A number of literary-minded Arabic- and Arabic-English e-zines have opened shop in the last year: There’s Qadita, run in part by Beirut39 author Alaa Hlehel, which launched last August; Jadaliyya, which boasts a number of literary stars, opened its cultural wing last month.
The lovely Kalimat magazine just published its first issue, which was entirely in English, although founder Danah Abdulla told me she eventually wants the magazine to be in English, Arabic, and French. Meanwhile, Samuel Shimon’s Kikah and Hassan Blasim’s IraqStory are still going strong. (As is Samandal, but it’s no longer free online, tsh.)
Another smaller magazine, Laghoo, has joined the moment of cultural blossoming. The note below is from editor Ashraf Zaghal:
From Asraf Zaghal
In a time of Arab uprising in the Middle East, the aspirations of people are directed toward freedom; their freedom to have better lives, and to express their thoughts and ideas. While politics is the currency of the day and Arab intellectuals are busy focusing on the political level of the scene, there is a dire need to look closer at the current and future cultural infrastructure of the Arab society, which includes the way people think, talk, write and communicate. The rationale behind this need is that a free Arab individual is an individual who can express himself freely, write freely, and communicate his ideas without censorship.
Censorship is not imposed only by totalitarian governments. It can be imposed by the father, the family, the neighborhood, the tribe, and the scriptures.
Laghoo chooses to look at the cultural side of the coin. Laghoo is an online literary magazine in Arabic and English. We cover poetry, fiction, book reviews, translations and criticism. We seek to promote the “different” in Arabic literature by publishing new styles of creative writing and encourage fresh approaches that lively up language and experiment with taboo-breaking themes.
Laghoo seeks to promote new and fresh voices in Arabic literature by translating their work into English. Laghoo will also translate taboo-breaking literature from around the world into Arabic.
We hope that we will be able to contribute in laying out foundations for new dynamics in Arabic Thought and Literature.
“Laghoo” is an Arabic word for twitter, chatter, and tittle-tattle. It has it’s origins in Logha, which is “Language” in Arabic and Logos which is “word,” “speech,” “account,” or “reason” in Greek. Heraclitus [ca. 535–475 BC] used the term for the principle of order and knowledge
Please visit us at: www.laghoo.com.