Barely a year later, Yasser wrote his first poem, “Traces,” about his experiences on the run. "I suppressed some of the things that happened on the way. They only come up again now through writing, and that’s a form of closure," he said in an interview with ZDF tivi in 2017. "Someone who grew up in security and prosperity can't understand that. But if you explain it, for example in a poem, people might think about what would happen if they were to suffer the same fate: war, desolation, or hopelessness. Then they can relate to it and understand it better."

Image: © Rottkay

In Iran as in Afghanistan, poetry plays an important role. Feelings and stories are preserved in verse and are recited in everyday situations - over dinner, in a taxicab, going shopping. The Poetry Project is based on this narrative tradition, which thrives on a special linguistic density and emotional depth. Things that seem unspeakable at first are transformed into an artistic dialogue; conversely, things that seemed foreign become more familiar.