Alumni Project

AGYA Literary Salon

Event Series

Literature opens up windows to social realities, past, present, and future. What matters even more, fictional texts allow both author and reader to engage with these realities. The diversity of voices in world literature encourages us to shift perspectives and overcome stereotypes. 

The new event series ‘AGYA Literary Salon’ hosts both established and emerging Arab and German authors to discuss their literary careers, visions, and latest works. The Salon especially aims to introduce new literary talents and unknown texts to the public, presenting new thoughts, expressing human values, and providing a source for inspiration. 

Salon with Fadhil al-Azzawi − Literature, Politics, and Experience

The AGYA Literary Salon kicked off in Berlin hosting the Iraqi-born writer, novelist, and critic Dr. Fadhil al-Azzawi. This first Salon explored the avant-garde cross-genre literary work of Fadhil al-Azzawi, Arabic literature in Germany, and the magical effect that poems can have. The topics were discussed in conversation with invited experts, Dr. Saleem al-Bahloly, New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE and Prof. Dr. Friederike Pannewick, University of Marburg, Germany. The panel was moderated by AGYA alumnus Prof. Dr. Bilal Orfali, New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Event details:
12 September 2022, 7 p.m. 
Einstein Hall, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), Berlin with Livestream on AGYA YouTube Channel

Watch the recorded salon below!

Salon with Muhsin al-Ramli − Iraq, Dreams, and Expression

The second Salon welcomes Dr. Muhsin al-Ramli, Iraqi writer, poet, co-founder and editor of the Arabic literature magazine Alwah. Being famous for his translations of classical Spanish literature such as Don Quixote into Arabic, Muhsin al-Ramli talks about his writing experience between Iraq and Spain, about lost dreams, and his anguished Iraq. The conversation also takes up the question on how to write about Iraq today without falling into the trap of memory and whether literature help us move forward.

Event details:
12 October 2022, 6 p.m.
Online via Zoom with Livestream 

Salon with Daniela Danz – Society, Motifs, and Language

The third Salon introduces the award-winning German writer and art historian Dr. Daniela Danz. In her poems, novels, and short stories, she addresses social and political questions of our age as well as literary motifs of ancient classical literature and the period around 1800. In doing so, she shows a thorough and skillful use of the German language, which was honored with the Deutschen Sprachpreis 2022. The Salon explores the question of how Daniela Danz connects past and future in her multifaceted works, both in terms of motifs and language.

Event details:
Date and time tbc.
Online via Zoom with Livestream 

Salon with Maha Hassan − War, Writing, and Freedom

The fourth Salon hosts the Syrian-Kurdish novelist and short story writer Maha Hassan residing in France. Sharing her writing experiences, the conversation with Maha Hassan reflects on what it means to write in Arabic from exile and to write freely about a prison that was once considered home.

Event details:
9 November 2022, 6 p.m.
Online via Zoom with Livestream 

The AGYA Literary Salon builds on the series of very successful online interviews with prominent Arab and German writers, journalists, and intellectuals such as Dr. Jokha Alharthi, Christoph Reuter, and Hoda Barakat organized in the framework of the AGYA Alumni Lecture Series in 2021.

Disciplines Involved
Literature, Arabic Studies, Arabic & Islamic Studies
12 September 2022
12 October 2022
9 November 2022
Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW) & online
Project Title
AGYA Literary Salon
Funding Scheme
Alumni Project
Countries Involved
Germany, Lebanon

AGYA Literary Salon with Fadhil al-Azzawi

Watch the discussion about Fadhil al-Azzawi’s avant-garde cross-genre literary work, Arabic literature in Germany, and the magical effect of poems.

Video Cover