Salah Yousif was born in Sudan in the middle of the former century and has lived in Berlin for many years. He left his Khartum, his city of birth in 1969 to study pharmacy in Europe. He began penning his first poems as a teenager, encouraged by his Uncle, a writer. Where ever Yousif has lived, whether in Athens, Sofia or Berlin, he has always been politically active. In 1972, he moved to Berlin, and began selling jewelry with a friend on Kurfürstendamm. In 1988, he opened his own store in Kreuzberg. At first he sold groceries, later he would go on to sell antiquities and records also. Today, the store can still be found at Urbanstraße 46 in Kreuzberg. The act of writing poetry has accompanied Yousuf all his life. As someone who thinks of himself as being caught between cultures and hence, has an unique insight into the world, Yousuf consciously publishes his poems bilingually: in German and Arabic. Initially, the texts are composed in Arabic, after, he works on the German translations with the help of friends. Yousuf finds new ideas and inspirations for his poems in Berlin, and in regular travels home to Khartum. His collections of poems are regularly published in the Propeller Verlag, his most recent publication is “das offene schweigen“ (2017).
© Elérinna Heise