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The Writer and the Taboo: with Maya Abu Alhayyat

The Writer and the Taboo: with Maya Abu Alhayyat

Laghoo is pleased to launch “The Writer and the Taboo”; a series of interviews with Arab writers and intellectuals concerning writing about taboos and controversial themes in Arabic culture. For this issue (April, 2015), the Palestinian poet and novelist Maya Abu Alhayyat was interviewed. Maya’s work covers different artistic genres including poetry, fiction, and cinema/TV. She also runs creative writing workshops in Ramallah and other Palestinian cities. She was born in 1980 in Lebanon. In 2005 she was awarded the … Read entire article »

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He Asks Me About Love / Maya Abu Alhayyat

He Asks Me About Love / Maya Abu Alhayyat

About moments I waste thinking and missing and choosing the right words About nonexistent things that I live with, knowing they do not exist About absolution and the negligence of inattention and the willingness to believe anything About glee raised by two lovers’ hands playing in snow and enfolding coldness About grief spread by the widower’s eyes, the print shop’s owner, when he tells about his old widow’s goodness and marrow’s taste stuffed with rice and kisses how she hid its secret in her chest and then turned … Read entire article »

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My Voice / Remah Jabr

My Voice / Remah Jabr

I yelled at her unconsciously. I was not aware that I had broken a rule. It was the first time in my life that I breached the sound barrier imposed in the house. I then withdrew, leaving my little sister shrunk on the seat. When I looked around, I saw my grandma biting her lips, and my sisters leaving the room as if lightning had just struck the house. The sound coming from the TV … Read entire article »

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My Name is Jbene

My Name is Jbene

“Jbene” is a story from the Palestinian Folklore. It is one of many collected and edited by Ibrahim Mohawi and Sharif Kanaana in their book titled ” Speak, Bird, Speak Again”.   Like any other traditional folktale, cultural values and memes are conveyed in a simple yet profound style.  Accordingly, folktales could be classified under similar subject or shared discourse. In this regard, Mohawi and Kanaana listed Jbene and other similar stories under “Sexual Awakening and … Read entire article »

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A Jew abandoned in Baghdad / Mati Shemoelof

A Jew abandoned in Baghdad / Mati Shemoelof

This Salah, has to be late on the one day when I didn’t take my cell phone, and this crumbling café doesn’t have a single working phone. Of course, it’s today that I have an exhausting headache. That wipes me out. That wipes out my ability to communicate “Allāhu Akba” calls the muezzin, and I pray quietly, “Praised are you, Lord our God, King of the universe, for granting us life, for sustaining us, and … Read entire article »

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Proust’s Madeleines and my Grandmother’s Couscous / Or Tshuva

Proust’s Madeleines and my Grandmother’s Couscous / Or Tshuva

Like many other Arab Jews, I tried to ‘Ashkenize’ myself. I used to long for my grandmother’s couscous, which we ate every Friday, but when my teachers or classmates asked what is my favorite food, I usually said something like ‘french fries’.   Only the thought of pronouncing the Arab names of my favorite dishes in front of them was terribly embarrassing for me. My grandparents were poor and fat and could barely speak Hebrew, so they always … Read entire article »

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Sackcloth

Sackcloth

“Sackcloth” is a story from the Palestinian Folklore. It is one of many collected and edited by Ibrahim Mohawi and Sharif Kanaana in their book titled ” Speak, Bird, Speak Again”. Mohawi and Kanaana listed “Sackcloth” and other similar stories under a chapter titled: “Sexual Awakening and Courtship”. According to the authors: In “Sackcloth,” the sexual awareness begins before the girl leaves home, producing feelings of confusion, shame, and guilt, especially since she seems to arouse a … Read entire article »

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Befriending Edward Said

Befriending Edward Said

24/09/2014 – Today marks the 11th anniversary of the death of Edward Said, the Palestinian American literary theorist and public intellectual. He is best known for his book Orientalism (1978), where he analyzes the cultural representations of the East. Other works include “The Question of Palestine”, “Covering Islam”, and “Culture and Imperialism”. We have gathered words from some of Said’s friends and peers describing his character and sense of identity. Chomsky speaks of Said’s intellectual prowess, Ahdaf … Read entire article »

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Fetters of the Dead / Zakaria Tamer

Fetters of the Dead / Zakaria Tamer

The story is told of a man who loved a woman, but she refused to marry him. “How can you refuse to marry me,” the man asked in astonishment, when you’re continually telling me that you love me?” “I do love you,” the woman protested, “but you belong to a family that doesn’t bury its dead ancestors. How can you expect me to live with you in a house with rooms that are filled with corpses?” The … Read entire article »

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Today Was a Holiday / Azra Abbas

Today Was a Holiday / Azra Abbas

One arm hangs limp and empty, the other bends under a load One foot has gone to sleep the other half itches for the road Half my body nodes in a dream the other half holds a wake I sold for pennies my inheritance Spent one half of the life’s take and put the other half in a bag I left the door unlatched, threw a cloth over the dusty panes, swore roundly at my floundering days and nights then let one half-awake body make love to another … Read entire article »

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