‘We are coming to this world to connect,
not to drive apart’

“One of the first things I learned from Rumi was: “We are coming to this world to connect not to drive apart”. It grabbed me so intensively, it took me from my childhood to my student times and now as a poet, cultural entrepreneur and filmmaker. I promised myself to be a bridge to people.

Persian poets like Rumi were a part of our lives like family members, present every day and night. My father always read them, Rumi and Hafez were his two favourites and he gave it to me. Whenever I needed an advice he came up with poetry instead of putting exact words together.

Five years ago, I established Granate Foundation based on “We are coming to connect”: No matter who you are, from which country or culture you are from, which language you speak, we have to connect each other.

What I also love about Rumi is his courage to stand up for something, even though it was forbidden or not known to people, like dancing around and reciting poetry. It wasn’t acceptable for a man in his time, especially in the Middle East. But he continued and now we have a Derwish tradition. It says something about how courageous he was to establish such a movement.”