Arab World
Omar Hazek: Letter from Prison

Omar Hazek: Letter from Prison

Our friends at Arabic Literature (in English) have recently published the translation of a letter from prison written by Egyptian poet Omar Hazek in which he explains why he is dedicating his new novel to his nephew, Ahmad. The original letter, which ran in Arabic in Al Masry Al Youm, was titled, “I apologize to you...
One Year in Prison Without Charges: Poet Ashraf Fayadh (Palestine/Saudi Arabia)

One Year in Prison Without Charges: Poet Ashraf Fayadh (Palestine/Saudi Arabia)

Once again, our friends at Arabic Literature (in English) are drawing attention to the plight of yet another writer held by the authorities in Saudi Arabia. Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh was arrested by Saudi authorities on January 1, 2014 — charged with “insulting the Godly self and having long hair” — and has yet to face...
Readers and Writers Battling Censorship in Kuwait Have a Hard Road Ahead

Readers and Writers Battling Censorship in Kuwait Have a Hard Road Ahead

Our friends at Arabic Literature (in English) recently looked at censorship in Kuwait, where rumours of „sex books“ in libraries have stirred some heated discussions. But, according to Kuwaiti Minister of Education and Higher Education Bader Al-Essa, these rumours are greatly exaggerated. The Kuwait-based Arab Times wrote — in an article titled ‘Presence Of Sex Books In...
Solidarity with Threatened Algerian Novelist Kamel Daoud

Solidarity with Threatened Algerian Novelist Kamel Daoud

Our friends at Arabic Literature (in English) recently posted the disturbing news of a call by Algerian Salafi leader Abdelfatah Hamadache — called “un obscure salafiste” by the paper Le Matin — for the death of award-winning Algerian novelist Kamel Daoud.   On December 16, Salafi leader Abdelfatah Hamadache declared a fatwa condemning the writer and journalist Kamel Daoud to death. The declaration to...
Help Rebuild the IBBY Libraries in Gaza

Help Rebuild the IBBY Libraries in Gaza

Our Friends at Arabic Literature (in English) have published this appeal, and we are happy to re-publish it here and urge you to consider contributing to this project. The International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) has helped fund, supply, and train staff at two libraries in Gaza. One saw damage when it was occupied by...
The Poet Cannot Stand Aside: Arabic Literature and Exile

The Poet Cannot Stand Aside: Arabic Literature and Exile

Marcia Lynx Qualey, whose blog Arabic Literature (in English) we cannot but admire, has published this remarkable analysis in Words without Borders, as part of their September issue on Exile. We highly recommend both sites to everyone who is really interested in what goes on in world literatures. Fourteen hundred years ago and more, the poet-prince...
‘I Do Not Wish For You To See Gaza As Anything But a Rose’

‘I Do Not Wish For You To See Gaza As Anything But a Rose’

Our friends at Arabic Literature (in English) have just posted this moving piece. Gaza-based writer Hedaya Shamun writes — although her writing rituals have disappeared — about the world she sees around her in the first and second nights of “Operation Protective Edge.” Translation by Ghada Mourad and Tyson Patros:   By Hedaya Shamun All the writing...
"They don't want any really courageous people!" Interview with Nawal El Saadawi

“They don’t want any really courageous people!” Interview with Nawal El Saadawi

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 for Qantara.   Qantara: Ms Saadawi, do you see yourself primarily as a writer or as a political...