aviv locals have their preferred hummus spots, with Abu Hassan in Jaffa being a popular choice. Khalil Kalaboni continues his family's tradition with a restaurant on the Karmel Market, offering seven types of hummus. The article also touches on the impact of conflict on local businesses, as Kalaboni recalls a drop in customers during a series of knife attacks.

Hotel of Hope

25 Jan 2017  |  fluter.de
Dschisr az-Zarqa, the last Arab village on Israel's Mediterranean coast, faces severe economic and social challenges, with high poverty and crime rates. Despite these issues, Neta Hanien, a lawyer and diving instructor, fell in love with the village and partnered with local Ahmad Juha to open the first guesthouse, Juha’s Guesthouse, aiming to transform the village's fate. They initiated a social business and a Young-Leaders-Program to involve children in tourism, improving their English and social skills. The guesthouse has started to bring business and money into the village, and Neta hopes more local projects will follow to retain the success within Dschisr.

At an illegal techno festival in the Jordanian desert

08 Nov 2016  |  www.vice.com
The article discusses an illegal techno festival held in the Jordanian desert, attended by around three hundred people from Jordan, Palestine, Iraq, and expatriates. The festival is described as a political statement for the Arab youth, who are tired of justifying their identity and want to express themselves freely. The event was organized with minimal advertising to avoid government attention, and attendees included a mix of locals and foreigners. The festival featured a blend of electronic and traditional music, and was seen as a rare opportunity for the Arab underground electro scene in the Middle East. The article also touches on the challenges faced by Arab musicians due to strict travel and performance regulations in the region.

We´ve been looking for a toilet - really. How entrepreneurs and NGOs are fighting one of the biggest causes of epidemics (Berliner Zeitung, 2016)

I've got something in my eye

16 May 2016  |  www.freitag.de
The article discusses the ongoing miniaturization of electronics, focusing on the development of smart contact lenses with integrated cameras. It mentions Samsung's work on virtual reality and Google's collaboration with Swiss pharmaceutical company Norvatis on bionic lenses that can test glucose levels through tear fluid and zoom in on objects. Google co-founder Sergey Brin is quoted on the potential medical benefits of electronic miniaturization. The article raises questions about the implications of such technology on privacy and the nature of human experience.

The Middle East Conflict in the Internet Age

24 Mar 2016  |  Deutschlandfunk Kultur
The media landscape in Israel and Palestine is small and contested, with traditional newspapers like Yedioth Ahronot and Ha'aretz losing ground to social media and citizen journalism. Haggai Matar, a blogger and editor at the independent online magazine +972, believes that citizen journalism is the future of independent reporting in the Middle East. Israel and Palestine rank poorly in press freedom, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's role as Communications Minister is seen as a threat to media independence. Citizen journalism is gaining importance, with initiatives like B'tselem distributing cameras to Palestinians to document their lives. However, there are concerns about the accuracy and impact of amateur reporting. Sarah Perle's

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