Syria-based Fawasel publishing house has recently released an Arabic translation of "Berlin liegt im Osten" (Berlin Exists in the East) novel by the German writer of Russian descent Nellja Veremej. The novel was translated from German into Arabic by Waheed Nader.
"The novel takes us to a small city in the Caucasus Mountains, and then leads us to Berlin through Leningrad. First, the writer speaks about her childhood in Caucasus and her dreams in Berlin at the time. Then, she explains how these dreams faded in face of the challenging life in Germany. She also recalls the coincidences and moments of luck, and the moments that she never thought could happen.
Veremej tells her own stories about Berlin, the city in which the east meets the west in a magical way, in addition to so many incidents from the beginning till the end of the novel with special and obvious use of the pronoun "I."
"Although she works at a nursing home serving elderlies, a job that interests no one, she used the pronoun "I" to tell the stories of those elderlies as if their lives were part of her and our life. This is how the novel, nominated for the German Book Award 2013, offers a panoramic work featuring thousands of stories," the publisher wrote.
Veremej was born in 1963 in the Soviet Union and studied at the Leningrad University. She lives in Berlin since 1994, where she works as social worker at a nursing home and teaches Russian language. She works in journalism and literature, and has many articles published in the Der Freitag, a German weekly newspaper. The writer was honored several times and received many prizes including the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 2014.