Sabah, Borneo. A wooden boardwalk weaved through the 130 million-year-old rainforest that grew down to the coast on the South China Sea in Sarawak, Borneo. Dense jungle trapped the moisture in the air. Under the rainforest canopy as we walked... Continue Reading →
This piece is from ArabLit one of my favourite blogs & one worth signing up to.
Issue 3 of The Bennington Review has a poem by Ghassan Zaqtan, “Damascus 1986,” translated from Arabic by Fady Joudah:
Zaqtan, of course, is a multi-award-winning Palestinian writer living in Ramallah, the author of ten collections of poetry and two novellas, winner of the prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize (for Like a Straw Bird it Follows Me, tr. Joudah)and twice nominated for the Neustadt Prize. The Silence That Remains (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), also translated by Joudah, is his most recent poetry collection to appear in English.
This poem, “Damascus 1986,” is full of hard sounds, scarcely tethered images, and missed opportunities. It opens:
The key’s clang
the sun I called from the windowsill
the brief time of fondness
none of it were mine
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Ahmed Shafie (http://shaaaf.blogspot.com) is an Egyptian poet, novelist, and translator who oddly does not have a collection in English translation, although his work has been translated by Robin Moger and, here, by Humphrey Davies:
Shafie was a 2014 resident at the University of Iowa’s prestigious International Writing Program, and he’s the author of the acclaimed collection 77 (2017), which made several “best of 2017” lists. Before that, he published Other Poems (2009), and A Side Street Ending in a Fountain (2000), and he’s also published two novels: The Creator (2013) and Sousou’s Journey (2003).
He’s also an award-winning translator; his translation of Russell Edson’s Collected Prose Poems was one of Muhammad Abdelnaby’s “favorite reads” of 2015.
have no hands.
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No words to describe this stunning new book from Khaled Hosseini. Inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis, this book is a prayer from a father for his son as they wait to board a boat. The writing is as heartbreakingly beautiful as the illustrations are evocative.
It begins with the father’s memories of the Syria before: “the creek where your uncles and I built a thousand boyhood dams.”
. . . moves into the reality of this generation’s Syria: “You know a bomb crater can be made into a swimming hole.”
. . . and ends with the sea: “how vast, how indifferent. How powerless I am to protect you from it.”
It’s a book that’s not easy to classify. Perhaps “an illustrated poem inspired by true events and intended for adults” is the closest I can get. In any case, it’s one of my favorite books of the year.
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A concise and informative history of the Rohingya, an evidence-based denunciation of Myanmar’s ethnic cleansing campaign, and an impassioned plea for recognition and human rights for the Rohingya.
Before reading this book, I knew little more about the Rohingya than that something awful was happening to them and that it had to do with Myanmar, wherever that is. I should be ashamed of myself, I know.
Instead of relieving my shame, this book has increased it. I am ashamed of what some of humanity is capable of doing, and what the rest of humanity is content to allow to happen.
This 69-page book offers a concise and informative introduction to the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya by the state of Myanmar. Since August of last year, more than 10,000 Rohingya have been killed, and more than half a million people have fled across the border to Bangladesh. Even more disturbing than…
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A Treasury of Ghazali is a beautiful collection of quotations by Imam al-Ghazali with commentary by Mustafa Abu Sway. The tiny, digestible chapters are each based on one quote of the Imam: the original Arabic, an English translation, and a commentary by the author. Meant to be read in small doses, the quotes cover spiritual topics like sincerity in intention, happiness, patience against sin, and detachment from the dunya (worldly life).
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Educational Bookstore, Salahaddin Street, Jerusalem. Voted as the 18th top attraction to do in Jerusalem, Educational Bookstore is located in Salahaddin Street, Jerusalem. Follow the bookstore or subscribe here to keep up to date with Shereen's events. For more information about... Continue Reading →
"Being part of the art and literature scene in Jerusalem, Palestine has been a rewarding, insightful experience. The El-Hakawati Theatre was a perfect location and it was an amazing experience to discuss the book with Jerusalem's literary elite and to... Continue Reading →