Side by Side

Exhibition about Syrian-Jewish (Hi)stories

The exhibition questions the past and present of Jewish life in Syria. With a view of the city of Damascus, it shows traces of Jewish culture and Jewish life. It tells of Jewish-Muslim neighborhoods, of living together, but also of the disappearance of Jewish communities and people.

The Jewish community in Syria was once the largest in the Arabic-speaking world. The architectural influences and religious symbolism are correspondingly rich, which can be found especially, but not only, in the Jewish quarter of Damascus. In combination with personal stories and background information, a photo exhibition is created that illustrates the coexistence of the Muslim majority and Jewish minority.

The exhibition also addresses the multiple – often fluid – identities that move between Arabic, Jewish, and Syrian, and counters the supposed contradiction that arises between Jewish and Arabic. The exhibition is supplemented by a video interview with the US-American journalist Maurice Chammah, who deals with his father’s Syrian-Jewish origins and tells of his father’s history and his own examination of it.

Rania Kataf is a documentary photographer and lives in Damascus. For the exhibition she photographed architectural traces of Jewish life in the city and conducted interviews with some of the few Jews still living in Damascus.

Accompanying the exhibition, events will be offered in the immediate vicinity of the exhibition site. These events will be held in cooperation with the Center for Anti-Semitism Research and the Research Institute for Social Cohesion.

Opening hours:

13.11. – 19.12.2020
Thursday – Friday: 15:00 -19:00
Saturday: 14:00 – 18:00


SCOTTY, Oranienstraße 46, 10969 Berlin


Tanja Lenuweit

The exhibition is part of the project The Course of (Hi)stories.

The project is funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education and the Federal Foreign Office. It is under the patronage of Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.