Two poems for Palestine, by Sinan Antoon
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
1w ago
Archeology He is not an archeologist He was once a confectioner But now he squats in front of his house The house is not an archeological site It is only nine years old But a hundred days ago It became a relic He does not know the names of the bones But he knows who they belong to He wipes off the dirt and the salt of his tears He arranges what he has excavated so far on a wooden plank: His children’s vertebrae and ribs Two skulls And a lock of his wife’s hair Family tree Their names are laid out: Black letters On white cloth The names of three generations hastily written by a spent hand Si ..read more
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Yazbek’s Where the wind calls home: “On Translating ‘Small, Shining Moments of Crystalline Beauty’ – Read translator Leri Price’s interview!
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
1M ago
An interview by Tugrul Mende, for ArabLit, June 12, 2024 Earlier this year, World Editions published Samar Yazbek’s Where The Wind Calls Home, translated by Leri Price. It centers a young soldier as he lays dying from his wounds; we witness his memories and see through his perspective, getting to know him better with each page. Here, Price discusses her work on the novel and how Samar Yazbek situates herself in the literary landscape. When did you first hear about Where The Wind Calls Home and what were your initial thoughts about this novel? Leri Price: I wa ..read more
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ELF Publishing
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
1M ago
ELF Publishing is the publishing venture of the Emirates Literature Foundation, started in 2021. It is dedicated to publishing remarkable Emirati and UAE based voices, to contribute to the creation of a local and diverse, yet common narrative.  This project is unique, in the sense that it embrace the particularities of the Emirati society, and is driven by the urge to share with the local community the stories by the local community in its main languages, Arabic and English. RAYA worked with ELF publishing to lay solid organizational and strategic foundations, helping it define its editor ..read more
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Democracy in the (Arab) World
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
1M ago
“The problematics of democracy in the Arab World”[1] is an essay by Syrian intellectual and thinker George Tarabishi, published by Dar al saqi in the collection “Hartaqat”, pp 9-18, and translated with permission from Dar al saqi, by William Tamplin. This translation is published with permission from Dar al saqi and William Tamplin on RAYA agency’s website under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 DEED The picture features protests in Tahrir Square, Cairo, April 1, 2011. Photo: Lilian Wagdy In December 2020, William Tamplin, a translator and admirer of Tarabishi’s work reached out, as ..read more
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Bay Area Reporter “Beautifully written… immersive, erotic and memorable novel” – Alesamel’s “Selamlik”
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
2M ago
This beautifully written novel chronicles the life of Furat, a twenty something queer Syrian man who escapes his homeland of Aleppo in search of true liberation and the wonderous possibilities of desire and love. Alesmael’s tone and language is consistently smooth and lushly descriptive as the story begins when Furat is in his first year studying English literature at the University of Aleppo, obsessed with reading E.M. Forster, and frequenting the Turkish baths (“hammams”) and gay cruising areas searching for connection and release. As the story moves back and forth in time, things for Furat ..read more
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“Selamlik, a starling powerful novel” by Khaled Alesmael
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
2M ago
Khaled Alesmael’s debut novel “Selamlik” was recently released in the UK and US! Below a review. A review by Qisetna, May 2024 Selamlik by Khaled Alesmael is a haunting exploration of identity, love, and survival amidst the backdrop of political turmoil in Syria. Through the lens of Furat, a young man navigating both his homosexuality and the chaos of war, Alesmael delivers a powerful narrative that resonates with raw emotion and stark reality. In many ways, Furat’s journey parallels the brutal honesty and unapologetic exploration of self found in Jean Genet’s The Thief’s Journal and the noctu ..read more
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“Trobades & Premis Mediterannis Albert Camus” selects Samar Yazbek as a finalist to their prestigious award
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
3M ago
The jury of the IV Premi Mediterrani Albert Camus —chaired by Javier Gomá, current director of the Juan March Foundation, and also formed by N’Gone Fall, independent curator; Miquel Molina, writer and journalist; José Luis Pérez Pont, critic and museum director; and Anne Prouteau, president of the Society for Camusian Studies — has selected Samar Yazbek as a finalist of this prestigious award in the category of Journalism. Albert Camus is an international symbol of rebellion, justice and humanism. His thought has inspired generations, and in a world as turbulent as the one in which he lived, h ..read more
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“I love the world in Arabic”: Samar Yazbek and her translator Leri Price interviewed by Alex Tan, Asymptote
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
3M ago
Asymptote, March 21, 2024 Samar Yazbek’s Where the Wind Calls Home is a poetic rumination that shifts through the land of the dead and of the living, between thinking and intuiting, and from the vast destructions of war to its intimate, embodied experience. In taking us to the “other” side—that of the military—in Syria’s unsparing civil war, Yazbek offers a method of understanding pain’s blind immensity, as well as the metaphysical phenomenon of life at the precipice of death. With the incredible work of translator Leri Price, whom Yazbek calls here her “voice in English”, Where ..read more
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“Stunning offering of spirituality” – Insightful review of Yazbek’s “Where the wind calls home” by Asymptote
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
4M ago
By Alex Tan, for Asymptote, February 29, 2024 Where the wind calls home was selected by Asymptote for its February Book Club Selection Where the Wind Calls Home, Syrian author Samar Yazbek’s latest novel to be translated into English, is a stunning offering of spirituality, memory, and all those implacable, liminal spaces wherein only the mind may venture. Written from the perspective of a young soldier as he lays dying from his wounds, Yazbek describes both the unthinkable wreckages of conflict and the translucent totems of faith with her singular musicality and vividity, tracing backw ..read more
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“Death… It is the way in which he dances around it, approaches it, moves away from it, revels in it, that is mesmerizing” “A masterpiece” – Transfuge’s wonderful review of Douaihy’s Poison in the air
RAYA - Agency for Arabic Literature
by Yasmina Jraissati
5M ago
By Damien Aubel, for Transfuge, January 2024 Lebanon Blues Is it the winter temperatures that paralyze my analytical faculties on the day I write this review? Be that as it may, apart from the debilitating repetitive use of the adjective “wonderful,” and a few synonyms (“beautiful,” “enchanting”), it seems that language has deserted me. Also, what judgment, however eloquently composed, could be made without causing an unpleasant discord with the delicate, sensitive, and ironic elegance of tone, or without painfully contrasting with the sharp insights, in a word, without betraying the beauty ..read more
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