This evening at 6pm, Syrian refugee writer, art critic, activist, and medical technician Kholoud Charaf will read her poetry at Massolit Books and Cafe in Krakow.
The poems, performed in both Arabic and English, touch on the subjects of both loss and hope faced by refugees.
Charaf was originally trained as a medical technician and worked with female prisoners in southwestern Syria’s As-Suwayda, but she left when she felt threatened by the country’s civil war. Since then, as a poet and critic she has been awarded numerous grants and awards, most recently the 2019 Ibn Battuta Prize for her collection The Return Journey to the Mountain: A Diary in the Shadow of War.
Every year since 2011, Krakow hosts a refugee writer as a member of the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), supported by th Krakow Festival Office and the Villa Decius Association. Charaf came to Krakow in spring 2018. Previous guests have included 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.