Musaab Al-Tuwaijari died after he was attacked with a knife at the Red Cross center in Saarbrücken, where he worked as a psychologist and counselor.
We would like to use our blog »Seduce! – Strategies Against Brutalization« to give everyone the opportunity to remember Musaab – as a friend, as a writer, as the special person that he was, and as a psychologist who offered his help and support to others.
Through his writing and his actions, Musaab made us do and see things differently. We would like to invite you all to put your memories of Musaab into writing, the moments you shared with him – during the Summer School, the Balkongespräche, the writers’ workshops, or the many shared train journeys – to remember him and to preserve his world.
Obituary: Musaab Sadeq Khadeel Al-Tuwaijari
– by Maxi Obexer
We mourn the passing of a dear friend, a cherished author and colleague, and a truly unique person
What is inexplicable, what hits our minds in violent waves, will let us feel our helplessness and powerlessness, will tear open a wound in all of us and in the very heart of that which brought us together and connects us: Our writing, the possibility of tracing those other realities, and our writing against hatred, against the shortcuts, against the polarization. What made Musaab unique was his humor, which gave him an eye for the crazy moments of this human existence that can be found in the microcosms of our everyday life when we take a closer look. And he was so very good at taking a closer look and figuring out how all these little, singular moments build into a chain of even crazier situations. Situations in which people get carried away – and it looks from the outside as if craziness is taking hold of them.
That is the situation in his first play Ausgangssperre (Curfew), where three boys who originally meet to watch porn together loiter until they are forced to stay in the house. The state television station happens to show the exact porn movie they were planning to watch in the first place, but they bravely resist the powers-that-be, pass on watching porn, and begin to tell each other stories instead. Anecdotes emerge when political systems clash, when crises and wars are the result, and when people are thrust into similarly absurd and atrocious situations. And that is what happens in Mussab’s last play Ungewiss (Uncertain), where a person goes missing. Musaab exercises all humanly possible solutions and lets his imagination run wild in the emptiness of this loss.
Ever since our first meeting during the writer’s workshop »InZukunft,« Musaab let us glimpse into the unnoticed and invisible corners of a shaken-up world. He offers us unusual insights: the dancing monologue of the Tomahawk, the proudest of all rockets in the world, or, like in his text Utopia Europa, the monologue of a refugee who does not understand why his refugee accommodation is being evacuated due to the mere possibility of getting struck by lightning.
Musaab experienced all this in his childhood, which was defined by Saddam Hussein’s regime, by the sanctions of the Western world, by hunger and loss. And still he put his faith in trust, in compassion, in helping one another, in solidarity. He believed that it is possible to heal. In him, lightning struck one of the truly good ones. Someone who took action in his job as a counselor and as a writer. In him, it deeply struck our hearts.
Our heartfelt condolences go to his parents and his siblings. We got to know them, full of happiness, when they came to the opening of Ungewiss at the Studio of the Maxim-Gorki Theater. Our heart goes out to Verena, his wife, who loved him in every possible way and supported him as a writer, wherever she could. She followed Mussab through his writing process and helped edit his texts from the early stages to the very last draft.
Musaab, we will miss you. We will hold on to your warm heart, your humor, your imagination, your world, and your words.