Ein Stein überdauert
Die nicht einmal natürlichen
Todes gewiß sind

Doch nur
In uns
Überlebt die Geschichte
Dieses Steins die Hand
Die ihn gehaun
Zu Tempeln

Und zu Staub

Sein Tod geht
Durch uns hindurch
Ins Leben
Überlistet von unserer
Adel Karasholi

from Wenn Damaskus nicht ware: Gedichte (München: A1, 1999)

Reproduced by permission of the author and translator.
It is written
A stone outlasts
Who are not even certain of a
Natural death

Yet solely
In us
Survives the history
Of this stone the hand
That clove it
Into temples

And to dust

Its death ascends
Straight through us
Into life
Outwitted by our
Imagination’s wit
translated by Suhayl Saadi
Adel Karasholi

Adel Karasholi, born in Damascus of Kurdish descent, was forced to flee Syria in 1959 when the Arab Writers’ Association, of which he was the youngest member, was proscribed. He settled in Leipzig in 1961 where he completed his PhD on Brechtian theatre. He lectured at Leipzig University from 1968 to 1993 and has since worked as a freelance writer and translator. In recognition of his achievements in poetry, Adel Karasholi was awarded the Chamisso Prize in 1992.

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Suhayl Saadi

Suhayl Saadi, born in 1961 in England of Pakistani parents, was brought up in Glasgow, where he now works as a writer and doctor. His short-story collection The Burning Mirror was shortlisted for the Saltire Awards in 2001. The following year he edited Shorts 5: The Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Collection. His poems have appeared in various anthologies, including several of the pocketbooks series, and been commissioned by, among others, Nationale Vita Activa and the National Museum of Scotland. His novel Psychoraag was published in 2004.

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About Ugarit

M/Other Tongues, a poetry event which took place at the Scottish Poetry Library from 28 February to 2 March 2002, brought to Scotland two poets writing in German although it is not their mother tongue: Adel Karascholi from Syria, who has lived in Leipzig since the early '60s, and Dragica Rajčić from Croatia, who has lived in Switzerland since the outbreak of war in the former Yugoslavia.

They were paired with two Scottish poets who have also lived between two languages and/or cultures: Suhayl Saadi of Pakistani/Afghani descent who lives in Glasgow, and Christopher Whyte, of Irish descent, who writes in Scottish Gaelic and lives in Edinburgh.