Syria: destruction, suffering, death. Nowadays if you were to ask German people what they associate with this war-torn country, they may very well come up with these words.
The Syrian photographer Mohamad al-Roumi, whose pictures of his native country constitute an extraordinary life's work, is now showing a different side to Syria in his exhibition “Contrast Syria" at the Museum für Islamische Kunst. Here visitors can see pictures taken in Syria's north-eastern provinces during the 1990s, showing the region's nomadic population and the working conditions to be found in its poverty-stricken towns. Many of the people currently arriving in Germany call these parts of Syria their home.
Mohamad al-Roumi invites visitors to share his highly personal view of his homeland, mediated through a sophisticated and authentic visual language. There is nothing left to chance; rather, each picture seems to convey some actual essence of reality. Al-Roumi seeks to craft a special expressive idiom, directing our gaze both to the beauty and ugliness of everyday life. Contemplation is accorded a particularly significant role in the photographs, which were evidently not created spontaneously. A profound sense of reverence characterizes his portraits of people who, despite often being engaged in exhausting work, still radiate tremendous dignity.
It is precisely this highly personal perspective that allows Mohamad al-Roumi to show what Syria really is: a home to people from a variety of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. By offering a Syrian's perspective on his own homeland, the photographs lend a view of the country distinct from the image that we have recently become accustomed to seeing. This helps provide a better understanding of Syria's significance for its inhabitants and a clearer sense of their actual everyday reality.
The exhibition is organized in cooperation with the Syrian Heritage Archive Project and supported by the German Foreign Office.
Address / Getting there
partially wheelchair accessible
Please note: Pergamonmuseum is exclusively entered through James-Simon-Galerie!
Site plan: Entrance to the Pergamonmuseum and Neues Museum (PDF)
All groups meet at the information desk at the upper foyer in James-Simon-Galerie, entering by using the big stairway.
Advice for group visits to the Pergamonmuseum an the Neues Museum (PDF)
Due to a technical issue, the lift is out of service until further notice, meaning the Museum für Islamische Kunst is not currently wheelchair accessible. The major architectural exhibits – such as the Processional Way, featuring the Ishtar Gate and the Market Gate of Miletus – are still accessible to people with mobility issues.
S-Bahn: Friedrichstraße, Hackescher Markt
Tram: Am Kupfergraben, Hackescher Markt
Bus: Staatsoper, Lustgarten, Friedrichstraße
Low-carbon public transport connections
Sun 10:00 - 18:00
Tue 10:00 - 18:00
Wed 10:00 - 18:00
Thu 10:00 - 20:00
Fri 10:00 - 18:00
Sat 10:00 - 18:00
Opening times on public holidays Opening hours
Access via James-Simon-Galerie
Due to a special event, the museum will be closed all day on 3 May 2023.
Extended opening hours from 1 July 1 2023: Tue, Wed, Fri–Sun and public holidays 9 am - 7 pm; Thu 9 am - 8 pm
Prices / Tickets
10,00 EUR Concessions 5,00
Museum Island + Panorama
19,00 EUR Concessions 9,50
Annual ticket Classic Plus
100,00 EUR Concessions 50,00
Classic Plus: all exhibitions
Museum Pass Berlin 3 days for permanent exhibitions
29,00 EUR Concessions 14,50
3 days for permanent exhibitions
Annual membership Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
from just 25,00 EUR
Annual Passes for the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin