Paint a Vulgar Picture

Lebanese artist Dona Timani’s exhibition “Paint a Vulgar Picture: On Bordering and Othering in the Arab World" is a series of self-described "controversial portraits" which "dissects Arab communities and the underlying ideologies of power." The works are intended to highlight and elucidate "the politics of exclusion and alienation, identity crises, and myriad conflicting ideologies across … Continue reading Paint a Vulgar Picture

The Crisis of History in Jabra’s Novels

In an interview in 1990, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra commented on the need for “a change of vision…a new way of looking at things" in an Arab world "betrayed by thousands of years of decay” (Nasrawi). This sense of impasse has been a long-standing theme in Arab literary and cultural contexts, addressing what is seen as … Continue reading The Crisis of History in Jabra’s Novels

The Ship

Jabra Ibrahim Jabra's The Ship (Al Safina 1970) is narrated by two characters taking a trip on a cruise ship from Beirut to Italy: Isam Salman, an architect from Baghdad who has studied in London and Wadi Assaf, a Palestinian buisnessman who lives in exile in Kuwait. There's a cast of Arab and European characters … Continue reading The Ship

An Apartment Called Freedom

An Apartment Called Freedom, by Ghazi al Qusaibi, is set between 1956 and 1961, and tells of the experiences in love and politics of four Bahraini young men studying at university in Cairo. The novel begins on the plane, where 16 year old Fuad is on his way from Bahrain to Egypt to study law. … Continue reading An Apartment Called Freedom