Poet Galal El-Behairy’s ‘Letter from Tora Prison’

via ArabLit: Ahead of the expected verdict for imprisoned Egyptian poet Galal El-Behairy, ArabLit — like PEN centers around the world — is sharing a work El-Behairy wrote in prison: El-Behairy was arrested more than three months ago, on March 3, 2018, on charges related to his most recent book of poems, خير نسوان الأرض, The Finest Women on Earth (2018) and lyrics he wrote for Ramy Essam’s song “Balaha.” A campaign against him … Read more Poet Galal El-Behairy’s ‘Letter from Tora Prison’

Just Out: Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within

Very pleased to be back in New York, despite all — & find my copy of Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within, translated by Mona Kareem (with Mona Zaki & Jonathan Wright) & published by the operating system. And what a rare occasion it is, design-wise: the parti pris of choosing to print this bilingual (Arab-English) edition the way Arabic is read & printed, i.e. from right to left. Also happy to have … Read more Just Out: Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within

For July 28: Not Forgetting Ashraf Fayadh

via Arab Lit (in English) & BY MLYNXQUALEY on JULY 28, 2016 • ( 0 ) Today is a Day of Creativity for Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, serving eight years and 800 lashes in Saudi Arabia for the alleged apostasy in his collection Instructions Within:  Graffiti for Ashraf in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “I am scared to be forgotten.” The Guardian translated this message from the Palestinian poet, artist, and curator … Read more For July 28: Not Forgetting Ashraf Fayadh

Small Win: Poet Dareen Tatour Will Serve House Arrest at Home in Reineh

vi aArab Lit in English & BY MLYNXQUALEY on JULY 20, 2016 • ( 1 ) On July 18, Dareen Tatour’s hearing — to have her house arrest shifted from being alone outside Tel Aviv to her own village outside Nazareth — was postponed: Photo: Zahi Khamis. Previously appeared on Mondoweiss. But today word comes from Yoav Haifawi that “the prosecution agreed that Dareen will return to Reineh – still under … Read more Small Win: Poet Dareen Tatour Will Serve House Arrest at Home in Reineh

PEN America: ‘Detention of Poet Dareen Tatour Signals Worrying Escalation in Israeli Repression’

via Arab Literature (in English) & by MLYNXQUALEY on JUNE 18, 2016 • ( 0 ) PEN America released a statement about the case of Palestinian poet Dareen Tatour yesterday, condemning the “further evidence of the increasingly aggressive measures undertaken by the [Israeli] government to restrict speech critical of the state”: Tatour is one of a number of Palestinians who’ve been arrested for online speech critical of Israel. According to Nadim Nashef … Read more PEN America: ‘Detention of Poet Dareen Tatour Signals Worrying Escalation in Israeli Repression’

Egyptian Appeals Court Sentences Novelist Ahmed Naji to Two Years

BY MLYNXQUALEY on FEBRUARY 20, 2016 • ( 0 ) In a tremendous blow to Egypt’s novelists, publishers and readers, the Bulaq Criminal Court today sentenced experimental novelist Ahmed Naji to two years in prison for “public indecency” for the excerpt of his novel Using Life that appeared last year in the Akhbar al-Adab newspaper: According to several news sources (Mada, Al-Bedaiah), Akhbar al-Adab editor-in-chief Tarek al-Taher, who was also charged in this case, was given a LE10,000 … Read more Egyptian Appeals Court Sentences Novelist Ahmed Naji to Two Years

PEN /AMERICA On Amjad Nasser

Via PEN / AMERICA: PUBLISHED ON OCTOBER 6, 2014 see also this blog for 30 September On September 27, 2014, Jordanian-British Poet Amjad Nasser was denied permission to board a plane bound for New York, where he was to inaugurate the new Gallatin Global Writers Series at New York University. Like other writers who face ideological exclusion from the U.S.—including Ilija Trojanow almost exactly one year earlier—Nasser was given no … Read more PEN /AMERICA On Amjad Nasser

In Support of Omar Hazek

via Arab Literature (in English): BY MLYNXQUALEY on MARCH 23, 2014 PEN International, which has investigated Hazek’s case,also came out last week with an action appeal on Hazek’s behalf. In a statement, the organization said: PEN International protests the two-year prison sentence handed down to Egyptian poet Omar Hazek, who has been held in custody since his arrest in early December 2013 for taking part in a protest. Omar Hazek was held … Read more In Support of Omar Hazek

NSA Surveillance & US Writers

Chilling Effects PUBLISHED by PEN AMERICAN CENTER on November 11, 2013 NSA Surveillance Drives U.S. Writers to Self-Censor In the human rights and free expression communities, it is a widely shared assumption that the explosive growth and proliferating uses of surveillance technologies must be harmful—to intellectual freedom, to creativity, and to social discourse. But how exactly do we know, and how can we demonstrate, that pervasive surveillance is harming … Read more NSA Surveillance & US Writers

Ghassan Zaqtan’s Canadian Visa

Last week I was in Glasgow, waiting for Algerian poet Habib Tengour as we were supposed to do a joint poetry reading and a shared presentation of our anthology of North African Literature at the University of Glasgow. Tengour never made it because he never received his visa for the UK, & his passport was returned to him too late for a planned trip to Algeria for a conference. And now … Read more Ghassan Zaqtan’s Canadian Visa