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Shereen Malherbe

The wandering novelist

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The Award-winning Palestinian YA Novel Written in Prison

An inspiring post from ArabLit on a Palestinian prisoners YA book, woven with the harsh realities of occupied life. I had to reshare this. Thank you again, ArabLit.

ArabLit

The book that won the 2018 Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature in the Young Adult category, The Oil’s Secret Tale, was written by Palestinian author Walid Daqqa, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1986 and has served more than three decades:

By Hend Saeed

Palestinian author Walid Daqqa was born in the town of Baqa Al Gharbiyeh in 1961.

When he was 23 years old, in 1986, Daqqa helped plan an operation that resulted in the kidnapping and death of an Israeli soldier. Two years later, at the age of 25, he was sentenced to life in prison. He has thus far served 32 years of his sentence, which makes him among the longest-serving prisoners in the Israeli system.

While in in prison, Daqqa has both gotten married and studied towards his Master’s in political science. He’s published a number of studies and articles, as well…

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Revisiting why I wrote Jasmine Falling

Hi all, As you know, I am back online after a two year hiatus and I return with exciting news about the upcoming publication of my second novel, The Tower. Beacon Books will be publishing my second book in April and... Continue Reading →

The Tower. Out Soon!

The Tower is Shereen Malherbe's second novel, due out in April 2019, published by Beacon Books. Book summary: Reem is a Syrian refugee who has arrived in London, trying to discover the whereabouts of her 10-year old brother, Adar. Obsessed... Continue Reading →

Into the Borneo Rainforest

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 →

Friday Finds: ‘Birds / Have No Hands’

Via Arablit
Birds

ArabLit

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.

This latest translation, by multi-award-winning translator and scholar Humphrey Davies, appears in Rusted RadishesIt is taken from his collection 77, where it was untitled.

It opens:

BIRDS

have no hands.

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Returning…with a different view

Hello everyone, I'm returning to the world of living, also known as social media! After a two year hiatus, and becoming an almost  English Literature graduate (Summer 2019), I am ready to begin sharing my stories and travels with you again. To find... Continue Reading →

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini

Muslim Reads

614ClzmOf3L._SX317_BO1,204,203,200_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.

IMG_20180918_190251_475It 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.”

IMG_20180918_190255_456It’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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Review—The Rohingya Crisis: A People Facing Extinction by Muhammad Abdul Bari

Muslim Reads

rohingya

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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Book Review—A Treasury of Ghazali by Mustafa Abu Sway

Muslim Reads

9781847740816_FCA 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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