On January 14, there will be readings held to stand shoulder to shoulder with Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh held around the world:
It was the international literature festival Berlin (ilb) that initiated the call “to participate in a worldwide reading of selected poems and other texts in support of” Fayadh, who has been sentenced to death by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. An appeal was filed on his behalf in December.
Fayadh has been in prison in Saudi Arabia since January 2014 on flimsy charges attaching to his supposed apostasy, evidence for which is supposedly found in his poetry collection Instructions Within (2008). According to The Guardian, the appeal argues his initial arrest was unlawful as it was ordered not by state prosecutors, but by the religious police. Additionally, “The allegation of apostasy made by Shaheen bin Ali Abu Mismar, who is alleged to have had a personal dispute with the poet, was not corroborated by other evidence, which goes against the principles of sharia law.”
Newly translated poems to read on January 14, wherever you may be:
Ashraf Fayadh, from Instructions Within: ‘The Last of the Line of Refugee Descendants’, translated by Jonathan Wright
Ashraf Fayadh, from Instructions Within: ‘A Melancholy Made of Dough,’ translated by Tariq Alhaydar
Ashraf Fayadh, from Instructions Within: Four Short Poems, translated by Jonathan Wright
Ashraf Fayadh, from Instructions Within: “A Space in the Void,” translated by Jonathan Wright
Ashraf Fayadh, from Instructions Within: “On the Virtues of Oil over Blood” translated by Mona Zaki
Ashraf Fayadh, from Instructions Within: “The Name of a Masculine Dream” translated by Mona Zaki
Youssef Rakha, uncollected: ‘Listen Ashraf,’ translated by Robin Moger
ilf also has more poems and excerpts at their Worldwide Reading site.
Ashraf Fayadh, from Instructions de l’intérieur: “Les Moustaches de Frida Kalo’ and Other Poems,” ©Traduction Tahar BEKRI
Ashraf Fayadh, from Las instrucciones están adentro, “Los últimos descendientes de los Refugiados,” Del árabe al español: Shadi Rohana y Lawrence Schimel
Ašraf Fayyad, from Instructions Within, “Pakolaisten Viimeinen Jälkeläinen,” suomennos: Sampsa Peltonen
In Turkish Translation, Eşref Feyyâd’s ‘Hikmet’ and Other Poems
A reading in your area:
There are now more readings than any of the lists (ArabLit, ilf) have been able to keep up with; please double-check to find one in your area. Additional readings are welcome. Also: Anyone might read Fayadh’s poems, even in their own home, on January 14.