Uri Avnery: A new Guinness Record

 August 17, 2013   I DON’T know if the Guinness Book of World Records has a special section for Chutzpah. a If it does not, it should. That’s the one competition where we might take home a few gold medals. The first one would surely go to Binyamin Netanyahu.  THIS WEEK, on the eve of the first round of serious negotiations between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu … Read more Uri Avnery: A new Guinness Record

Mahmood Darwish, Five Years Already

Last night, just before falling asleep I was reading in Pascal Quignard’s Sur le jadis (volume 2 of his Dernier Royaume series) & came across the following sentence: “C’est une plaie qui cherche son couteau. / It is a wound looking for its knife.” I put the book down to go to sleep, but the sentence kept running through my mind & for some reason started to irritate. I … Read more Mahmood Darwish, Five Years Already

Syria, Dilemma

And then this, via the daily Perlentaucher, which strikes me as a sadly accurate assessment of the dilemma, by the Syrian philosopher Sadik J. Al-Azm in the FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) in my quick translation, this morning: “The international discourse on Syria is shaped primarily by concerns for the protection of minorities: Christians, Kurds, Alawites, Druses, Ismailis, Turkmen, Circassians and others. It is however the majority — the Sunnis — … Read more Syria, Dilemma

Tamam Azzam: Artist from Art to Revolution

  Courtesy of Al Mudon electronic newspaper Dima Wannous, a Syrian journalist and daughter of the late noted playwright Saddallah Wannous, has been providing exceptional coverage of the Arab art and cultural scene for the newly established Lebanese electronic newspaper, Al Mudon. She recently talked with Syrian artist Tamam Azzam, whom she claims remains as engaged in documenting the events of the Syrian revolution through his paintings as he … Read more Tamam Azzam: Artist from Art to Revolution

Poetic Voices of the Muslim World

This is a fabulous site and the whole project is excellent. Poets House & City Lore are to be congratulated for their pioneering work. I participated in the first installment here in New York 2 years ago with a talk on Maghrebi literature, & the occasion provided me with a  range of discoveries both in terms of Middle Eastern literature and in matters of translation.  This expanded nomadic version … Read more Poetic Voices of the Muslim World

al-Ajami “Jasmine Revolution Poem”

Via Arabic Literature (in English): As We Wait on al-Ajami’s Final Appeal, a New Translation of ‘Jasmine Revolution Poem’ Posted on March 9, 2013 by mlynxqualey | Leave a comment A week and a half ago, a Qatari appeals court refused to overturn the sentence against poet Mohammad al-Ajami, instead reducing it from life to 15 years. The country’s Supreme Court is set to make a final ruling within the month. You can still sign a … Read more al-Ajami “Jasmine Revolution Poem”

Shahadat : The City in Translation

Check out this issuu issue of Contemporary Literature in  Translation, edited by Sousan Hammad: Intro Note: The rich collection in this issue of Shahadat reflects Sousan Hammad’s unique approach to translation as a form of collective engagement and draws on the works of poets from urban milieus in Syria, Egypt, Palestine, and Lebanon that are transformed through the emotional force of poetry. From the poems of Najwan Darwish, set in an … Read more Shahadat : The City in Translation

Elias Khoury’s Letter to the Real ‘Gate of the Sun’

Bab al-Shams before First posted on January 13, 2013 on Arabic Literature (in English). A few days ago, Palestinians started to erect a new village, Bab al-Shams (Gate of the Sun) on land seized by Israel for new settlements. (More in Electronic Intifada, NYTimes.) The village’s name is taken from Elias Khoury’s beautiful, epic novel, Bab Al Shams, or Gate of the Sun (trans. Humphrey Davies, published by Archipelago). Yesterday, … Read more Elias Khoury’s Letter to the Real ‘Gate of the Sun’

Avnery on Debate

Here’s Uri Avnery’s take on the 2nd debate & beyond:   The Man with the Uzi THERE WAS this young Israeli who was captured by cannibals. They put him in the cooking pot and were about to light the fire, when he expressed one last wish: “Please box my ears!” When the cannibal chief obliged, the Israeli jumped up, leveled his Uzi and mowed down his captors. “If you … Read more Avnery on Debate

Resistance that Sticks

Via  The Electronic Intifada, the opening paras of the following piece by Abraham Greenhouse, a longtime Palestine solidarity and BDS activist based in New York City. Posting on Face Book yesterday on the Egyptian journalist arrested for modifying the anti-Muslin hate-advertisement seen below, brought in a lot of commentary, some of it puzzling. Yes, these activist stickers are “illegal” as they deface the private property of those who paid to … Read more Resistance that Sticks