Nyazi Bakki is a Syrian filmmaker from Aleppo, who now lives in Cologne. He and his wife Dinan Hesso will be our guests at our first Bonnections event of the year at Bonn’s Central Library, presenting his documentary film project about Padre Paolo Dall’Oglio.
Dall’Oglio is a Jesuit priest and charasmatic peace activist who was abducted by ISIS militants in July 2013 in the city of Raqqa. The fate of Padre Paolo remains unkown.
Before his kidnapping, the Italian priest had served for three decades at the Deir Mar Musa, a 6th-century monastery 80 kilometres north of Damascus. He reconstructed the Mar Musa complex and turned it into a center of interfaith dialogue.
Bakki was working on a documentary film about Padre Paulo Dall’Oglio, his insprirational life and teaching before he fled from Syria to Europe. He will show us a short video about the film project and talk about his refugee journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy and his new exile life in Germany.
Bakki now wants to finish his film about Padre Paolo and his fight for tolerance, justice and peace – with a shift of focus from the Syrian uprising to their intertwined life stories and cross-continental journeys.
Niro Malek decided to stay in Aleppo. He is a writer and Bakki’s father-in-law. He tried to carry on with “normal” life as best he can, with daily strolls through the neighborhood and visits to his favorite café, and wrote a book about his life in Aleppo during war time. Born in Aleppo in 1946, Malek says he writes to stay alive.
The book (“Le promeneur d’Alep”) was published in 2015 in France and received the 2016 Prix Loriontales (oriental literature award). A German translation of the book will be released in March, published by Bonn based Weidle Verlag and translated from the Arabic by Larissa Bender.
The book is a collection of 55 “miniatures” –short stories, memories and essays– that describe the present-day reality in Aleppor, but also the happily remembered past and dreams for the future. Many of these texts were first published on his Facebook page, where the Syrian author continues to post short updates in Arabic.
We will read exerpts of the book in German, Arabic and French at the intercultural Bonnections reading on February 1st at 6 p.m.
The event is free of charge and everyone is warmly welcome.Literarischer Salon, Central Library, Mühlheimplatz 1, 53111 Bonn