Al Jazeera “Poets of Protest” Series

Al Jazeera’s “Poets of Protest” series — which promises to document the lives and landscapes of Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm, Syrian Hala Mohammed, Lebanese Yehia Jaber (another video of Jaber here), Iraqi Manal al-Sheikh, Palestinian Mazen Maarouf, and Algerian al-Khadra — is set to begin tomorrow. Arab Literature (in English) blog has this to say on the series: The first “Artscape” portrait will be of vernacular poet Fouad Negm, who was also recently featured in a disappointing Egyptian … Read more Al Jazeera “Poets of Protest” Series

Avnery on Syria

As usual, Avnery’s takes are fascinating & excellent food for the intelletto. This week the topic is Syria: Uri Avnery August 11, 2012  Bloody Spring) ON A flight to London in 1961, I had a unique experience. On the way, the plane made a stop in Athens and a group of Arabs joined us. That by itself was an experience. In those days, Israelis hardly ever met people from … Read more Avnery on Syria

Algeria Celebrates

Fireworks above Sidi Fredj,in Algiers, 4 July 2012. (Photo Louafi Larbi. Reuters) A different 4 July fireworks: this one happened on the evening of 4 July in Algiers to start the celebration of today’s (5 July) 50th anniversary of Independence. Algeria will celebrate for a whole year, the government has so ordered.  No comments: it would take a full book-length essay to so much as approach the complexity, the joys, … Read more Algeria Celebrates

Writers in Syria

This in via the Arab Literature (in English) site, where you can also read the rest of the article, and a further range of materials concerning Arab literature in translation, such as their previous post detailing what new books translated from Arabic are coming out this year. In Praise of … Khaled Khalifa Posted on June 1, 2012 by mlynxqualey | Leave a comment Even after being beaten last Saturday, and having his left hand broken, Syrian novelist … Read more Writers in Syria

Finding Bayt Across Borders of Stone

A very moving tribute to Anthony Shadid (& simultaneously an excellent review of Shadid’s memoir House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East) by Syrian writer Amal Hanano, published yesterday in Jadaliyya. Below the opening paragraphs. You could read the full article here. [Cover of House of Stone, by Anthony Shadid.] No roads, not a single one, lead to the place where we had gotten ourselves.*  … Read more Finding Bayt Across Borders of Stone

Malek Jandali’s “Freedom” (Qashoush Symphony) مالك جندلي حرية سيمفونية القاشوش

Malek Jandali (Arabic: مالك جندلي‎) was born in Germany in 1972 & raised in Homs. He is a Syrian composer and pianist who began his musical career as a pianist, winning the first prize at the National Young Artists’ competition of Syria in 1988. He’s considered to be among the most versatile and creative musicians in the Arab world. He is the first Syrian and only Arab musician to arrange music based on the oldest music notation in the world, which was discovered in the Bronze … Read more Malek Jandali’s “Freedom” (Qashoush Symphony) مالك جندلي حرية سيمفونية القاشوش

Happy B-Day Tunisia!

It was a year ago today that the Arab Spring saw its first victory when Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia following the protests that had broken out on 18 December 2010 with a people’s loud & proactive chlass, ras-le-bol, basta, enough-already! of revolutionary proportions. Here’s a poem by Tunisian poet Tahar Bekri from the forthcoming (November 2012) Poems for the Millennium IV: The University of California Book of North … Read more Happy B-Day Tunisia!

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