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31.10.2018, Jamal Tuschick

Reconnecting the Middle East in Berlin - Mati Shemoelof and Hila Amit Abas, the initiators of this event, are two Arab-Jews who were born in Israel but moved to Berlin. They write in Hebrew, which is the language they grew up with, but not necessarily their mother-tongue or the native language of their parents. As Jews from Arab and African origins they were required to leave their “Arab” parts of their heritage behind in order to be part of the Israeli melting pot. More than 100 years ago in the Middle East, Jews and Arabs and other ethnic/religious groups lived in a fruitful dialogue and were mentally, culturally, spiritually and physically connected. After the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire, the two World Wars and the consequential rise of Jewish and Arab nationalism, Jews and Arabs became disconnected. We lost our dialogue. In the event “Reconnecting the Middle East in Berlin” we will not only revive this lost dialogue through literature, music and performance. We will also talk about this loss, what was lost for our families, the tales that will stop with the generation of our grandparents. Writers from all over the Middle East and Asia, both, Israelis emigrating from Islamic countries, Iran and North Africa, and Arab Immigrants from the same countries will sit and read their works of poetry and fiction together. Berlin gives us, Jews and Arabs, a rare moment for a lost encounter that can no longer happen in the countries of our origin. Living together in exile in Europe, we will transcend and rise above our national identities and hope to create a new typography of words to redefine our mutual existence. Performers: Mariam Rasheed (Egypt), Abdulkadir Musa (Kurdistan), Mati Shemoelof (Syria, Iran and Iraq), Hila Amit Abas (Syria and Iran), Zehava Khalfa (Libiya), Hassan Abul Fadl (Syria) + Mevan Younes (Kurish) - (Buzuqi) as Part of the Berliner Oriental ensemble.

Afrin - A Poem of Abdulkadir Musa

Abdulkadir Musa


Olive that hangs on the holy tree, greenish and ripening


Our steps were green

On the way to the high green, green was awaiting

Our gazes were a sharp green

Our steps, shaped from water foam, our green song and the green Newroz of Kela Horî Our rowdy laugher was green

In Turindy

You also were true green


From afar

Under the oily hair of the mountain

Your visage, stamped out of gathered olives, was fragrant from the hill, it was rainy between the woodlands, I was totally green

Your green eyes, a green approaching sea-blue

Your face is more pure than the olive oil

Under the control of a tough legend

As Kurmênc Mountain rebels


Oh mountain, console yourself with the hymns of Shekho Bekran

From the olive kernels I will make a necklace

And from Omeryan Mountains’s Prunus mahaleb an amulet and spell

For your mountain peak Just wait, hold on

Translated by Sîpan Hota

* Afrin: The guard of pomegranate tree and olive leaves next to Lêlûn mountain, a love song to Kevirê Ker and the dancing of Yaresanian on Parse mountain.


Abdulkadir Musa, born 1969 in Kurdistan, studied French Language and Literature in Aleppo and Social Pedagogy at ASH Berlin, works as a social worker, a translator and cultural advisor. Scholarship for authors of non-German literature 2018 / Senate Department for Culture and Europe Department of Culture, Berlin.


 His lyrics, Your Wings Have Taught Me to Fly (Semakurd, Dubai, 2007 and 2013 AR - Istanbul) were published in the Kurdish language, and have been translated into German, Spanish, French, English and Polish and Arabic. Kurdish Voices from Rojava. A Kurdisch- English Poetry Anthology, Inner Child Press, ltd. USA, 2017.

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