Museum of Lost Objects

BBC Radio 4 has a series called The Museum of Lost Objects presented by Kanishk Tharoor, and produced by Maryam Maruf which "traces the stories of 10 antiquities or ancient sites that have been destroyed or looted in Iraq and Syria." There are currently five episodes available to listen to or download, and you can subscribe … Continue reading Museum of Lost Objects

A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans

The documentary film A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans, to be released this summer, is a series of vignettes intended to capture something of the diversity of Arab American immigrant experiences.  The director Abe Kasbo points out that  Americans are familiar with the narratives of Irish and Italian im­migrants, refugees from World War II, Asia … Continue reading A Thousand and One Journeys: The Arab Americans

Here and Elsewhere

The “Here and Elsewhere” exhibition at the New Museum begins on July 16 and runs until 28 September. This exhibition of contemporary art from and about the Arab world brings together forty-five artists.       The exhibition borrows its title from a 1976 film-essay by French directors Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gorin, and Anne-Marie Miéville. Their … Continue reading Here and Elsewhere

Arab America: A Bibliography

A working bibliography on being Arab and American, Arab American culture, performance, writing, and negotiating stereotypes in the post 9/11 world, as well as some books on the early history and the immigration narrative of Arabs in America. Who knew that there were three books with the title The Arab Americans? Abdelrazek, Amal Talaat. Contemporary … Continue reading Arab America: A Bibliography

Kingdom of Strangers

Elias Khoury’s The Kingdom of Strangers (1996, Mamlakah al-Ghuraba 1993) is a slim book which interweaves the reflections of the narrator (identified with Khoury himself), the folk legend of the Lebanese monk Jurji Khairy, and the story of the  "Circassian" Widad.  These stories are retold by a narrator to us, and to two interlocutors, with … Continue reading Kingdom of Strangers

The Game of Forgetting

Mohammed Berrada’s The Game of Forgetting (L'ubat al-Nisyan 1987) tells the stories of various members of a Moroccan family during from the French Protectorate and since Independence, focusing on how the psychological games of memory and forgetting impact experience. Berrada has also written a novel with the title Woman of Forgetting (Imraʼat al-nisyān, 2001), and both novels published … Continue reading The Game of Forgetting

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 Pessoptimist

Emile Habibi's novel The Pessoptimist (1974) - to give it its full title, The Strange Events Surrounding the Dissapearance of Said the Unfortunate the Pessoptimist - depicts the life of a Palestinian in Israel, employing black humor and satire to deal with what it means for Arabs to live in the state of Israel. The … Continue reading The Pessoptimist

A Symposium on Jurji Zaydan

Jurji Zaydan is the focus of a four hour symposium at the Library of Congress as scholars from the Arab world, Europe and North America presented papers and discussed the life and work of the noted Arab novelist, journalist and publisher. And ArabLit had a post (and a quiz!) on Zaydan yesterday, read a snippet: … Continue reading A Symposium on Jurji Zaydan