An estimated 100,000 or so Iraqis have moved to Sweden in recent years. This has included people from across the spectrum of Iraqi society, including writers and poets.
Iraq has been an important cultural centre for Arabic literature for over a thousand years and kept its strong literary tradition into modern times. Nowadays a lot of its best writers are living abroad, refugees from Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime, or from the unrest that followed his downfall.
So how does living in a country like Sweden affect a writer’s work?
A poem called ’20 degrees below zero’, written by Stockholm-based Iraqi poet Ibrahim Abdulmalik, is about surviving in a cold climate, and how sometimes even love does not survive.
Radio Sweden’s Loukas Christodoulou talks to Ibrahim Abdulmalik and other Iraqi writers now based in Sweden, looking at how switching countries changed their lives, and how it affected their work.