Hisham Bustani’s The Crossing

Hisham Bustani's short story "The Crossing"  has been translated into English by Maia Tabet and appears in the current issue of Newfound.  The short story was originally published in Arabic in Bustani's The Monotonous Chaos of Existence (2010). In Newfound, it appears in both Arabic and English, as in Bustani's previous work, The Perception of Meaning, … Continue reading Hisham Bustani’s The Crossing

Reviewing Saud Alsanousi’s The Bamboo Stalk

In the National today, Novelist Robin Yassin-Kassab reviews Saud Alsanousi’s The Bamboo Stalk, winner of the IPAF in 2013, which has been translated to English by Jonathan Wright. Set in the Philippines and Kuwait, the book explores the  phenomenon of foreign workers i noted Gulf and the problems of racism and identity conflict experienced by José/Isa, the son of Josephine, … Continue reading Reviewing Saud Alsanousi’s The Bamboo Stalk

Adapting the Novel into Arabic

Professor Samah Selim discusses the translation of popular European literature into Arabic in her recent lecture  "The People's Entertainment: Translation, Adaptation and the Novel in Egypt."  The lecture focuses on the Egyptian periodical Musamarat al-Sha'b (The People's Entertainment, 1904-1911), and the importance of "doing modern literary history outside the canon of authors and texts (on) … Continue reading Adapting the Novel into Arabic

Rim Banna at MELA Festival

Palestinian singer Rim Banna is performing in MELA Festival in Oslo, the 17th of August. Banna first achieved prominence on the international stage in 2003, joining Norwegian jazz singer Kari Bremnes on the antiwar album "Lullabies from the Axis of Evil." Since then, Banna has become known for her updating of traditional Palestinian songs, lullabies … Continue reading Rim Banna at MELA Festival

The American Granddaughter

Iraqi writer and journalist Inaam Kachachi's novel Tashari was one of three novels by Iraqi writers which were included in the longlist for IPAF 2014, along with Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, and The Sad Night of Ali Baba by Abdel Khaliq al Rikabi. The shortlist will be announced tomorrow, 10th of February. I … Continue reading The American Granddaughter

I Must Ask Permission of the Homeland

This is a picture of Nizar Qabbani. The title of this post is the title of one of his poems which deals with putting the homeland first. Because this is about literature in crisis, writing in extremis, and putting the immediate needs of the country before fiction and imagination. And in many ways, in his … Continue reading I Must Ask Permission of the Homeland

Comedy of Sorrows

"Written in direct response to the ongoing revolution in Egypt, Ibrahim El-Husseini's Commedia Al-Ahzaan (Comedy of Sorrows) follows a young university-educated Egyptian woman through a series of encounters with different members of society. Through these encounters, she comes to realize how little she understands her own country." So Ibrahim El-Husseini's post-revolution play has been translated … Continue reading Comedy of Sorrows