I am an Arab-Jew born and raised in Haifa Israel. I am a writer, poet, activist, author and editor now based in Berlin Germany. My personal and artistic mission is to shine a light on injustice and discrimination and disrupt the status quo by using Syncretism in my writing and the events I produce. I look to the past and to the future in order to find fresh new solutions for the present and work to bridge existing cultural divides. Whether it's Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews in Israel, Israelis and Palestinians or Middle Eastern refugees and Europe. Syncretic art involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other cultures. I believe in the power of words and their ability to bring about lasting change and I hope that mine make a difference in some way.
My writing is diverse and eclectic. It includes poetry, plays, newspaper and articles, art exhibition content, short stories and more.
My works have been translated to several languages, including a recent bi-lingual [German-Hebrew] collection of poems (2019): “Baghdad - Haifa - Berlin: 40 ausgewählte Gedichte - Hebräisch-deutsche Ausgabe, mit einem Gedicht in arabischer Übersetzung”. My first book of articles “An eruption from the east: Re visiting the emergence of the Mizrahi artistic explosion and it's imprint on the Israeli cultural narrative 2006-2019“ published “Iton 77” publishers in Israel (2020).
I am honored to have my works receive significant recognition, wining several prizes including “Best poetry book debut of the year” (National art trust of the Israel lottery 2001); Selected appearance of “What has become of Independence day” play in the Small-Bama festival of the University of Tel Aviv; Best poetry book of the year (Haifa Cultural Foundation 2006); Honorable mention in “Haaretz” Annual short story contest (2011); Winner of the Acum grant for advocating literature in Israel (2013) among others.
I have written for journalism In Israel, both online and in print. I was a contributing writer for “Israel Hayom”, one of the largest newspapers in the country, from its early days until moving to Berlin (2007-2014), writing both weekly columns and book reviews. I also wrote a blog on Mako’s site (Channel 2). After moving to Berlin I became a contributing writer for Haaretz newspaper, writing a column titled “Israeli in Berlin” for the culture section edited by Benny Ziffer. I currently write for Plus61J magazine. In addition I have written many articles for art exhibitions and catalogs, most notably at the Museum of Tel Aviv where my text on the artistic work of Avi Ganor has been exhibited. I also completed an article about the artistic work of the Amsterdam based artist Joseph Sassoon Semah participated in a conference discussing his work. Another interview with Semach was published on the Berliner Zeitung (2021).
Over the last ten years I’ve been part of the ongoing activism to raise the voice and rights and heritage of the Mizrahi people (Arab-Jews) in Israel and all over the world. I was active in the Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow (2004-2007) and part of “Ruh Jadida” (2011) and other initiatives. I coined the category of Third Mizrahi Generation in Israel. Lately I signed the Mizrahi petition against the nation law.
In Israel I was one of the founders of “Guerrilla Culture” (2007-2013), a movement that connected between social change advocacy and poetic creativity. This movement changed the face of the Israeli poetic sphere. It politicized it and published many anthologies and books. It gave a voice to writers like the famous poet Adi Keissar who published her first successful book with us, we also published the first anthologies of Ars Poetica events, Eyal Ben Moshe’s first novel, Meital Nissim’s poetry book, the viral play “Good Energies”, and more. I was also one of the founders of the Poets Union that strives to fulfill and protect poets rights.
After moving to Berlin I founded “Poetic Hafla” a group that has created literary, music & art performance events featuring a diverse collection of artists from all over the world. I am now working on a new literary project “Anu אנו نحن: Jews and Arabs writing in Berlin”.
Throughout the years I’ve taught, lectured and performed on many different stages. I was a lecturer in Minshar College in Israel. I also taught creative wiring at the Ron Vardi Center in Rishon LeZion in Israel. Now I am teaching creative Hebrew writing in Berlin and throughout Europe.
On 2021 my novel "The Prize" was published in Israel. It is my tenth book that got published. Now i am working its translation to German. In an interview with 'Der Tagesspiegel', i talked about my latest publications including "Bleiben oder widersteheh: Wem gehört die deutsche Kultur und andere Texte und Gedichte".
What brought you to Berlin? Love? World politics? Or was it a coincidence?
The poetry brought me to Berlin. I was invited on 2012 to a translation workshop. I fell in love by coincidence with a Berliner and we got married and waiting for our first child. So poetry and love collided with coincidence.
What do you love about Berlin?
The peace. It does not have a war with another country and it does not occupy another people. Other then that i love the relax way of life.
What do you miss in Berlin?
I miss what all the immigrants miss: their loved ones, family, friends, country of origin, the middle east climate and food and more other things.
What is your favorite spot in Berlin?
Tempelhofer Feld. It is a living creature.
Would you say you are a different person in Berlin? A different translator? And if yes, in what way?
Yes. Berlin has changed me quite a lot. I became more queer, in everlasting translations with the other people i meet.
Which existing literary work do you wish you had written?
"2666" by Roberto Bolanio.
2013, Acum grant for Israeli culture for the publication of the poetry book “The poetry that will never reach the shore”.
2022, The novel "The Prize" was on the final list of books nominated for the Shulamit Aloni's literary prize.
2022, Stipendienprogramm im Raumen von Neustart Kultur und VG Wort.
2022, “L’CHAIM - AUF EIN WORT|FESTIVAL“ - Zentrum für verfolgte Künste.
2022 My poems participated in the exhibition “Jüdisches Berlinerzählen. Mein, Euer, Unser?” kuratiert von Anja Siegemund, Eva Lezzi, Stefanie Höpfner. Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum.
2021, The Berlin Senate Grant for the “Middle East Union” festival.
2021, The Lyrik festival W:ORTE Innsbruck Festival. Austria.
2021, Acum foundation to promote Israeli art and literature for the publication of the novel “The Prize”.
2021, “Mygration” Festival in Berlin.
2020, Acum grant for Israeli culture for the publication “An Eruption from the East: Re Visiting the Emergence of the Mizrahi Artistic Explosion and it’s its Impront on the Israeli cultural narrative 2006-2019”.
2020, A full grant from the Lottery fund for literature for the publication “Acum grant for Israeli culture for the publication”.
2019, “Deutsche-Israelite Literaturetage". Boell Foundation and Goethe Institute.
2018, Hörspiel “Das künftige Ufer” WDR.
2018, National Lottery Art Trust Grant.
2017, Radical Jewish Festival – Maxim Gorki Theater.
2017, Musrara Mix festival. Jerusalem.
2017, LCB Berlin Sommerfest.
2016, Helicon International Literary Festival. Israel.
2016, Basel International Literary Festival. Switzerland.