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Prose of a Growing Movement

Yassin Alsalman, The Diatribes of a Dying Tribe. Write or Wrong / Paranoid Arab Boy Publishing, 2011. www.iraqi­sthebomb.com It’s a good time for a lyric exposé from an Iraqi-Canadian aged 25. Not that there could be such a thing as a bad time for one. With the “Arab Spring” turning the volume up, so to speak, of ...  Read More »

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Kenyon Review Interview with Sinan Antoon on Literature and Arab Uprisings

[The following interview was conducted with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon on the relatonship between the Arab uprisings and literature. The interview was originally published on the Kenyon Review Blog.] 1. How do you think literature may or should respond to this spring’s events? What role (or roles) would you say ...  Read More »

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An Excerpt from "Judgment Day" by Rasha al Ameer

In Rasha al Ameer's Judgment Day (first published in Beirut in 2002 by Dar Al-Jadeed) a reclusive and middle-aged Muslim cleric from a rural background tells the story of how he falls in love with an independent, educated and urban woman who invites him to work on a book about the great Arab poet Mutanabbi. The ...  Read More »

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Bin Laden's TV

“An aging man crouched before a TV -- a junkie TV, I might add -- in a darkened room. Not exactly how most people picture the man who called for global jihad.”  --CNN Over the course of the last week, there has been much discussion of the Bin Laden videos released by the Pentagon, footage seized during the ...  Read More »

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Culture VI

With Culture VI we discover that May is another cruel month, breeding/Out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain... And so it goes with three new offerings that might remind us that the end of spring is near: 1. An excerpt from Jonathan Wright's translation of Rasha ...  Read More »

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A Conversation with Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme on "The Zone"

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work collaboratively from their base in Ramallah, Palestine. They have performed together with Ramallah Underground and recently founded the sound and video performance collective Tashweesh. Recent exhibitions and projects include New Sound (NY ...  Read More »

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Dressing Like a Terrorist

Like many others, I was dismayed to learn of the two imams wearing traditional Muslim garb who were forcibly removed from an airplane that was to carry them to a conference on Islamophobia. The passengers who were removed from a Delta/ASA flight in Memphis, Masudur Rahman and Mohamed Zaghloul, apparently ...  Read More »

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Culture V

This is our fifth weekly edition of Jadaliyya's Culture. Previous weeks can be found here, here, here and here. This week's offerings include:  The conclusion of Sinan Antoon's translation of "Mirrors of Absence" by Syrian dissident poet, Faraj Ahmad ...  Read More »

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Faraj Bayraqdar, Excerpts from "Mirrors of Absence" II

This is the second part of selected excerpts from Faraj Bayraqdar's "Mirrors of Absence," written in Saydnaya Prison, Syria, between 1997-2000. The first part was published last week.   Mirrors of Absence  40   It is neither bias nor bragging there is no graveyard in this world or the ...  Read More »

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Rajab Buhwaysh, "No Illness But This Place"

 This long poem is from the concentration camp of El-Agheila in Libya, is one the most criminal chapters in the history of colonial Africa. The Italian colonization of Libya began in 1911, but in the east it was successfully resisted by the Sanussiyya movement for more than two decades. When the Fascists rose to ...  Read More »

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Between Massacre and Genocide: On Eric Friedler's "Aghét: Nation Murder"

The equation of German documentary filmmaker Eric Friedler’s Aghét: Nation Murder (2010) is of two parts: aghét and genocide. The film’s voice-over proclaims that aghét (whose literal meaning is catastrophe) is the word Armenians use for what was visited on their ancestors during and immediately after World War I. In ...  Read More »

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The Long and Invisible Road

Route 181: Fragments of a Journey in Palestine-Israel. Directed by Michel Khleifi & Eyal Sivan. Belgium/France/Germany/UK, 2003 Today Palestinians commemorate the nakba, or day of catastrophe. At the same time, the state of Israel seeks to criminalize this expression of an autonomous Palestinian national ...  Read More »

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From Gun to Pen: The Palestinian Revolution Lives

This Is My Picture When I Was Dead. Directed by Mahmoud Al-Massad. Netherlands/Jordan, 2010. ‘If you don’t know Ma’moun Mreish, you don’t know the history of the Palestinian Revolution.’ This line is key to the mixture of personal and national history presented by director Mahmoud Al-Massad in This Is My Picture ...  Read More »

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Arab Spring or Arabian Summer?

After over a decade-long search, the Obama administration is gloating over the murder of the Western world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, making him the third Reagan-supported criminal (after Saddam Hussein and Augusto Pinochet) to die since the turn of this century. As the United States celebrates the ...  Read More »

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Culture IV

This is our fourth weekly edition of Jadaliyya's Culture. Previous weeks can be found here, here and here. This week, with Hamdy El-Gazzar's قالت الجدة ("Quoth the Grandmother," trans. by Alex Ortiz), we initiate Hakadha narwi al-thawra, a new series of fiction from the revolutionary Arab ...  Read More »

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The Bawwab's Daughter

I was staying with friends in Maadi, a noisy, dusty suburb south of Cairo. One of the most striking features of this neighborhood — actually its own city — is that many of the expats who live there persevere in the spurious claim that it is quieter and greener than the neighborhoods of the city center. In any case, ...  Read More »

