Today's Berlin is a safe port for people from different countries - among them many writers and poets who migrated from Asia and Africa. As Israeli Jews from Syrian-Iraqi-Iranian families (Jews of the Arab world / Arabic / Jews from the maghreb and mashreq) we think Berlin is an interesting and unique meeting place for people of our origin - something that could not take place in Israel.
We write our novels, stories and poems in Hebrew - the language we grew up with without it being our mother tongue. The languages with which our parents grew up are suppressed in Israel. As Jews of Arab or African Origin, we had to leave the "Arab" shares of our cultural heritage in order to become part of the Israeli crucible. However, many of the view that what is created in this melting pot is not a new "also" as the new Israeli Jews are like to be described by the movement of Zionism. The result of this crucible was rather a new form of the European Jew - a model that the white European ("Ashkenazi") Jews devised, many of whom were ironically from Germany. Just this story makes the migration of Arabic Jews to today's Germany so interesting. It is the unique perspective from which we develop Arabic Jews and residents of Berlin's opportunities, ambivalences and creative imagination. This, in the German past, has so far been unknown - especially the connection to the other Arab forms of diaspora - can lead to a literary and poetic new construction of the middle east. We will build our houses with words and escape the guardians of nationalism.
"Jews and Arab writing in Berlin" would like to be the first literature group to take seriously the feature culture in Berlin with writers and poets from those countries in their work. We want to see the difference that has shaped our lives in our words. More important, however, are the similarities: If, for example, an Israeli Jew writes about the never-seen house of her father in Damascus, how similar or unlike it will be the description in a text of a Syrian refugee who lives in Berlin and not in the house of Childhood in Damascus can return? If a Palestinian in Berlin writes about his country of birth, will he write about the same country of birth as the Israelis who are in Berlin? If someone writes a poem about al-Quds and someone else one about Jerusalem, they speak of the same city? Can you make a connection when you read these texts? Will there be a new imagination from the soft side of your seeing?
As Israeli Arabic writers living in Berlin and working in Hebrew, we have noticed how much our country of birth (Israel) and our country (Syria, Iran, Iraq and others) play important roles in our inspiration and creative work. As an international turning point, Berlin brings together thousands of interesting and different people, but we want to mobilise a very specific community that is neither completely homogeneous nor completely heterogeneous. The voices of Arabs, and, moroccans and the voices of Arab, Iranian, Turkish and Moroccan Jews and Jewish must be read together and heard together.
More than 100 years ago, in the middle east, Jews, Arabs and other ethnic and religious groups lived together in a fruitful dialogue and were mentally, culturally, mentally and physically in exchange. After the decline of the Ottoman Empire, the two world wars and the resulting Jewish and Arab nationalism, Jews and Arabs lost this connection. We lost our dialogue with this. As a pilot project for future cooperation, we want to revive this lost dialogue through literature and art with this first edition. Berlin allows us, Jews and Arabs at the same time, one of the rare moments of a lost encounter that no longer exists in their countries of origin By living together in European exile, we skip our national identities and hope to create a new composition of words that redefine our mutual existence.