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Cultural Production Fund
Creative Writing

Since 2015, nine projects were supported in this category. The works varied from an online platform dealing with Arabic culture, to an artistic cookbook, to poetry anthologies, and collections of short stories and novels. All of them document the experiences of Syrians – in their homeland and abroad - and what it feels like to exist somewhere in between.

Kreatives Schreiben© Goethe-Institut Libanon/ Amr Kokash

Edition 2018

Hanan Kabreteh | Madam Izoglin

Hanan Kabreteh © Ettijahat Independent Culture "Madam Izoglin" is a collection of stories shedding light on the experience of Syrians trying to integrate into Turkish society and their attempts to build bridges within it. The stories also highlight the different, diverse, and convergent traditions and customs of the two societies based on historical documents and events. The collection also underscores the kinds of relationships that may have been formed from the simplest resources available, which might arise from something as simple as a warm soup dish.

Reber Yousef | Voice of the Absent

Reber Yousef © Ettijahat Independent Culture "Voice of the Absent" is a literary book of testimonies that documents the life of a group of deaf and mute individuals who were born in Syria and who lived throughout the Syrian revolution and then war. Each person faces their respective fate separately, and, finally, they individually emigrate to Germany. The book sheds light on some of the questions and answers that occupy the minds of the deaf and the mute during revolutions and wars. It Is their attempt to shape an identity through which they know themselves and present themselves to similar people around the world. Finally, we reach the question of: How do those who have no voice or who can’t hear live during revolutions and wars?

Waseem Alsharqi | Black

Waseen Alsharqi © Ettijahat Independent Culture "Black" is a novel that deals with the life story of Mohammed Aswad (Mohammed Black), a tailor who lived in Damascus until he was forced to flee Syria for criminal reasons at the end of 2010. In his new country, the memories he left behind chase him and become a burden that is impossible to escape. The news of the uprising in Syria overlap with his memories to create a special psychological realm that sometimes turn into an unrealistic world.
 


Edition 2017

Odai Alzoubi | The Book of Wisdom and Naivety

Odai Alzoubi © Ettijahat Independent Culture A collection of spatially and temporally varied short stories. The collection seeks to pose a number of questions on wisdom and naivety: Are they two contradictory qualities? Or do they complement each other? And how?
Sometimes it may seem like the naive cannot be wise, but the opposite is true: wisdom needs naivety, in the sense that we need to believe in our ability to change the world and to trust those around us. In our daily lives, in philosophy, at times of war and exile, one cannot but ask, "Do the naïve alone pay the price of the evil surrounding us?" The collection includes multiple models of this ambiguous relationship between wisdom and naivety.

Rita Bariche | Kitchen Stories

Rita Bariche © Ettijahat Independent Culture A book project which aims to discover various Syrian flavors and dishes through a journey into the collective memory of Syrians, their cities and villages as narrated by members of "Ghorba (Alienation) Kitchen". The stories are collected in an artistically interesting book that combines objective documentation and personal experiences. It is a collective work that includes testimonies by Syrians residing in different countries. The project is carried out by a group of Syrian writers, artists, and publishers residing in Syria and abroad, as well as a first step for future works and translations.

Salim Albeik | Charlotte, Rima and Melanie

Salim Albeik © Ettijahat Independent Culture A novel about Karim, a Syrian-Palestinian young man from the Homs camp, who arrived in France several years ago. He is originally from Haifa, the city his grandfather left in the year of the Palestinian exodus.
In Paris, he starts a relationship with Charlotte, who introduces him –through her friend Melanie– to Rima. She just arrived in Paris from Haifa after she received an art residency grant. Karim's relationships with the three girls overlap: Charlotte is interested in Palestine and Syria because she essentially cares for Karim. Melanie is indifferent to everything. And then there’s Rima, who has endless discussions with Karim about the meaning of the city to which they both belong – each in their special way – and about his desire to return to it. A desire that interferes with another more desperate desire to return to his Homs camp. Rima, on the other hand, wants to leave Haifa permanently and stay in Paris.

