Baynatna – the Arabic Library in Berlin
The Arabic word baynatna means "between us". This Arabic-language library is located in ZLB (Berlin Central & Regional Library ) in the heart of Berlin. With an average of 350 visitors per month (2019) and over 3,500 books, the library serves a diverse and lively community.
The library holds a wide and growing selection of books and magazines in Arabic. As a venue, Baynatna offers literary readings, musical evenings and artistic workshops, events and workshops for children and youngsters, as well as a variety of socio-political events. The library also hosted the wildly successful first Arab-German Literature Days in 2018 and 2019.
Baynatna has an important function as one of the few safe places for Arabic-speaking artists and cultural creators with a refugee status, feminists, queer activists and anyone searching for Arabic literature in Berlin. The library is a safe haven for artistic expression and freedom of speech for the Arabic-speaking community and its friends.
In November 2020, Baynatna received The Power of the Arts award, together with the digital arts and culture magazine FANN. From more than 130 entries, the jury of The Power of the Arts selected “ten lighthouse projects with exemplary character”, from all over Germany. The award explicitly supports cultural projects that work toward an open society.
In December 2020, Baynatna also won the 2020 „Active for Democracy and Tolerance“ competition. The Arab library and the German-Arab cultural magazine were awarded by the Bündnis für Demokratie und Toleranz (Alliance for Democracy and Tolerance) together with 67 other initiatives in Germany.
The founders of Baynatna are the Syrian activist Muhannad Qaiconie, the director of the Gunda Werner Institute at the Heinrich Böll Foundation Dr Ines Kappert, the Jordanian architecture student Dana Haddad and the Syrian musician and contemporary artist Ali Hasan.
WIR MACHEN DAS has been the supporting association of Baynatna since 2020 and supports the project in the areas of networking, project management and the acquisition of funding. The project team of Baynatna is responsible for project content and curation.
Baynatna’s website can be found at https://baynatna.de/