Meddeb’s Islam & the Challenge of Civilization

If yesterday I posted Hind Meddeb’s letter from Tunis — an urgent cry for human rights &, I think, an accurate evaluation of the situation in Tunisia post-Arab Spring — I want to point today to her father, Abdelwahab Meddeb’s, latest book in English translation, out earlier this year from Fordham University press & translated (excellently so) by Jane Kuntz,  Islam and the Challenge of Civilization. This book, for … Read more Meddeb’s Islam & the Challenge of Civilization

Letter on (In)Justice in Tunisia by Hind Meddeb

The Tunisian poet & scholar Abdelwahab Meddeb forwarded me the following letter by his daughter Hind Meddeb, a cinematographer & journalist. It goes to the heart of the matter of how in Tunisia, the country where it started, the Arab Spring is being shunted toward yet another authoritarian police regime. This Monday, June 17, I didn’t show up at the police summons… Yesterday I left Tunisia because I lost … Read more Letter on (In)Justice in Tunisia by Hind Meddeb

Asymptote Review of Millennium Vol IV

Beatriz Leal Riesco reviews Poems for the Millennium, Volume Four: The University of California Book of North African Literature Edited by Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour (University of California Press, 2013) To bring together for the first time for the English-speaking public a broad range of texts from North Africa, ranging from ancient myths from the oral tradition to the most cutting-edge of contemporary poetry, has been the signal achievement … Read more Asymptote Review of Millennium Vol IV

The Maghrebi anthology …

…or the book Habib Tengour & I kept referring to as Diwan Iffrikyia all the years we worked on it, & that UCP calls The University of California Book of North African Literature, has now its Amazon site, which does allow you to check out the table of contents and read some (20%, they say) of the texts while waiting for the copies to arrive (any day now! — though probably no longer … Read more The Maghrebi anthology …

Diwan Iffrikyia is Here!

Poems for the Millennium, Volume Four: The University of California Book of North African Literature Pierre Joris (Editor), Habib Tengour (Editor) order HERE In this fourth volume of the landmark Poems for the Millennium series, Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour present a comprehensive anthology of the written and oral literatures of the Maghreb, the region of North Africa that spans the modern nation states of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania, and including a section … Read more Diwan Iffrikyia is Here!

Latest signandsight roundups

I haven’t had the time to catch up with signandsight in recent weeks — but here the site’s most recent posts:   Legacy of denial Germany has been rocked by the disclosures surrounding the series of neo-Nazi murders of Turkish citizens. In the wake of these events, Former GDR dissident Freya Klier calls for an honest look at the xenophobia cultivated by the policies of the former East Germany, where the core of … Read more Latest signandsight roundups

Khaled Mattawa on the overthrow of Qaddafi

The L.A. Times on 10/15 printed on its “Opinion” page a poem by Libyan-American poet Khaled Mattawa on the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi. Below, the opening lines; you can read the whole work here. After 42 years By Khaled Mattawa  Five years old when the dictator took over in a coup — curfew shut our city down Bloodless coup, they said — The many who thought this could be good. The … Read more Khaled Mattawa on the overthrow of Qaddafi

Tunisia, Elections, & Women’s Rights

Today Tunisians vote to elect an assembly charged with drafting a new constitution that may help bring the hopes of the Jasmine Revolution of last February to fruition by creating the basis for a truly democratic state.  The fear is, of course, that the better organized & financed religious groupings — locals such as Rachid al-Ghannouchi & his “Renaissance Party” & their supposedly “lite” version of Islam, or the foreign-financed Salafis, … Read more Tunisia, Elections, & Women’s Rights

Boualem Sansal receives German Peace Prize

This via The Washington Post. Unhappily the talk itself is not yet available either in French or even in German (not to mention English). You can however — if you have German — follow the whole ceremony, the various speeches & Sansal’s address (in French, though with overlaid German simul-translation) here. For those who have German, check out Sansal’s German translator Regina Keil-Sagawe’s excellent homage-essay  in the Neue Zuricher … Read more Boualem Sansal receives German Peace Prize

Re: Tunisia

The letter below was sent by Emna Zghal (Tunisian artist living here in NYC) to Ammiel Alcalay — both thought it contained useful info that would be good to publish more widely via NOMADICS. So here we go: Dear Ammiel, It’s amazing amazing amazing! The most enlightened person on Tunisia very early on is Brian Whitaker, and besides his Guardian column he runs a blog http://www.al-bab.com/default.htm I just read … Read more Re: Tunisia