What does it mean to maintain or rediscover one’s literary voice in a new place, a new language? Silke Kleemann and Martin Lickleder introduce Iranian author and interpreter Ayeda Alavie and Syrian Writers-in-Exile scholarship holder Fouad Yazji and discuss their experience of arriving in Germany as well as living and writing between languages and cultures.
Syrian writer Fouad Yazji grew up as the son of orthodox Christians in Homs, studied educational theory, and became a master chess player in his hometown before he turned entirely to literature. Among others, he wrote the novels “The Blue Volga” and “The Seven Prayers of Love”. He was involved in the revolution and had to leave Syria eight months later. He fled to Egypt and was able to relocate to Munich, Germany, in November 2015 as a scholarship holder of the Writers-in-Exile Programme.
Author and interpreter Ayeda Alavie wrote numerous literary texts for children and adolescents in her native country Iran, some of which she illustrated herself. She has received several awards for her work and most recently earned praise for her translation of Christine Nöstlinger’s “Maikäfer flieg” into Persian and her translation of Michael Ende’s “Wunschpunsch”, which will be released soon. Since 2016, Ayeda Alavie has been translating and writing for Hagebutte Verlag in Munich, which among other things publishes contemporary German and Persian literature and encourages a dialogue between the language areas.
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