Artists 2016: Poetry Talk Writing after flight - Words in one’s luggage

Rasha Abbas

Rasha Abbas (c) Heike Steinweg

Rasha Abbas (born in Latakia, Syria in 1984) is a writer and journalist. She studied journalism at the University of Damascus and has published prose texts in various Arabic newspapers such as al-Quds al-arabi and As-Safir and on cultural websites. She writes mainly short stories, and brought out her first collection, Adam Hates the Television in 2008. She worked as a writer and translator on the 2014 anthology Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline. Rasha Abbas came from Syria to Germany in 2014, with the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Fellowship of the Schloss Solitude Academy in Stuttgart. During that time she worked on her second collection of short stories, The Gist of It, which is due to be published in 2016. A collection of her short stories came out in German translation in March 2016 from the Orlanda Verlag in Berlin, including Rasha Abbas’ depiction of her initial impressions of Germany. She currently lives in Berlin.

Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline. Saqi Books 2014
Adam Hates the Television. Short stories. Damascus Arab Capital of Culture publications 2008

In German:
Die Erfindung der deutschen Grammatik. Geschichten. mikrotext 2016

Jalal Alahmady

Jalal Alahmady (c) Kenan Khaddaj

Jalal Al-Aḥmady (born in Saudi Arabia in 1987) is a post-modern poet from Yemen. His poetry is known beyond his country’s borders throughout the Arabic-speaking world for its innovative, vital and polemical imagery and language. In his poems he confronts tradition and religion in a forthright and critical way, which finds particular favour with the Facebook generation. Since 2010 he has published four collections of poetry and has won several prizes, including the 2014 Abdulaziz-al-Maqalih Prize for Poetry. In Yemen he wrote for various newspapers and for a magazine of the revolutionary movement. In early 2016 he came to Germany via Jordan and Lebanon and is currently a fellow in the Heinrich Böll House in Langenbroich.

درج البيت يصعد وحيدا (The Stairs of the House Ascend Alone). Bahrain 2015
أن أُخرج الغابة من صدري (To Get the Jungle Out of My Chest). Meem editions, Algerien 2013
لا يمكنني البكاء مع أحد (I Cannot Cry With Any One). Madarekeditions, Vereinigte Arabische Emirate 2012
شجرة للندم أو أكثر (A Tree for Regret or More). Arwegaeditions, Kairo 2010

Ghayath Almadhoun

Ghayath Almadhoun (c) Cato Lein

Ghayath Almadhoun (born in Damascus in 1979) is a Palestinian poet and film maker. He was born in a Palestinian refugee camp and studied Arabic Literature at the University of Damascus. He has published three volumes of verse in Arabic, the most recent of which was published in Beirut in 2014. In 2008 Almadhoun emigrated to Sweden where he now lives and works. He has collaborated with Swedish poet Marie Silkeberg on two books of poetry, most recently Till Damaskus. They have also produced several poetry films together. Ghayath Almadhoun’s poems have been translated into several languages including Swedish, German, Dutch, Greek, Slovenian, Italian, English, French, Danish and Chinese.

Raed Wahesh

Raed Wahesh (c) Choureiry Kassouf

Raed Wahesh (born in Damascus in 1981) is a Palestinian-Syrian writer and journalist and one of the major Arabic poets of his generation. To date he has published four volumes of verse. Wahesh has developed over the years into a political writer who addresses social issues and makes a theme of war and destruction in his homeland. He has been supporting the Syrian revolution with his writing from the very beginning as a defender of freedom of opinion and of freedom of the word.
Wahesh has worked as a cultural editor for various Arabic-language newspapers and websites. His 2015 prose volume A Missing Piece of Damascus’ Sky is based on his experiences during the revolution. His most recent texts deal with issues of exile. expulsion and deracination. Raed Wahesh fled Syria in 2013 and came to Germany, where he was initially a guest in the Heinrich Böll House. He now lives in Hamburg.

Publications (poetry):
مشاةً نلتقي.. مشاة نفترق- دار المتوسط(Walking We Meet. Walking We Break Away). 2016
عندما لم تقع الحرب- دار كاف(When the War Doesn’t Happen). 2012
لا أحد يحلم كأحد- احتفالية دمشق عاصمة الثقافة العربية (No One Dreams As Anyone). 2008
 (White Blood). 2005  دم أبيض- دار التكوين