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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

The Writer and the Taboo: with Walid el Sheikh

The Writer and the Taboo: with Walid el Sheikh

Walid el Sheikh is a Palestinian poet and writer, born in 1968 in Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem. He has published four collections of poetry since 1999, most recently Every Time I Regret (2005) as well as his first novel The Old Man Thinks of Small Things. Walid el Sheikh is one of the pioneers of prose poetry in Palestine; his poems are simple in diction and form, yet they “invoke surprise and optic leaps”. His … Read entire article »

Filed under: English, مختارات

Martyrs in New Fallacies / Walid el Sheikh

Martyrs in New Fallacies / Walid el Sheikh

We did not rush crying We did not ask the city inhabitants about the reason We Only… Got busy arranging our names According to the alphabet So that we don’t fall Martyrs in new fallacies. With our teeth… We said What is said in public So they fell from the letters’ weight And it withdrew dragging behind the camp… Linguistic funerals Packed in punctured caskets From which the sin falls…only to grow.”   “From his second poetry collection “Laughter Left on The Benches … Read entire article »

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The Writer and the Taboo: with Saadi Youssef

The Writer and the Taboo: with Saadi Youssef

Meeting with a poet of Saadi Youssef’s caliber is not an easy task, let alone asking him about the controversial and the taboo in his own writing. I met Saadi Youssef a couple of times and we chatted about many topics, ranging from politics in the Middle East to climate change. What intrigued me the most during our discussions is the breadth of his experience with politics, geopolitics, and the human condition. As a writer … Read entire article »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, English

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 »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, Articles, English

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 »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, Articles, English

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 »

Filed under: Arab lit and art, Articles, English