Frankfurt, 23 December 2016. The first Arabic Newspaper in Germany was launched today, 23rd December 2015, with the support of Ara Pacis Initiative.
ABWAB (“Doors”) is a newspaper by refugees and for refugees, that aims to open doors to cultural dialogue and understanding.
A cultural, social, political, independent monthly newspaper, that addresses the needs and concerns of Syrian, Iraqi and other Arabic-speaking refugees and newcomers in Germany.
Written by refugees for refugees, ABWAB is a non-partisan newspaper that has no political or religious affiliation and rejects extremism and intolerance in all its forms.
ABWAB means to be a loud voice to contrast prejudice, hate and abuse; a free platform to discuss ideas, opinions and concerns and to practice criticism and self-criticism; a door to effective understanding between Germans and newcomers; an open platform of dialogue even with communities who are hostile to refugees; a means to spread knowledge on German laws, norms and legal codes; an introduction to the rights of refugees and an instrument in support of movements who defend those rights and the rights of all minorities; an adamant and relentless advocate of the principles of dignity, freedom, democracy, citizenship, justice and equality.
The newspaper is published by New German Media Ltd and is printed every month in over 70 thousand copies and distributed free in over 400 refugee shelters, public libraries and community locations all over Germany.
Editor-in-chief of ABWAB is Ramy Al-Asheq, Syrian-Palestinian poet, writer and columnist.
The aim of ABWAB is to help those fleeing from violence and recovering from trampled dignity to settle into their new country of refuge, build human connections and learn to how to set up a new life in Germany.
The monthly free-press newspaper informs refugees on key issues from the countries they fled, from their new country of refuge, and from refugee communities across Germany.
In each issue, refugees and newcomers can find easy-to-read guides on German legislation that regards or affects refugees, helpful information about living in Germany contributed by German activists and writers, and reports and interviews from local refugee communities contributed by the many Arabic-speaking journalists and writers who in exile in Germany.
ABWAB also means to be a bridge between those who have fled violence to find refuge in Germany and those who are still in Syria, in Iraq or in other war-torn countries, by hosting stories from home that do not focus on violence, but promote healing, empathy, peace-building and reconciliation. Stories of men, women, children from all sides of the conflict who have survived unspeakable suffering and are willing to share their lesson of courage and resilience. Stories of friends and family in Iraq and Syria who defy prejudice, mistrust, hate, violence and revenge and dare to understand, trust, forgive, nurture compassion and empathy, and together build bridges, peace and a vision of a shared future.
What does the German law on immigration and asylum imply for refugees in Germany? Now that they achieved freedom from harm, what future can they envisage? What kind of support is available to them? What requirements do they need to meet?
Every month easy-to-read guides on German law and policy regarding or affecting Arabic-speaking refugees and newcomers in Germany are the core pages of the newspaper.
The guides will help newcomers understand the law of the land, its principles, its core values, the way it regulates everyday interactions among citizens.
The guides are drafted by legal experts, both of Arab origin and German. They are printed at the center of the paper, so they can be easily removed to be stored separately as a handbook.
News on German current affairs is drafted so to build bridges of understanding between refugee and native communities. Different languages, different cultures can be the basis of misunderstanding that stems from prejudice and fear. Learning what Germans think about refugee issues, understanding their values, acknowledging their fears and their concerns, can contribute to a different approach to daily life in Germany. Notes are made on German customs and traditions, so to orient readers on the different way of life that they will soon take part in, as well as lessons on the challenges of basic German language.
The community news section of the newspaper is dedicated to the contribution of Syrian and Iraqi refugees to the cultural and artistic landscape of Europe. It allows fellow refugees to know what is going on in other communities around Germany and Europe, learn how they are culturally active, find out about the events they promote and about the recognition and awards they receive, fostering a sense of belonging, identity and pride.
A collection of testimonials and narratives from all sides of the conflict in Syria and Iraq will be at the heart of the second part of the newspaper.
A body of stories that intend to challenge the fear and manipulation of politics, religion and history, build bridges of human connection, and reverberate Syrian and Iraqi voices of suffering, courage, resilience and transformation,
The stories will be collected in Syria and Iraq, as well as in refugees shelters in Germany and Europe, according to the standards of “dignity healing testimony” established by the international human dimension experts of the Ara Pacis Initiative Council for Dignity, Forgiveness, Justice and Reconciliation, primarily men and women who have suffered personal and collective tragedy yet have made understanding and forgiveness the starting point of a new existence.
“Bab of the Heart” is a collective effort to retrieve the trampled dignity of refugees, initiate healing, foster compassion, nurture empathy, build trust and ultimately promote solidarity, inter-communal peace and encourage mutual collaboration for a shared tomorrow.
ABWAB is published by New German Media, also publisher of Ziarul Romanesc Germania, the only free-press weekly for Romanians in Germany. New German Media is part of New European Media, a 15-year old European network of media for migrants and refugees in Europe (Stranieri in Italia, My Own Media, Foreigners in Europe), that has acquired a unique reputation in the media world for its reliable and outstanding service to foreign communities and obtained the trust of public and government institutions.
New German Media is be supported by Ara Pacis Initiative in upholding standards of “reconciliation” reporting, in a perspective of dignity, healing and inter-communal peace, challenging the fear and manipulation of regime, religion and history.
Publisher: New German Media Ltd
Target Group: Arabic-speaking communities in Germany
First issue: 23 December 2015
Circulation: +60,000 copies / issue
Format: Half Berliner format, 255 x 350 mm (w*h) full colour, Euro scale
Distribution: +400 refugee shelters across Germany
New German Media Ltd
nhd consulting GmbH
Tel. +49 69 904 7541 20