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“A Tear. A Smile: My Childhood in Damascus”: Syrian Author Discusses Challenges of Migration, Integration During Book Reading at KAICIID

29 September 2016

The Syrian author Luna Mousli read from her bilingual book “A Tear. A Smile: My Childhood in Damascus”, a portrait of the author’s childhood in Damascus, as part of the cultural event series ‘Bridges’ held at the International Dialogue Centre in September 2016.

Born in Melk, Austria to Syrian parents, Luna Mousli spent the first fourteen years of her childhood in Damascus before moving back to Austria. She processed these early memories in the final project towards her master’s degree in Graphic Design from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. This final project has since been published by Weissbooks-Verlag and has already been presented by the young author at several book fairs.

At the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), Luna Mousli read from her book that includes 44 short-stories in both German and Arabic. The first part of the reading consisted of anecdotes about the author’s childhood in Damascus. She later spoke about her experience of moving to Austria at the age of fourteen and about the challenges she faced as a teenager seeking to integrate into a new society and culture. After the reading, participants were able to engage with the author through a lively Q&A session.

During the event, guests also had the opportunity to visit the art exhibition at KAICIID, displaying paintings by Syrian-born, Europe-based artists Adel Daooud, Bahram Hajou, Jeko Haj, Louloua Maleh and Marwa Sarah, as well as Austrian artists Bernd Hanser and Fritz Kindl.

The exhibition was held at the Centre at Schottenring 21 during September and October 2016.

For more information on “Bridges” and featured artists, visit