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Faraj Bayraqdar, Excerpts from "Mirrors of Absence"

Faraj Ahmad Bayrakdar was born in Homs, Syria, in 1951. He studied Arabic at the University of Damascus. He was arrested by Syrian Military Intelligence in 1987 on suspicion of membership of the Party for Communist Action. He was held incommunicado for almost seven years and was tortured. In 1993 he was sentenced to ...  Read More »

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Quoth the Grandmother -- قالت الجدة

[This piece is from Hamdy El-Gazzar's current writing project entitled, Our Revolution: Stories To Fit in the Palm of Your Hand] The lady is old. Elderly, timeworn. Nearly 92. Long years old. One of the wonders of the world… Look — do you see her small, round dark-brown pita loaf of a face? Can you see how ...  Read More »

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"The Language of Almonds," A Short Film/Tribute to Hussein Al-Barghout by Salim Abu Jabal

Hussein Al-Barghoti (1954-2002) was born in Kobar, near Ramallah, Palestine. He earned a B.A in English literature from Birzeit University in 1983 and a Ph.D in Comparative Literature from the University of Washington in 1992. He taught at Birzeit from 1994 to 1997 and at Al-Quds until 2000. Al-Barghouti was ...  Read More »

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Two Films for the Syrian Unraveling

A Flood in Baath Country. Directed by Omar Amiralay. 2003. Tea on the Axis of Evil. Directed by Jean Marie Offenbacher. 2009.   As detentions of Syrian activists escalate and reports surface of nearly 500 dead, it is worth recalling that during the throes of Tahrir Square three months ago, all seemed quiet in ...  Read More »

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حنين إلى الضوء

 حنين إلى الضوء    سنان أنطون “إلى أحرار سوريا”           ضع أذنك اليمنى أو اليسرى على الأرض وانصت . . . هل تسمع الأقمار وهي تختنق بالتراب؟ الأشجار تشهق تمدّ جذورها لتقبّل جباه الموتى الجدد الأغصان ترتعش وليس لدى الريح ما تقوله الآن الليل ...  Read More »

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Art for Change at the Square for Change in Yemen

[This post was sent to Jadaliyya by Woman from Yemen.] Walking through the old city in Sana'a there is no doubt that art is alive and is a part of our culture. Architectural beauty is not only appreciated but expected as well. The Revolution has revealed many hidden talents. "We have talent, but the ...  Read More »

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Boat Rocking in the Art Islands: Politics, Plots and Dismissals in Sharjah's Tenth Biennial

On April 6th, Jack Persekian, director of the Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Director of the Sharjah Biennial was summarily dismissed by Sharjah ruler Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi. The Foundation is the umbrella organization that oversees the reputed Biennial. The reason, according to the Foundation’s ...  Read More »

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Culture III

This is our third weekly edition of Jadaliyya's Culture. Previous weeks can be found here and here. This week's harvest includes: Boat Rocking in the Art Islands: Politics, Plots, and Dismissals in Sharjah's Tenth Biennial by Hanan Toukan Al-Shabbi's "The Will to Life"  by Gaelle ...  Read More »

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Al-Maqaleh's Betrayal: Translation and Commentary

 The Betrayal My faith in poetry is betrayed, as blood, gushing from the heart of the square, now masks the face of words          My eyes can no longer make out the shape of things, the tone of things Blood, blood, and more blood It shrouds my soul, my tongue it ...  Read More »

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Al-Shabbi's "The Will to Life"

Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabbi The Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabbi (1909-1934) is well known and appreciated throughout the Arab world. His words are committed to memory and reproduced in textbooks. With the recent Arab uprisings, his poems, and more particularly “The Will to Life” and “To the Tyrants of the World,” ...  Read More »

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Aesthetic Uprisings

Signs of the Times: The Popular Literature of Tahrir: Protest Signs, Graffiti & Street Art. Curated by Rayya El Zein and Alex Ortiz. Special Issue of Shahadat, April 2011. Full issue available here.   In the heady days that followed the January 25 demonstrations in Egypt, the air seemed to crackle with ...  Read More »

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مزمور

  مزمور ”إلى شهداء سوريا"   لا يذهب الشهداءُ إلى الجنّة فأبوابها مغلقة منذ قرون والتجّار الذين اشتروا أنهارها ينظرون من الشرفات العالية إلى الطوابير الطويلة وحشود المشرّدين في الخارج   Read More »

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Special Bodies, Speculative Personhood: Bradley Manning and Mohamed Bouazizi

 He was very sincere. We are like soulless bodies since he left. –Basma Bouazizi, sister If Brad Manning, 22, is the Collateral Murder and Garani massacre whistleblower then, without doubt, he’s a national hero. –Wikileaks He may be a mutilated trunk dismembered all about, the spirit removed all around ...  Read More »

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Culture II

This is the second week of Jadaliyya's culture section. The first week included four pieces and can be viewed here. This week's bouquet includes: "A Damascene Diary" by Samar Yazbek "Memoir and Mythology" by Mimi Kirk "The Meaning of My Prayer" by Sargon Boulus We welcome your ...  Read More »

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