A Poet’s Reflections on Tamim and Mourid Barghouti Reading with Ahdaf Soueif

Tamim Barghouti
Mourid Barghouti

I haven’t been able to find much ongoing coverage of this year’s Arab-focused London Poetry International, not even at the Southbank Centre’s own blog.

Which is was why I was particularly grateful that the British-Libyan poet, surgeon, and blogger Ghazi Gheblawi recorded his impressions of last night’s Tamim Barghouti, Mourid Barghouti, Ahdaf Soueif event via Twitter.

Note: The translation of I Was Born There, I Was Born Here (discussed below) should be out in English next fall from American University in Cairo Press. Also note: You can see a reading by Remi Kanazi, from London Poetry International, on Southbank Centre TV.

You can read the full rundown of Gheblawi’s comments about the Barghoutis+Soueif event on his Twitter account. Below are a few of my favorite comments (I have re-ordered them so that they’re first-to-last and not last-to-first):

Ghazi Gheblawi

Gheblawi: the reading of Mourid and Tamim Barghouti poetry chaired by novelist Ahdaf Soueif at southbank centre started #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Mourid Barghouti reading a poem about a dictator part of a chain of poems called the Idols #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: now Tamim Barghouti is reading a poem called In Jerusalem translations by Ahdaf Soueif and Radwa Ashour #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: brilliant performance by Tamim Barghouti about Jerusalem, Ahdaf Soueif became emotional and shedding tears #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Tamim and Mourid are reflecting about political activism and their struggle with authorities in Egypt #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Tamim Barghouti talks about his deportation by Egyptian authorities during 2003 demonstration against invasion of Iraq #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Ahdaf Soueif discusses Mourid Barghouti new book of memoirs ‘Born there, Born here’ #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Tamim Barghouti talks about his two days visit to Jerusalem and the inspiration behind his poem ‘In Jerusalem’ #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Tamim Barghouti says ‘Jerusalem has tendency to belongs to the people who can’t reach it’

Gheblawi: Mourid Barghouti on poetry ‘age taught me understatement, and a poem is a whisper’ #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Mourid Barghouti on Palestinian situation ‘we made bad decision how to resist occupation, we have a bad leadership’ #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Tamim Barghouti on Palestinian situation ‘our despair as a new generation is different from my

Gheblawi: Tamim Barghouti ‘we learned no to be silent because of the huge catastrophe’ #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Tamim Barghouti ‘we lost faith in western civilisation modernity, and gives a higher degree of despair’ #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: now Mourid Barghouti reading short poems, ‘The Prisoner’ #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Mourid Barghouti on his best poets ‘I adore polish poet Wisława Szymborska’ #poetryinternational

Gheblawi: Tamim Barghouti reading a poem ‘Joy’#poetryinternational

Still to come from London Poetry International: Tonight’s readings with Adonis and Yang Lian.