Damascus

Rojin Namer 

Kamishli, Syria

 

How shall I describe Damascus?
How shall I describe paradise to those who do not know it?
Syria’s heart.
My soul.
Others’ hope.
That is Damascus.

Where there are wars.
Where bombs fall every day.
Where people are afraid.
That is Damascus.

What I dream of every day.
Where my roots are.
That is Damascus.

Where I ask the guilty one who is guilty.
Where no medicine stems the blood.
That is Damascus.

Where tourists went everywhere.
Where the streets are destroyed.
Where blood now flows.
My Damascus.

I miss your streets.
I miss your lights.
I miss your music,
which we hear every morning.
I miss your nights,
which are warm and full of life.
That is Damascus.

A city full of love.
A city full of blood.
Paradise
turned into a battle.

Where people shed tears of disappointment.
Of fear.
Not of joy.
That is Damascus.

My Damascus.
I want you back.
Back to me.

 

 

The Poetry Project, Foto © Rottkay

Rojin Namer (*2002)

fled alone from Damascus three years ago. She originally comes from Kamishli, a Kurdish town. She came as an unaccompanied minor to Berlin, where she attended the Friedrich Ebert High School. Her parents, brothers and sisters are living in Iraq as refugees. Rojin is a successful participant in debating contests, loves photography and wants to study philosophy. Foto © Rottkay

Like An Arrow

Mahdi Hashemi

Ghazni, Afghanistan, aufgewachsen in Iran

It took a month: the trip
That wasn’t a trip at all,
But rather a horror
Towards the land of hope.

Now I am waiting for a paper
That may contain bitterness and grief.
And I feel like an arrow.
Released.
Which should return
To its bow.


Translation from German: Maxmarie Wilmoth
The Poetry Project | Foto © Rottkay

Mahdi Hashemi (*2000)

When he was an infant, his family fled from Afghanistan to Iran. There, he grew up as a refugee, close to the capital Tehran. Mahdi Hashemi writes about why Afghan refugees in Iran even apologise for breathing the air there. Photo © Rottkay

Our Job

Emma Sörgel

Wendelstein, Germany

 

Integration can change so much.
Not for the worse, but for the better.
Towards coexistence.

“But it’s not our job to integrate them!”

It is often said that they should learn our language at last.
But how should they learn the language
if we don’t talk to them?

It is often said that they should get to know our culture.
But they can only do that if we show them.

It is often said that refugees are violent.
But aren’t we the violent ones?

Integration only works if we all take part.
If we don’t hide behind all of the prejudices.
Don’t seal ourselves off, but approach the others.

It is often said that the refugees should become like us.
But isn’t every person special, in his or her own way?
It’s diversity that makes the world so colourful.
There would be no more joy if everyone were the same.

 

Emma Sörgel (14)

lives in Wendelstein and goes to high school there. At school she takes part in the “School without Racism – School with Courage” working group and explores, among other things, the question of how to treat others with respect in everyday school life and what can be done to oppose every form of discrimination.

Traces

Yasser Niksada

Panshir, Afghanistan, raised in Iran


Be next to me and see
What has happened to me.
It is over, the trace still in my heart.
No room for me to sleep on this bus.
Withered feet, the dream sunk into the eye.
The police said stop.
Go back, go back.
All then in the train car, just me alone on the tracks.
The rubber boat sank and my heart, hot for Europe, turned cold.
The world slept, only we were awake,
Hungry, thirsty, tired.
We left; it will be more difficult to return.
All this tearing oneself up for a little bit of rest.
Not my rest.
The rest of my family.

 

Translation from German: Maxmarie Wilmoth
Foto © Rottkay

Yasser Niksada (*2002)

Yasser Niksada comes from the Panshir valley in Afghanistan. Ten years ago, the Niksadas fled to Teheran, where the family live as refugees. But that's no life, says Yasser. That's why the family sent him on a journey to Europe. In Germany, Yasser misses his family. Photo © Rottkay

Beginning of life

Mohamad Mashghdost

Bandar Anzali, Iran



The beginning of life was
That I did not exist.

There was a mother.
She was my God.

It was an unrequited love.
There was a father.
He was never there.

The body came to rest
But not the mind.
I was without solace.

The sister wanted to be a mother to me.
But she was tired.
I loved the mother.
She died.

I wanted to leave
And I stayed.
I wanted to stay
And I left.

Leaving was not important
And neither was staying.
I was important,
I, who did not exist.


Translation from German: Maxmarie Wilmoth
The Poetry Project, Foto © Rottkay

Mohamad Mashghdost (*1997)

The son of a taxi driver from Bandar-e Ansali, Iran, set off for Europe in autumn. At home, he was afraid of being drafted into the war in Syria. In Berlin, Mohamad Mashghdost wrote some outstanding poems about the lack of meaning and his native Iran. Today he lives in Husum. Photo © Rottkay

To the AfD

Sophia Grabendorfer

Wendelstein, Germany

 

I am afraid.
When I walk the streets and see blue-and-red election posters, I feel sick.
When I hear other people shouting anti-immigrant slogans, I get angry.
And when I look at the result of the last election, I feel afraid.

63 years of peace in Germany.
63 years with no slogans, no shootings, no concentration camps
and no fear for one’s own life.
Have we learned nothing from this period?
Is it so wrong to give to others what we now have?

Not so long ago
German children fled to Britain, German families to America.
And today many long for “the good old days again”.
Which good old days?

Were we better-off then than today?
Can’t we take a little bit of fear out of other people’s lives?

 

Sophia Grabendorfer (17)

lives in Wendelstein and goes to high school there. At school she takes part in the “School without Racism – School with Courage” working group and explores, among other things, the question of how to treat others with respect in everyday school life and what can be done to oppose every form of discrimination.