“Home are memories”

In an interview, Widad Nabi describes what the words home and future mean to her.

Was bedeutet Heimat für dich?

“Heimat sind die Erinnerungen.
Deine Kindheit.
Dein erster Test des Lebensvokabulars wie Liebe, Hass, Vergessen, der Schmerz, Freude.
Heimat ist das Bild des Exils, bevor Du es weißt.”

Was wünschst Du dir für deine Zukunft?

“Etwas von dem, was ich geträumt und gewünscht habe.
Dann habe ich alles verloren.
Ich warte nicht mehr auf etwas in der Zukunft.
Nicht mehr.”

Wie gehst Du mit deiner Vergangenheit um? Welche Erinnerungen beschäftigen dich?

“Manchmal schreibe ich über die Vergangenheit, um nervige und schmerzhafte Erinnerungen loszuwerden.

Einige Erinnerungen, über die ich nicht gerne schreibe.
Denn bis heute konnte ich sie in meinem Leben nicht akzeptieren.
Sie besuchen mich in Form von Albträumen.
Mein Leben macht mir am Tage Sorgen”.

What does home mean to you?

“Home are memories.
Your childhood.
The first test of your life vocabulary like love, hate, forgetting, the pain, joy.
Home is the image of exile before you know it.”

What do you wish for in the future?

“Something I have dreamt of and wished for.
Then I lost it.
I no longer wait for anything in the future.
Not anymore.”

How do you deal with the past? What memories are on your mind?

“Sometimes I write about the past in order to get rid of annoying and painful memories.

A few memories I don’t like to write about.
Because until I know I haven’t been able to welcome them into my life.
They visit me in my nightmares.
My life worries me by day.”

Widad Nabi was born in Kobani and now lives in Berlin. The Syrian-Kurdish writer studied economics in Aleppo. She published numerous texts in newspapers and magazines. In Germany, she has published in the Berliner Zeitung, SPON and Kursbuch, among others. Her first book in German was published in 2019 and in 2018 she received the first “Weiterschreiben-Stipendium Wiesbaden”.

In her texts Widad Nabi deals with the loss of familiar places, people and languages, but also with her arrival in the new city of Berlin. Her poems, which are published in the “Weiterschreiben”, can also be listened to there.

In a written interview with We Refugees Archive in July 2020, Widad Nabi answered questions about her life in Berlin, her memories and hopes.

Published with kind permission of Widad Nabi

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