Book look: Baitar & Sußebach, Berlin & Grünlich

An award-winning journalist and a Syrian student have teamed up to write about their experiences in living together. “Unter einem Dach. Ein Syrer und ein Deutscher erzählen” is a blunt and open account of how different lifestyles can collide when a German family decide to help a refugee stuck in an overcrowded room in a camp for asylum seekers in Saxony. Amir Baitar worked and studied in Deir ez-Zor when he decided to leave his country due to the intensified armed conflict in the city and increasingly intimidating IS checkpoint policies. After an odyssey through Serbia, Hungary and other countries during which he was confronted with several dangers – from rough weather to hostile residents who tried to rob him – Baitar arrived in Hamburg in December 2015 after the family of Die Zeit author Henning Sußebach, a married father of two, decided to offer a refugee a room in their house in the suburbs. “Unter einem Dach. Ein Syrer und ein Deutscher erzählen” is structured like a diary, with Baitar and Sußebach taking turns in writing about misunderstandings, funny situations and profound discussions concerning faith, German grammar and local traditions. Baitar was irritated by women’s liberal approach to clothing in summer while Sußebach was stunned by the Syrian’s harsh criticism of asylum seekers from Algeria, Afghanistan and Albania. Eventually Baitar opened up towards western lifestyle in general and moved into his own flat. He loosened his strictness concerning praying five times a day – and considered marrying a German one day.

Unter einem Dach. Ein Syrer und ein Deutscher erzählen
By Amir Baitar & Henning Sußebach
Published by Rowohlt (www.rowohlt.de)

Peter Grünlich and Katja Berlin have released another bunch of hilarious statistics on well-known daily life situations. The duo previously succeeded with “Was wir tun, wenn der Aufzug nicht kommt”. Their new book is called “Was wir tun, wenn wir an der Kasse stehen. Die Welt in überwiegend lustigen Grafiken”. Grünlich and Berlin reveal young fitness fanatics’ preferred muscle groups, mushroom preparation rules and the true reasons for joining a strike. The book also includes pie charts and diagrams concerning relationships and working at the office. Heyne, the publishing house which released “Was wir tun, wenn wir an der Kasse stehen. Die Welt in überwiegend lustigen Grafiken” also presented several “Neon Unnützes Wissen” books like “Neon Unnützes Wissen 4” by Sascha Chaimowicz and Oliver Stolle. The authors list almost 1,400 remarkable fun facts concerning science, celebs and economy.

Was wir tun, wenn wir an der Kasse stehen. Die Welt in überwiegend lustigen Grafiken
By Katja Berlin and Peter Grünlich
Published by Heyne (www.heyne.de)

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