Krakow hosts Syrian poet Kholoud Charaf as refugee

Kholoud Charaf (phot. ICORN)
Kholoud Charaf (phot. ICORN)

The City of Krakow has begun hosting Syrian poet and art critic Kholoud Charaf as a part of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN).

Charaf was originally trained as a medical technician, a capacity in which she worked with female prisoners in As-Suwayda in southwestern Syria. In 2013, she witnessed abuse of prisoners and received a death threat from a police officer if she revealed it.

Since then, she has turned to poetry and art criticism, and has also worked as an English teacher, but in Syria she was still unable to express herself freely. Further endangering her is her status as a divorcee, which is seen there as bringing shame to the family and which heightens her risk of kidnapping by militant groups.

During her two years in Krakow, Charaf plans to integrate with the community as much as possible while working on her poetry as well as two additional books connected to her experiences in Syria.

Charaf will be the eighth writer hosted by Krakow, a UNESCO City of Literature, since it joined ICORN in 2011. Others include prize-winning Turkish author, human rights activist, journalist, and former CERN particle physicist Aslı Erdoğan, who was jailed and maltreated for 136 days after returning from Krakow to her home country for her contributions to a pro-Kurdish newspaper.

ICORN is supported by the Krakow Festival Office and the Villa Decius Association.

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5 thoughts on “Krakow hosts Syrian poet Kholoud Charaf as refugee

  • March 18, 2018 at 10:57 am
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    As usual, all the important, practical and useful news that you need to know if you live in Krakow…..

    Nah, just kidding. The KP is just a clumsy personal blog for Steven Hoffman.

    -Syrian refugees
    -Retro trains
    -Women’s March
    -World Cat Day!
    -Useless restaurant reviews
    -Wisla/Cracovia texts that seem to be written in Urdu and fed through a broken version of Google Translate

    Can’t wait to see what comes next.

    Reply
    • March 18, 2018 at 8:00 pm
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      Thanks for your comment, Bart. We’re always trying to improve and are very open to constructive criticism. What kind of content would you like to see more of in the future?

      Reply
  • March 18, 2018 at 10:08 pm
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    @ Bart

    You forgot the music reviews, Bart! (Just like you forgot to give your last name!)

    Speaking of music and poets, check this out. Here’s a guy who looks a bit like Polish-American poet John Guzlowski. Completely random track, because I just happened to be listening to this. As a famous person once said: “people who like this sort of thing will find it the sort of thing they like”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCKfIp0be5M

    Reply
  • April 12, 2018 at 9:38 pm
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    He does look like me!!

    Could be brothers.

    Reply
    • April 14, 2018 at 11:48 am
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      Brothers in artistry.

      Reply

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