Mar 26, 2021

UNESCO World Poetry Day 2021 with Omar al-Jaffal

In 2000, UNESCO established a special world day (March 21) for celebrating poetry. Honored is the relevance of poetry, the diversity of language and the importance of oral traditions. From the beginning, the Haus für Poesie in Berlin//Germany has organized this headline event in Germany along with its partners, among them Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Omar al-Jaffal. Foto: Frank Kleinbach.

For this year’s edition of the poetry festival, former Solitude fellow Omar al-Jaffal joined together online with four other authors – Suvi Valli, Volker Braun, Angélica Freitas und Nancy Campbell – on Sunday, March 21, 2021. Omars texts evince the pain and anger affiliated with the crises of our time. On World Poetry Day this year, he read his poem »Wir wollen nur das Leben«.

Omar al-Jaffal is a poet, researcher, and journalist from Baghdad/Iraq. As a journalist, he writes for international and Arab newspapers and websites, including Asia Times, Al-Monito, and Assafir al-Arabi. Omar is also the deputy director for the Iraqi Observatory of Human Rights and a member of the executive committee of The Iraqi House of Poetry. Omar already published two poetry collections, The Betrayal of Miss Life (in 2009) and Life in an Exhausted Stretcher (in 2016). In addition, his poems were published in several ontologies such as the Ontology of Contemporary Iraqi Poetry in Arabic, and Das Herz verlässt keinen Ort, an dem es hängt in Germany in 2019. Omar al-Jaffal was a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude until September 2020.

Find the Online Stream of the poetry festival 2021 on YouTube (below) and on Facebook:

Omar al-Jaffal’s video contribution is produced by Andreas Bolm, who was also a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2013/14. The music is by Atef Al-Jaffal and Hussain Al-Harbi. The German translation of the poem »Wir wollen nur das Leben« is by Suleman Taufiq.


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