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Press releases

Contemporary Arab Artists from the Middle East
Palestine Cyclamen
Moderator: Friederike Pannewick (Berlin)

DisORIENTation ,
Palestine Cyclamen

Tuesday, April 15 2003, 7 p.m.
House of World Cultures
Admission: 4 EUR / 2.50 EUR
Arabic and German with translation

Zakaria Mohammed, a Palestinian author from Ramallah, will read from his novel Cyclamen (‘Asa ar-ra’i) on April 15 in the House of World Cultures as part of the reading series section of DisORIENTation – Contemporary Arab Artists from the Middle East.
The novel Cyclamen, published in Beirut, takes the reader on a journey through contemporary Ramallah – through the city’s streets and cafes and the surrounding countryside, but also through the Israeli checkpoints around the Israeli settlements. The central theme of the book is the impossibility of realizing personal needs and goals in a time and place that is so highly politicized.
While searching for a treasure buried by an Ottoman soldier in World War I, the narrator – a journalist and writer – is confronted with the news that his brother, who disappeared in Lebanon, is still alive. He sets out in search of his missing brother, a search that takes him to the limits of his endurance. At last he encounters a man who might be his brother – but before the questions can be cleared up, the two are faced with irate Israeli settlers.
Zakaria Mohammed, born in1951 near Nablus, studied Arabic literature in Baghdad before spending ten years in Beirut, Amman and Damascus as a freelance journalist. He returned to his homeland in 1993. He lives in Ramallah as a journalist and editor (for example at the cultural journal “al-Karmel”, published by Mahmud Darwish). Mohammed has published four collections of poetry, two novels, a play and several children’s books. He also works as a painter and sculptor.
For more information please contact:
The House of World Cultures, Petra Stegmann, phone: 030-397 87 291, fax: 030 - 397 87 159, e-mail:
Further readings at DisORIENTation: Miral Al-Tahawi (Cairo), “The Blue Aubergine“, Thursday, April 14, 7 p.m.; Najwa Barakat (Paris) and Ghassan Zaqtan (Ramallah), “Places of Memory”, Tuesday, April 29, 7 p.m.

Petra Stegmann
Haus der Kulturen der Welt / House of World Cultures
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin