German Peace Prize for Syrian poet Adonis?

Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany’s international broadcaster, just published an article on its website which I am reproducing below. Ever since the announcement that Adonis was to receive the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize of the city of Osnabrück, unease has been expressed vocally by some who feel that Adonis has not been loud enough in his criticism of the Assad regime. Details of this criticism can be read in the article below. I … Read more German Peace Prize for Syrian poet Adonis?

“Ulysses already wanted to go to Europe:”

Raoul Schrott on the Mediterranean An excellent poet, translator (of the Odyssey & the Iliad, among others), essayist, travel writer, born in Germany and living today in Austria, Raoul Schrott, whom I have been reading for some 20 years now, is virtually unknown, because untranslated, in this country — which is a crying shame! In the context of a series of articles concerning the politics & cultures of the Mediterranean basin … Read more “Ulysses already wanted to go to Europe:”

Avnery on Iran’s Theoretical Bomb

Uri Avnery April 4, 2015 Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Bomb? I MUST start with a shocking confession: I am not afraid of the Iranian nuclear bomb. I know that this makes me an abnormal person, almost a freak. But what can I do? I am unable to work up fear, like a real Israeli. Try as I may, the Iranian bomb does not make me hysterical. MY … Read more Avnery on Iran’s Theoretical Bomb

Nimrod (befoe ISIS), Peter Sloterdijk on Heidegger (in French), Samah Selim on Translation & Adaptation

& here for the weekend’s end a few items of interest in between the ongoing Meddeb / Malady of Islam serialization: Much angered by the destruction of Nimrod & other archeological sites. Must be the first time I am thankful (put that word under erasure) for the British & French colonial greed that stole & stored much of the moveable treasures in their museums. Nimroud : à quoi ressemble la … Read more Nimrod (befoe ISIS), Peter Sloterdijk on Heidegger (in French), Samah Selim on Translation & Adaptation

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

Gaza

The horror of what’s happening in Gaza is there for all to see. Here are the opening lines of Mahmood Darwish’s poem on Gaza: Gaza is far from its relatives and close to its enemies, because whenever Gaza explodes, it becomes an island and it never stops exploding. It scratched the enemy’s face, broke his dreams and stopped his satisfaction with time. Because in Gaza time is something different. … Read more Gaza

Summer Reading: New Arab Poetry Translations Online

via Arab Literature (in English): Writes mlynxqualey:  Not exactly “beach reading,” but you could peruse these on your phone as you listen to the waves. Portrait of al-Sayyab from http://www.suhailart.com/ Badr Shakir al-Sayyab In Jadaliyya’s summer “culture bouquet,” they feature the Iraqi poet’s “Whorehouse,” trans. Levi Thompson. (You can read the original here.) “Whorehouse”  Sargon Boulus Also from the “culture bouquet” (a great one this season), a poem by … Read more Summer Reading: New Arab Poetry Translations Online

Interview with Nawal El Saadawi

Below the opening paragraphs of an interview with Egyptian author Nawal El Saadawi; you can read the full interview in Qantara magazine, here: “They don’t want any really courageous people!” The spirited Egyptian author and feminist Nawal El Saadawi is not afraid of castigating the hypocrisy of the political system and the continued violations of women’s rights in her country. Arian Fariborz spoke to her in Cairo Ms Saadawi, … Read more Interview with Nawal El Saadawi

Syrian Intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh Speaks Out

The Boston Review has just published a major interview with activist & intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh by Danny Postel and Nader Hashemi, co-editors of The Syria Dilemma. Yassin al-Haj Saleh is often called the conscience of the Syrian revolution. Born in Raqqa in 1961, he was arrested in 1980, while a medical student in Aleppo, and imprisoned for his membership in a left-wing organization. He remained a political prisoner until 1996, spending the last of … Read more Syrian Intellectual Yassin al-Haj Saleh Speaks Out

Unsi al-Haj (1937-2014)

Unsi al-Hajj was one of the major avant-garde voices in the Lebanese, and more widely, the Middle East poetry renaissance. He was connected with the major avant-garde journal Shi’ir (Poetry) core to the poetry revival of the 50s & 60s, & is maybe best known for popularizing the prose poem. Adonis wrote in his The Music of the Blue Whale: “I did not write prose poems in the exact sense … Read more Unsi al-Haj (1937-2014)