The association Give Something Back to Berlin celebrated a summer festival on June 19, 2024, at Refugio Café in Neukölln – and we were there. 

Give Something Back to Berlin is an association that brings together migrants, refugees, and locals, creating concrete cultural offerings. This creates spaces where new and established Berliners can meet. Their mission: engagement at the local level for an open and inclusive society. The open multilingual program of the summer festival included small workshops like guitar playing, Arabic calligraphy, crocheting, and a pub quiz. Afterwards, there was delicious food and a diverse stage program. In addition to an in-house Arabic choir, our poets Rahmetullah Berxwedan Andan and Jamal Abasi performed. 

Their poems dealt with some very painful memories. Despite the otherwise cheerful mood of the evening, these texts were received deeply moved by the audience. After the readings, there was thunderous applause – a moving moment of connection and appreciation. Such moments remind us of how important it is to create space for both positive and negative emotions. The reading ended on a positive note with lines from Jamal’s poem House of Hope: You gave me back the lost house, / At the end of the long journey of flight. / Even if I am not born of your body, / I may still be a blessing for you. / Now that I am far from home, you are the house of my hope. 

Thanks to everyone who made this evening so special.