Samah Hakawati | Between Two Rivers

Samah Hakawati © Ettijahat Independent Culture A collection of short stories addressing the lives of women living between two rivers or two realities: Syria and one of the countries of asylum. The stories explore small details of these two different lives without really comparing them. The collection depicts the experience of identity, asylum, acculturation, cultural shock, nostalgia, separation, as well as the influence war has had on the lives of these women, whose stories are only a reflection of another aspect of war and asylum.
These tales are about the many rivers and the women who crossed them or are still trying to cross them. They are about the women who may have kept their souls left behind on the banks of such metaphorical rivers. It does not matter who that woman is as much as the fact that she finds herself in one of those story and smiles.


Edition 2016

Ahmed Katlish |
Audio Anthology of Syrian Poetry in Exile

Ahmed Katlish © Ettijahat Independent Culture Audio Anthology of Syrian Poetry in Exile seeks to collect a group of poems written by Syrian poets after they sought refuge in neighbouring countries and Europe. The project will include an analysis of the positive and negative changes that occurred to Syrian poetry after exile. It will also analyse the changes that occurred to the poets themselves, having become refugees, and the changes to their creative experiences. Ultimately, the project sheds light on cases of creative maturity as a result of deepened human experiences.
 

Dima Wannous | Tale of a Refugee

Dima Wannous © Ettijahat Independent Culture Tale of a Refugee is a book of testimonials and stories about Syrian refugees in Lebanon, telling their stories in Syria, before and during the revolution. The stories continue to tell how these refugees came to Lebanon, and their psychological and actual suffering under bombings in Syria’s ‘conflict zones.’ The book is a project that documents the Syrian revolution from the perspective of the marginalised human individual. The project is a collection of these stories in a book about the ‘Syrian being.’
Stories will be written in a literary style to make their suffering known to as many readers as possible. The project aims to focus on the value of the individual so that Syrians can be seen as persons, rather than being mere statistics. Through their stories, the book shows that the suffering of each individual is different and unique. This is a testament to the fact that the revolution allowed Syrians to reclaim their individuality from a regime that had rendered them deformed copies of one another.

Haitham Hussein |
The Ordeal of Refuge and the Curse of Exile

Haitham Hussien © Ettijahat Independent Culture “Agatha Christie, let me tell you how I live.”

In his book, Haitham Hussein deals with the lives of Syrian refugees in the UK from the perspective of his own experiences. It explores the refugees’ relationship with a new society, the new conflicts they face, their reactions to what they are experiencing and suffering, and what they strive to achieve in the face of being misunderstood. The book narrates tales and explores concepts by using historical and biographical documentations, whilst striving to describe images of life experiences. Additionally, the writer creates a fictional dialogue with the famous British novelist, Agatha Christie, who also lived in Londin in the 1930s and wrote part of her autobiography, Come Tell Me How You Live, there.


Edition 2015

Aboud Saeed | The Diary of Yousef and Dalal

Aboud Saeed © Ettijahat Independent Culture The Diary of Yousef and Dalal is a book that deals with the shifting reality of a emmigrant Syrian family in Turkey and the details of their everyday life, presented in a simple comedic format. The project does not address major events, rather their effects on the Syrian family’s simple life routine now faced with drastic changes.
Saeed insists on writing in the simplest form possible, for it doesn’t really matter s/he who writes be a writer, or a talented or gifted one for that matter. The book includes real photographs of Yousef and Dalal as a new form of comedic documentation.

Under 35 Productions | Under 35 Online Magazine

Under 35 Productions © Ettijahat Independent Culture After the launch of the Under 35 – a project specialized in creating customized internet content with more than 80 videos under its belt – Under 35 Online Magazine aspires to focus on YouTube productions, regionally and worldwide, as well as to focus on independent cinema. The online magazine’s goal is to expand its focus and become an Arab cultural magazine dealing with issues faced by Arab youth while providing them with an interactive platform to participate and share their ideas.

 


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Disclaimer

The project descriptions were written by the artists themselves. The content does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Goethe-Institut.

 

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