In this sixteenth episode of Bulaq, Ursula Lindsey of the Arabist and ArabLit’s founding editor M Lynx Qualey pick teams:
Or at least that’s the title for this episode: Egypt or Morocco? MSA or colloquial?
It opens with a discussion of Lindsey’s “Innocence Abroad,” which responds primarily to Suzy Hansen’s Notes on a Foreign Country: An American Abroad in a Post-American World, although it also spends time with Omar al-Akkad’s excellent novel American War.
We spent some time with the collection Marrakech Noir, ed. Yassin Adnan, which is coming out from Akashic Books in August. Marrakesh becomes the third Arab city to join the Akashic Books series, following Beirut Noir and published simultaneously with Baghdad Noir. The Marrakesh collection features stories by lesser-known writers like Hanane Derkaoui, whose “A Way to Mecca” has some particularly fun moments, as well as heavyweights like Mahi Binebine, Mohammed Achaari, and Fouad Laroui—whose short-story collection The Curious Case of Dassoukine’s Trousers was translated by Emma Ramadan. Laroui and Ramadan previously talked with ArabLit about the collection.
The podcast then wades into Hossam Abouzahr’s “Standard Arabic is on the Decline: Here’s What’s Worrying About That“ and — after talking about team fos7a v. team aameya — talks about taking sides in the World Cup.