Short biography

© Osman Yousufi
© Osman Yousufi

Lina Atfah


June, July, August 2020

Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kultur des Landes Brandenburg

Lina Atfah was born in Salamiyah, Syria. She studied Arabic literature at the University of Damascus, writes for various Arabic and German newspapers and cultural magazines and has published an Arabic poetry collection entitled On the Edge of Rescue. In March 2019 her second book, a bilingual book of poetry (German/Arabic) entitled Das Buch von der fehlenden Ankunft was published. In 2017 she participated in the translation workshop ‘Die Poesie der Nachbarn’ (The Poetry of the Neighbors) at Künstlerhaus Edenkoben. Since 2017 she has been writing for the project ‘Weiterschreiben’ (Continue writing), an online platform for authors from areas of conflict. Following a nomination by Nino Haratishvili in 2017, she was awarded the Hertha Koenig-Förderpreis, a prize for young women writers, and an IKF scholarship in 2019. In 2006, at the age of 17, she was accused of blasphemy and insulting the state and was banned from all cultural events in Syria. As a participant in the demonstrations against the regime and after several investigations and threats by the security authorities, she finally received a one-time permission to leave the country. Since 2014 she has been living in Herne in NRW, Germany.

During her fellowship she plans to work on a new book of poetry entitled Love and Gold. The texts are inspired by Gustav Klimt's works and attempt to take a poetic look at Klimt's paintings.

In our showcase: Lina Atfah's poem Tränenketten