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

Fisk on Amin Maalouf

Interesting article by Robert Fisk in The Independent this morning, on the election of Lebanese-French author Amin Maalouf to the Acedémie Française. I do remember the latter’s first book — a novelized life of the great Maghrebi historian El Hasan ben Muhammed el-Wazzan-ez-Zayyati, better known by his pope-imposed name Leo Africanus — as a very enjoyable summer “fiction” read. I agree with Fisk that Maalouf’s best book is his non-fiction account … Read more Fisk on Amin Maalouf

Ibn Darradj al-Qastalli (2)

  Ode in praise of al-Mansur al-‘Amiri, Emir of Cordoba  (Mu’arada of Abu-Nawas)(Extract)   O wife! Set the will of the unjustly treated free            so that it may rise into the desert’s immensity and take flight! Perhaps what pained you after separation            will make the lowly stronger or free a prisoner. Don’t you know that to settle down means to die            and that the homes of those who have … Read more Ibn Darradj al-Qastalli (2)

Ibn Darradj al-Qastalli (1)

From the DIWAN IFRIKIYA anthology, a poet of the early glorious days of al-Andalus (given the limits of blog formatting & text width, the final layout will be slightly different to indicate the hemistiches of the original Arabic lines):   Ibn Darradj al-Qastalli (‘Umar Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Sulayman ibn Darradj al-Qastalli) (958-1030) Ode  In praise of Khaïran al-‘Amiri, Emir of Almeria (Extract) In the folds of … Read more Ibn Darradj al-Qastalli (1)

A year in jail for a poem

Via “The Arabist“: Bahrain: A year in jail for a poem By Ursula Lindsey June 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM Share On Sunday a court in Bahrain sentenced Ayat Al Qurmazi, a 20-year-old education student, to a year in prison for insulting the king and inciting hatred. Al Qurmazi became famous after reciting poetry Pearl Square that includes the lines such as: We are the people who will kill humiliation and assassinate misery We … Read more A year in jail for a poem

A Call from Syrian Writers

Transmission of the call addressed to all poets and writers in the world إحالة نداء إلى كافة الروائيين والشعراء والنقاد في العالم Check out the video before reading the text and thank you for your signatures   The Syrian revolution 2011 تاريخ  الثورة السورية الحديث http://www.facebook.com/l/f966dz7Sw-ad02KT1gP0ZTb4v6g/www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzvduDVjdyA   We, Syrian writers, endorsing the previous call that our friends the filmmakers addressed to their colleagues in the world, are addressing this call for … Read more A Call from Syrian Writers

Al-Ahram’s Special Issue

The 25 January Revolution (Special issue) Egypt, after birth pangs The showdown over the future of the country is far from over. Assem El-Kersh discusses the prospects and implications 25, 28 Youssef Rakha on the first two Days Cyber revolution Mohamed Abdel-Baky reports on the role of Internet activists in instigating protests Testimony from Tahrir Gerard O’Neill once said: “Here is my advice as we begin the century that will … Read more Al-Ahram’s Special Issue

al-Tahrir Square Protesters’ Declaration

Again via Jadaliyya site, the English translation of the al-Tahrir protesters’ Declaration. Translation thanks to Fida Adely. Declaration: Egyptian Youth Protesting in Midan al-Tahrir First Main Point: The Promises of the President and the Events of February 2 We have been protesting since January 25 and conducting a sit-in in Tahrir (Liberation) Square. We strongly condemn the brutal attack that was undertaken by the mercenaries of the national party against … Read more al-Tahrir Square Protesters’ Declaration

The Poetry of Revolt

Drawing again on the excellent Jadaliyya site here are the opening paragraphs of an article speaking to the poetry — not meant metaphorically — that the Egyptian uprising is giving birth to: The Poetry of Revolt by Elliott Colla It is truly inspiring to see the bravery of Egyptians as they rise up to end the criminal rule of Hosni Mubarak. It is especially inspiring to remember that what is happening is … Read more The Poetry of Revolt

From Cairo

The photos above are by our friend the poet Belle Gironda who is teaching at the American University in Cairo and returned to that city a or so week ago. Yesterday she took a whole batch of photos and posted them to her facebook page. So, if you have access to facebook, go check them out there, i.e. click here. Nicole just sent over the following analysis on political/historical background on Cairo events — … Read more From Cairo