After her escape from Syria: Poet Lina Atfah wins the Ruhr Prize for Literature in Germany

Syrian poet and writer residing in Germany, Lina Atfah, won the main prize of the Ruhr Competition for Literature, for her collection “Shroud of Butterflies,” as the best work of poetry translated into German.

German media say that Atfah, the young woman who has been writing poems since her school days and was forced by war, death, and detention to flee her homeland to Germany, achieved her second victory in Germany.

The book was translated from Arabic to German by Brigitte Oleschinski and Othman Al-Youssoufi.

This is the first time that a work translated from a foreign language – in this case from Arabic – has won the Ruhr Prize for Literature, according to the “Amal, Berlin!” website.

The award ceremony was held in the city of Essen inside the Kreuzeskirche Church, with the presence of the Minister of Culture and Science of North Rhine State, the Mayor of Essen, in addition to other dignitaries. Atfah has lived in Germany since 2014.

Atfah had previously won the Liberator Prize at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2020 for her poetry collection translated into German, entitled “The Book of Missing Arrival.”

She donated the prize, worth three thousand euros, to benefit Syrian families and children, out of gratitude for the kindness that the Syrians showered upon her through supporting her by voting.

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