Many artists have fled to Germany to escape the death, violence and destruction in Syria. What did they think they would await them here? How do they live today? Jaafar Abdul Karim meets some of them in Berlin.
Many artists and students came to Germany with the large wave of refugees a year ago. How are they getting on now? What is strange to them, and what is familiar? What are their dreams? Journalist and presenter Jaafar Abdul Karim takes us through Berlin and presents artists who have fled from Syria:
Jaafar is impressed by how Salma inspires women to be more confident and courageous in dealing with their husbands.
Salma Jreigis a law student from Damascus. In Berlin, she wants to finish her studies and later hopes to help rebuild her homeland. But right now she is waiting on tables, working as a museum guide for other refugees at the German Historical Museum and learning German, which she already speaks almost perfectly.
Ammar Al-Beikhas also been living in Berlin for eighteen months. He makes films about the rebellion and war in Syria and has been invited to the Berlin and Venice film festivals. He spent the first few months in Germany in a refugee camp, where he filmed with his mobile phone. He’s now using the material for a new film.
Artist and writer Kefah Ali Deeb was an opposition activist who fled Syria in November 2014 after repeated detentions. Jaafar Abdulkarim visits her in her studio, where she is working on her latest paintings. He also accompanies her to the “Asylothek” in the Tempelhof refugee center. Here she reads to refugee children from her award-winning book “Picnic with Turtle.”
Jaafar also talks to photographer Hayyan Al-Yousouf from Deir ez-Zor, much of which has been occupied by the so-called Islamic State. He was even contacted by IS and eventually realized he had to escape if he was to survive. He came to Germany via the Balkan route. Now he has his first exhibition in Berlin,. The photos from his home town show how the war affects every aspect of daily life there.
Finally, Jaafar meets the singer Enana. As a lesbian, she didn’t have an easy life in Syria and was often a victim of hostility and even physical violence. Here in Berlin, she has become part of the city’s LGBT scene and has been busily performing her music.
The documentary is a co-production of DW and rbb.
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