it starts with the location: haus der kulturen der welt?.. not my number one choice of party locations.. then let's have a look at the setting: amidst tie-died scarves and genuine volkshochschule (german adults evening classes) desert arts and craft pots?.. also not usually present during my nocturnal strolls. my fellow party-animals somewhere between their early teens and late seventies.. mighty unusual also!

but then omar souleyman enters the stage, the music starts, and all these elements become incredibly trivial. omar souleyman, the syrian superstar! with round sunglasses, smug smile and self-confindent majestic wave. he is on stage and nothing else matters.

i find myself tapping my foot to the beat, not able to let loose quite as quickly as the dread-locked derwish next to me, and definitely not yet as starry-eyed as the 60+ year-old lady with her arms in the air. but all of that will change. within 30 minutes me, anna and our friends have transformed - we've shed our 'Mitte' air of coolness, have stepped down from our haughty throne and are trilling and booty shaking like everyone else.

2 hours and 1 encore later, omar releases us sweat-dripping into the night. huge grin on our faces. we're all one - and I really need to get a tie-died scarf!

so note fellow readers: if you ever get the chance to see him, don't miss it!