Friday Links: Political Poetry, Heresy, and How Many Books Since #Jan25

Over at Imtidad, Ghazi Gheblawi has a new translation of a poem by Rabee Shrair, titled “The Oranges.”

Shrair has been detained by Ghaddafi’s forces for more than four months now.

The Oranges

Worthy of love
On the day oranges bloom

Worthy of love
On the day oranges wither

Worthy of love
On the day oranges are picked

Worthy of love
On the day oranges are eaten

Worthy of love
On the day oranges are planted

On the day oranges are killed
There is a crying girl

In the dry corner of the field
Her tears are oranges

If you haven’t already, you can read a short story of Gheblawi’s online at Banipal. And more poetry from Shrair.

‘Heretic’ Fights EGYPTIAN Government Censorship

Sayyid al-Qemny is fighting censorship in the social sciences—not literature—but censorship of one concerns us all. Al-Qemny’s State Merit Award was stripped last Monday at the recommendation of the Board of State Commissioners.

The board took back the 200,000 LE award because, according to Al Masry Al Youm, they said “Qemny’s writings violated the Quran and the Sunnah, scorned the prophets and insulted God.”

Al-Qemny has said he will fight this decision.

In other censorship news: Sacking of TV host raises fears of self-censorship in private media


According to Youm7, the Egyptian national library has announced that 1,747 books were published in Arabic and 166 books in English since the uprising that began January 25.

The release said that “901 books were released in the humanities category, 175 books about in sciences, 566 books in arts and literature and 104 books in history and geography.”

It would be interesting to know how many of these were “revolution” titles.

What section of the bookstore is this?

From @Kawdess, via Muslimah Media Watch.


  1. I don’t understand why there were so many veiled women in this section, quite a misrepresentation of what Arabic literature is. This would appeal to reader who wants to read about “Women-oppression” or “How-I-escape-from-oppression” literature, if there is such genre!

  2. the self-help section?

  3. Which section… oh dear, let’s see: closeup silky niqab + khol galore x shimmy of the eye lashes x groups of little girls looking down x double square ‘the Bin Ladens’ … this has got to be ‘the fantasy section’, granted, also known as ‘ME non-fiction’ in north-west-of-the-mediteranean parlance. Whatever it is the sticker ‘Saudi Arabia’ and ‘women’s rights’ can’t be too far. Oh no, horror, it’s not the ‘Islam section’ these days is it?

  4. anywhere … :-S

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