Side by Side – Syrian-Jewish (Hi)Stories

13 Nov 2020 – 19 Dec 2020

Regular hours

15:00 – 19:00
14:00 – 18:00
15:00 – 19:00

Free admission


Berlin, Germany


Travel Information

  • U8

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The exhibition deals with the history of the Jewish quarter in Damascus. The Syrian documentary photographer Rania Kataf went on a search for traces of this community and photographed the Jewish quarter and portrayed some of the last remaining Jewish inhabitants in interviews.


The Jewish community in Syria was once the largest in the Arabic-speaking world. Hence the vast architectural influences and religious symbolic that can be found in the Jewish quarter of Damascus. Supplemented by stories of the inhabitants and background information, the exhibition shows the coexistence of the Muslim majority and Jewish minority. It also addresses the multiple – often fluid – identities that exist between Arabic, Jewish, and Syriac, and addresses the ostensible contradiction that arises between Jewish and Arabic. The video interview with the US-American journalist Maurice Chammah on his father’s Syrian-Jewish origins, also shown in the exhibition, takes up and deepens these subjects in the form of a personal reflection.
Rania Kataf is a Syrian documentary photographer and journalist who is involved in numerous projects to protect Syrian cultural heritage in times of war. Kataf lives and works in Damascus. In the group „Humans of Damascus“, which she founded with now over 21,000 members on Facebook, she tries to collect stories and contemporary documents about the people of Damascus.
Numerous events and educational formats are planned as part of the exhibition, about which we will inform separately due to the current situation of the Covid 19 pandemic.

The exhibition is part of the project “The Course of (Hi)Stories”  of  “Minor – Projektkontor für Bildung und Forschung”.
The project examines narratives by immigrants about Jews, the Shoah, and Israel. Focusing on four selected countries of origin (Syria, Poland, Morocco, and Russia), it aims to create a sound knowledge base about narratives in these countries and in the corresponding communities of immigrants in Germany. The aim is to make this knowledge available for political education.
The project is funded by the Federal Agency for Civil Education and the Federal Foreign Ministry. It is under the patronage of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.

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Exhibiting artists

Rania Kataf


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