Following a rousing review in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, almost all of the 240 seats of the Black Box im Gasteig at the 60th Munich Book Show were taken.

Theresa Rüger gave a short introduction to the workshops held by the Poetry Project. Then Ali Alzaeem, Rojin Namer, and Muska and Robina Karimi presented their texts about their old and new home countries – as usual in their native languages, Arabic and Farsi. Anne Bontemps and Michael Schröder read the texts in German. The audience was especially impressed by Muska’s poem about being a woman in Afghanistan: »A daughter hears from her mother: You are a piece of white cloth. But you get dirty quickly.«

In the subsequent questions session, the audience participants were enormously surprised to see how outstandingly well our poets already speak German. In keeping with the continuing #MeToo debate, much of the discussion revolved around the experiences of women.

It is a delight to see how strongly the self-confidence of growing young women is already developing. When asked about the differences between Syria and Germany, Rojin quick-wittedly raised a laugh: »Of course I see differences. As a woman in Germany, you have considerably more freedom. But equality does not exist here, either. For example, I would not simply urinate at the side of the road…«

After applause that lasted some minutes, there was an opportunity to buy our book of poems and have it signed. This gave our poets a close-up impression of the enthusiasm that they had generated in the audience:

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Book signing | Photo © Rottkay

We would like to thank Edith Offermann for the organisation and for looking after us superbly, and also the Schauburg – Theater für junges Publikum (Young People’s Theatre), who provided the two actors.