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Cultural Production Fund
Creative Writing

Kreatives Schreiben© Goethe-Institut Libanon/ Amr Kokash

Edition 2021

Creative Writing © Randa Maddah

Emad Mufarah Mustafa | I am Satan

The story addresses the transformation in Syrian identity and the sense of belonging in the diaspora. It follows the course of a refugee’s life and its impact on both father and son’s generations, including behavior, opinions, and emotions, as well as psychological and mental projections about one's identity and others'. The novel is based on real live testimonials by Syrian nationals and transforms real documented events into a literary work of art.

Fatima Alhaji | The Last Letter

A story based on the real testimony of a Syrian woman from Qalamoun whose husband was subjected to forced disappearance in the early eighties of the last century, leaving her to fend for a large family alone. The novel attempts to shed light on her daily human struggle, and on how the family managed to cope with this tragic event, and the vacuum left by a deafening silence, along with suffocating and volatile political and social circumstances.

Rawaa Ahmed Sunbol | Do, Yak

A collection of stories representing life as a game of dice, involving victory and loss based on luck and coincidences. The project includes 15 stories, which is the number of pieces allocated to each player. The collection tackles those who have remained. And since everyone here is at a loss, even survivors, live testimonials are the starting point for the stories revolving around loss.

Yeser Berro | Partial Collapse

The novel, taking place between 2019 and 2020, follows a young man fleeing military service and a young
photographer fleeing his father's home, where they both attempt to escape the past and more specifically the guilt of their wrongdoings preceding the story. In the novel, the two men meet and try to answer the existential questions irking them.

Loa Results © Ettijahat Independent Culture

Ahmad Katlish | Milonga

Ahmad Katelsh © Ettijahat Independent Culture  A work of fiction which stems from the Argentinian Tango dance, as an equally widespread community structure, through its use of issues relating to nationalism, borders and their impact on characters who have survived political changes, wars and revolutions, as well as their implications on life after survival. The work consists of a series of stories that create the same moments internally and externally on the dance floor from different points of view. Every chapter will follow the point of view of one character through tango-related events. The stories will overlap and intertwine on the dance floor.

Baraa Altrn | 14 Sad Faces

Baraa Altrn © Ettijahat Independent Culture  Literary texts inspired by the experiences of the author in the ‘Mezzeh Jabal-Karajat’ minibus, a popular means of transportation in Damascus, which the author considers to be a sociological laboratory populated by Syrians of different backgrounds. Over a period of five years, the writer took the bus around 2,500 times and watched around 35,000 faces worn out by war. Baraa describes her project as such: “My job in these texts is a mix between that of a chemist who handles elements directly and studies their properties in order to reach an understanding or a result, and an alchemist who wishes to turn everything into gold.”

Qosai Amami | The Age of the Gypsies

Qosai Amami © Ettijahat Independent Culture  A work of fiction that tells the story of a neighbourhood in Damascus inhabited by Syrians, Palestinians, Iraqis, Somalis, citizens of other nations, refugees and migrants, all of whose stories were heard around the neighbourhood in the 1990s, including those of ‘gypsies’. The work addresses the complicated and simple social relationships – at times forged by poverty at other times by ignorance – between refugees, citizens, migrants, intelligence officers, dancers and Arab tourists, revealing the truth of an entire generation which lived lives of waiting and dreaming. Who will win in this neighbourhood in the end? The answer might be no one, and defeat may have already prevailed.

Edition 2019

Alaa Rashidi | The Mirrors's seductions between music and tales

A fictional collection of five stories that derive their fictional tales from the history of musical art that stretches from thousands of years BC to the present day. The author read the history of music throughout the different stages of human civilization, and devised fictional stories inspired by this history and the diverse phases experienced by this art. The fictional collection employs the art of music to address current political, social, cultural, and economic issues.

Ayham Alsahli | Scenarios of Tony's story

A fiction work that tells the story of a Syrian-Palestinian young man living in Mar Elias camp in Beirut. He observes his lonely old neighbor and imagines the reasons why he lives alone. The text attempts to present a different view of the marginal reality of the Syrian and Syrian-Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. It seeks to understand the Syrian and Syrian-Palestinian self through a closed community, i.e. the camp, especially since the situation is almost the same in terms of forced asylum where the only difference is related to the time of asylum and displacement.

Feras Almassarani | Unfamiliar Passage

A fiction work that tackles the character of Nabih Wardan, a pigeon breeder who spends most of his time on the roof in one of the Syrian cities. The novel introduces Nabih's vast world and its peculiar customs and traditions. He and his friend later discover an unusual passage that leads to a different time dimension in the same place. The new time dimension has different characteristics, where pigeons talk and communicate with people. War takes Nabih away from this unusual passage and changes his life conditions as he enters a spiritual and practical experience and marches on a journey to reach the passage again.

Joan Teter | Turn back to the Flag

A documentary narrative prose on military service in Syria from 2010 to early 2012. The book is divided into two parts. The first part includes methods of conscription through scenes witnessed by the author himself. The second part contains a narrative prose on the hierarchy experienced by Syrians during military service with details of the barracks and places of service in terms of relations between soldiers from different Syrian areas and the memories that continue to exist for long periods of time.

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.


In cooperation with:


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