From Duna Ghali’s ‘Orbits of Loneliness’
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
20h ago
A few years ago, when we asked Egyptian novelist Miral al-Tahawy for a favorite book in Arabic by a woman writer, she said, “Truth is, there is a long list of Arab women’s work that I’m sure was important in the history of my reading, but what I remember is the last text I read that had a profound impact on me, and that’s Duna Ghali’s Orbits of Loneliness (منازل الوحشة), a novel that tells about the narrator’s relationship to her young child during a time of war and siege in Iraq, both before and after the US military invasion. The novel describes the complex relationship between a mother and ..read more
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‘Bidayàt’: Aldo Nicosia on a Collection of Beginnings
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
3d ago
The forthcoming collection Bidayàt, ed. Aldo Nicosia, brings together the openings of twenty-two different Arabic novels; these are translated into Italian by Nicosia with the help of two other translators. For ArabLit, Nicosia sat down in front of the mirror and conducted a somewhat impertinent interview with himself about the project.  Interviewer: Mr. Nicosia, why Bidayàt? What new does it add to the Italian cultural landscape? Aldo Nicosia: Bidayàt is an anthology that, as its title suggests (it means “beginnings”), covers only a long incipit, or I’d better say, the opening pages of ..read more
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From ALQ: Football Chants from Palestine
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
1w ago
In the Fall 2021 issue of ArabLit Quarterly, we focused on FOOTBALL, and especially its many literary manifestations. Among these are the chants sung at matches; the issue brought together diverse chants from Algeria, Bahrain, Morocco, Egypt, and Palestine. In each country, the football chants reflect not just the fans’ relationship with their team, but with the wider society and world. In the two chants author Ameer Hamad selected and translated for this issue — from the Hilal Al-Quds Club in Jerusalem and Hapoel Umm al-Fahm FC in Umm al-Fahm — it’s not just important to win, but t ..read more
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‘Before the Queen Falls Asleep’: In Conversation with Kay Heikkinen
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
2w ago
By Tugrul Mende This month, a second of Huzama Habayeb’s novels was published in English translation, this time by MacLehose Press. Before the Queen Falls Asleep was translated by Kay Heikkinen and centers on the life story of a girl named Jihad—so named because her parents wanted a boy. The novel shades in a portrait of Palestinian life in exile, and it’s told with humor and intimacy, as the family must travel from Kuwait to Jordan and later to Dubai.  This is the second of Huzama’s novels you’ve translated. The first was the Naguib Mahfouz Medal-winning Velvet, which was publishe ..read more
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Golan Haji & Marilyn Hacker on the Inseparable Natures of Writing and Translating
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
2w ago
The two introductory texts below — on life, writing, and translation — appear in the newly published trilingual collection Another Room to Live In: 15 Contemporary Arab Poets. By Golan Haji Translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker In the mid-1990s, I often went to the library of the American Cultural Center in Damascus, located at the foot of Mount Qassioun, in a calm little street beneath the shadows of fragrant Peruvian pepper-trees. Alone, I dove among the enchanting words of poets I had barely heard of, armed with the huge tome of the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Reading occupied most ..read more
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‘Resistance and the Palestinian Folk Song’
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
2w ago
This piece appeared in our Spring 2021 SONG issue.  By Shaimaa Abulebda It was last year when a short video posted to Palestinian singer-songwriter Terez Sliman’s Facebook page went viral. The video features Sliman and Portuguese musician Sofia Adriana Portugal on a boat, cruising the Nile River in Egypt. They sit atop a table, facing one another as they tap rhythmically while singing “Ya Talei’en El Jabal” (Hey, You, Climbing Up the Mountain) and “Las Panaderas” (Women Bakers). Within a matter of days, the Arabic-Spanish folksong fusion had spread across different social media platforms ..read more
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New Short Fiction from Sudan: ‘The Drunken Donkey’
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
3w ago
The Drunken Donkey Dr. Abuelgasim Gour Translated by Nassir al-Sayeid al-Nour Among all the donkeys, my aunt Um Makhayan’s donkey was the one that enjoyed gnawing on the Saheb tree, which flourished to the west of our neighborhood. The tree was green in all seasons: green in summer, and green at the peak of the rainy season, too. Hers was a gray donkey with a thick neck, the kind of donkey that’s called adubalwi in western Sudan. The donkey would head off every day to gnaw the Saheb tree until its front teeth had engraved a donkey-sign on the tree’s trunk—no other donkey could have ..read more
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Reem Bassiouney Wins 2024 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for her ‘Fatimid Trilogy’
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
3w ago
APRIL 4, 2024 — Organizers of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced their 2024 winners today. The list was led by the high-profile literature category, which went to Reem Bassiouney’s fast-paced, fights-and-romance-filled historical novel, Al Halwani: The Fatimid Trilogy. The sweeping historical three-parter travels back in time to medieval Egypt. Organizers write, in a prepared statement, that Bassiouney “seeks to shed light on the Egyptian character with narratives that intertwine poetry, architecture, and mythology, while underscoring the human dimension. The author works to construct the ..read more
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An Excerpt from Najem Wali’s ‘My Romantic Aunt’
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
3w ago
Najem Wali’s 2024 novel My Romantic Aunt, published by Rewayat, follows a man’s relationship with his boundary-breaking aunt. From ‘My Romantic Aunt: Her friends, Her Relationships, and Me’ By Najem Wali Translated by Nada Hodali About Her  My “Romantic Aunt.” Whoever gave her this nickname remains a mystery; it could have been one of the men that passed through her life, one of her best friends, or perhaps she herself chose the nickname, which she used to sign a paper that she left for me in an old box that once belonged to my grandmother. Over the years, there were many changes t ..read more
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Forthcoming April 2024: Palestinian Prison Literature, Queer Refugees, Bedouin Poetry, & More
Arablit & Arablit Quarterly
by mlynxqualey
3w ago
This list may not be complete; if you have something to add, please put it in the comments or email us at info@arablit.org. The Screams of War: Selected Poems, by Akram Alkatreb, tr. Jonas Elbousty (Seagull Books) From the publisher: ‘Those who believe in the currency of patience / Were burned out in the alleyway.’ The Screams of War is a visceral collection of poems that confront the realities of contemporary Syria. Akram Alkatreb’s verses capture the sense of the quotidian during war. His words, mere ‘murmurs engraved on stones’, long for and despair over an irrevocable past. At t ..read more
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