Hanan Badr / Nahed Samour (eds.), “Arab Berlin: Dynamics of Transformation”

Berlin is increasingly emerging as a hub of Arab intellectual life in Europe. In this first study of Arab culture to zoom in on the thriving metropolis, the contributors shed light on the dynamics of transformation with Arabs as agents, subjects, and objects of change in the spheres of politics, society and history, gender, demographics and migration, media and culture, and education and research. The kaleidoscopic character of the collection, embracing academic articles, essays, interviews and photos, reflects critical encounters in Berlin. It brings together authors from inter- and multidisciplinary fields and backgrounds and invites the readers into a much-needed conversation on contemporary transformations.

Overview Chapters


    1. Arab Berlin – Ambivalent Tales of a City

    Part 1: Exile, Migration, and Belonging

    2. On the Need to Shape the Arab Exile Body in Berlin

    3. Amal, Berlin! Arab media, Berlin-style

    4. The Arabs of Berlin face generations laden with guilt and trauma

    5. Hermeneutic Chicanery

    6. The Arab in the law of Berlin, or: ‘How does it feel to be a problem?’

    Part 2: Inclusion, Arts, and Activism

    7. On framing and de-framing the queer Arab

    8. “When I got off at Friedrichstraße, I was so happy to be back in East Berlin!”

    9. Berlin: A City of Indefinite Dreams?

   10. “We want to deconstruct the radical discourses in society”

    Part 3: Social Life

    11. “Berlin has that same inescapable magnetic energy of Cairo!”

    12. The tastes of Arab Berlin

    13. Will my son grow up to be sexist?

    14. Biographies in Motion

    Part 4: Cultural Life

    15. That’s how you people do things around here, right?!

    16. “Traveling for a better world with Alsharq Travels”

    17. Arendt’s Shadow

    18. “Memories in the Nights of Despair”

    Part 5: International Encounters in Education

    19. Arabic Sciences in the Humboldtian Cosmos

    20. Ḥasan Tawfīq al-Adl (d. 1904) – Arabic Tutor and Author at the Seminar für Orientalische Sprachen in Berlin, 1887–1892

    21. “In Berlin, I feel free – but COVID-19 made the city feel like a giant prison”

    22. “We help international academics who have found their way to Germany”

    23. On the Egyptian-German transfer of medical knowledge

    Part 6: Outlook

    24. Beyond Berlin

    25. “I’ve seen them grow up. They’re almost like my children.”

 31 October 2023, 342 pages

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