The Digitization Process at Iraq’s National Library

via Arab Literature (in English): BY MLYNXQUALEY on AUGUST 8, 2015 • ( 0 ) The Associated Press recently ran a brief story about digitization and restoration efforts at the Iraqi National Library in Baghdad: Digitization efforts have been ongoing for several years, as noted in this 2013 International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) interview with Saad Eskander, Director of Iraq National Library and Archives. The hook in … Read more The Digitization Process at Iraq’s National Library

Eight Years Later, Mutanabbi Street

BY MLYNXQUALEY on FEBRUARY 1, 2015 • ( 0 ) The battle over memories and representations of Iraq in US discourse rages, not just writ large, as in the discussions over American Sniper, but also in individual spaces, like Baghdad’s central bookselling corridor:  In the American news, the usual way of remembering/forgetting the bombing that rocked Baghdad’s Mutanabbi Street in 2007 seems to be ever-present feature stories about the street’s “resurrection”: January 2009 in USA Today, April … Read more Eight Years Later, Mutanabbi Street

The Struggle Against Borders and for Autonomy in Kurdistan

by Ali Bektaş [via RETORT where Iain Boal added this note: The text of this dispatch was received from Ali on 25.vii.14. It reflects the situation in Rojava during the third week of July. Apologies to AT for the delay in editing (23.viii.14). IB] Temmuz, 2014 A Turkish armored personnel carrier patrolling the zone separating the Kurds between Turkey and Syria (credit: Özgür Gündem) The struggle to abolish borders which separate peoples from … Read more The Struggle Against Borders and for Autonomy in Kurdistan

‘Baghdad Writes!

via Arabic Literature (in English) by mlynxqualey A cheer went up in the conference hall when the winner to the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction was announced: It was Iraqi novelist Ahmed Saadawi for his novel, Frankenstein in Baghdad. The cheers were echoed across social media. Photo credit: Chip Rossetti. Iraqi poet, novelist, and scholar Sinan Antoon wrote: “Congrats! Ahmad Saadawi wins the 2014 Arabic Booker. It’s about time. Baghdad writes!” … Read more ‘Baghdad Writes!

Iraqi Authors on ‘A Decade of Despair’

Via & thanks to the as always excellent blog Arab Literature (in English): Posted on March 21, 2013 by mlynxqualey | Leave a comment This is the month, the week, the fifteen minutes that the world is grappling with and reflecting on the US-led invasion of Iraq. But it’s been more than fifteen minutes for Iraqi authors; particularly those, like Ahmed Saadawi, who are still in Iraq: Ahmed Saadawi: A Decade of Despair (New York Times) … Read more Iraqi Authors on ‘A Decade of Despair’

“Fire Won’t Eat Me Up:” Iraqi Poet Manal al Sheik

In Roxana Vilk’s short film, “Fire Won’t Eat Me Up,” Manal Al Sheikh says it is dangerous for her to be a writer in her hometown of Nineveh, Iraq, so she now engages readers online from Norway. The documentary, produced for Al Jazeera’s “Artscape: Poets of Protest” series, follows Al Sheikh as she prepares for a reading.

Nostalgia, My Enemy

Saadi Youssef, born in 1934 in Basra, Iraq, has lived in exile for some 30 years now — currently in London, England. Mahmood Darwish has called him a major influence, saying that “Saadi Youssef, whose poetry is in dialogue with the history of popetry, is like no other Arab poet… I was enchanted by his complex simplicity in its search for the poetics of minutiae in the prose of … Read more Nostalgia, My Enemy

Sinan Antoon’s Iraq War Diary

Last month, the excellent Jadaliyya site published extracts from poet-writer-translator Sinan Antoon’s Iraq war-time diary entitled A Barbarian in Rome. Below the opening paras: [The following are excerpts from a longer text in the form of a diary kept during the war] “ I have freed millions from barbarism.” George W. Bush, The Guardian, Sunday, June 15, 2008. i. “Are you going home for the holidays?” asked a colleague of mine some years … Read more Sinan Antoon’s Iraq War Diary

What is this time?

What is this timewhen a people no longer has a namebecause it lives without a presentIt penetrates the splinters of the explosionA past, waking from a long nightmare, pursues itIt rolls its head before the feet of Marswho rises out of the firmament of the North. Abdelkader El Janabi ABDEL KADER EL JANABI was born in Baghad in 1940. He left Iraq in 1971, and eventually settled in France. … Read more What is this time?