Articles Comments

» Arab lit and art

The Long Way – Excerpt from Guapa / Saleem Haddad

The Long Way – Excerpt from Guapa / Saleem Haddad

The memory returns to me so vividly I feel I am back there, at 14, in the backseat of that taxi. At the time my father had been dead for 18 months, my mother had vanished the year before that, I was magically sprouting hair in places I was not expecting, and I was still sharing a bed with Teta. I was returning from a history lesson at Maj’s house. We were both struggling with the … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

The Writer and the Taboo: with Naser Al Zafiri

The Writer and the Taboo: with Naser Al Zafiri

Naser Al Zafiri is an Arab-Canadian writer and novelist based in Ottawa. He has written five novels and two collections of short stories. He has published numerous articles in Arab literary magazines and newspapers. In his work, Naser tackles controversial themes such as nationalism, power structure, and gender issues in the Arab World. In this interview, he eloquently elaborates on  addressing taboos in his novels and articles. 1. Do you think that writing about taboos is really necessary? It is necessary to break religious and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

The Writer and the Taboo: with Raji Bathish

The Writer and the Taboo: with Raji Bathish

Raji Bathish is a writer, screenplay writer, cultural researcher and  activist born in Nazareth 1970. He writes in Arabic, and his texts and articles have been published all around the Arab world and Israel-Palestine. Raji has authored nine books, the most popular among them is “A Room in Tel-Aviv”, which was published by the Arab institute for Studies and Research in Beirut 2007. Raj is known for his controversial style, where he approaches the themes of sexual … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

Rabaa / Alexander Jabbari

Rabaa / Alexander Jabbari

“Created sick, commanded to be sound” (Fulke Greville, Mustapha, 1609) I. I often exaggerate, in my imagination, the relationship between feelings and the body. Of course such a relationship is real: hairs stand on end; blood runs cold, or flushes the cheeks, or swells in extremities; the heart rate quickens; sweat beads; hands tremor or become clammy; and on, and on, and on. But my mind had a tendency to create new symptoms and metaphors, like something from … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

The Writer and the Taboo: with Liwaa Yazji

The Writer and the Taboo: with Liwaa Yazji

Born in Moscow 1977, Syrian writer and artist Liwaa Yazji (Filmmaker, poet, playwright, scenarist and translator) was educated in both English Literature and Theater Studies in Damascus, Syria. Since then she has worked as a freelance dramaturge, TV scriptwriter, translator, and critic. She has published in several newspapers and magazines. She published her first play “Here in the Park” in 2012, a poetry book “In Peace, we leave Home” in 2014, and a translation of Edward Bond`s play … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

A Love That Hovers Like a Bedeviling Mosquito / Shatha Abu Hnaish

  My Husband and I My husband is a gardener Every morning he trims my leaves watering me counting my petals checking my color and he takes care that no one pick me My husband is a logger embedding his ax in my trunk splitting me and he kindles a fire in my heart My husband is a knight mounting my lust He bridles me and jumps me over love’s hills أنا وزوجي زوجي جنائني كل صباح يشذّب أوراقي يرويني يعدّ بتلاتي يطمئن على لوني ويحرص ألّا يقطفني احد زوجي حطّاب يغرس فأسه في جذعي يقطعني ويشعل النّار في قلبي زوجي فارس يمتطي شهوتي يلجمني ويقفز بي فوق تلال الحب Five Pieces of Paper First Piece I am a woman, keen as a knife’s blade This is as not bad as you think With me, you can peel love’s delicious apple and gouge a deep furrow in the world’s face Second Piece I am a woman, bottomless as an abyss This is not as frightening as you think With me, you can tempt the edge and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

The Writer and the Taboo: with Karl Sharro

The Writer and the Taboo: with Karl Sharro

Karl Sharro is a Lebanese-Iraqi architect, writer and satirist based in London. He is mostly known for his blog Karl reMarks on which he published satirical accounts of the Arab uprisings between 2011 and 2015. Karl reMarks is also his satirical Twitter alter ego where he publishes his satirical images and commentary, such as ‘the one sentence explanation for the rise of ISIS’. He has written for several international publications on issues such as art, architecture, urbanism … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

Bringing Back a Melted Person / Wadih Sa’adeh

This lake is not water. It was a person to whom I spoke at length, then he dissolved. And I am not trying now to look at water, but rather I’m trying to recover a dissolved person. How do people become lakes like this, which tree-leaves and algae top? Drop by drop, the dead descend on my door. A boat stops for me under the sun. And a wretched fit of trembling returns to sand. I didn’t shiver, but I went mad. The water is cold, but I didn’t shiver. I just trembled a little. Then I went mad. On the surface of the lake is a leaf. It was an eye. On the bank was a bough, which was a human rib. I try now to gather the leaves and boughs. I try to gather a person … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

The Writer and the Taboo: with Moheeb Barghouti

The Writer and the Taboo: with Moheeb Barghouti

“Sin has made me a poet” Moheeb Barghouti is a Palestinian poet who defies typical definitions, especially in the context of Arab culture and Palestinian politics. When you read him, you feel a mixed vibe of Rimbaud and Bukowski, but with less nobility and more sadness; ordinary and basic sadness that is. He is a rebel who is fighting all sorts of battles, including his favorite battle against grammar. Nevertheless, he remains sincere to his fresh images and his naïve yet skillfully … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

The Writer and the Taboo: with Anwar Hamed

The Writer and the Taboo: with Anwar Hamed

The novelist and writer Anwar Hamed works for the BBC Arabic Services as a producer. As part of his job at the BBC, he gets to cover cultural events in the Arab World, interview writers, and prepare TV reports. He has an M.A. in literary theory and his novels have been published in Arabic and Hungarian (some were originally written in Hungarian), including Stones of Pain, Scheherazade Tells Tales No More and Of Cracked Bridges and … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English