The ten most-read stories and essays on ArabLit in 2019 — excluding announcements and promotion of ArabLit Quarterly magazine — were:
Penned by Sudanese ArabLit and ArabLit Quarterly contributor Lemya Shammat, this piece, from January 2019, looks at some of the popular art and poetry of the Sudanese protests, including a poem that begins:
Tens of Khashoggis are publicly slaughtered in my country—
So why does the world turn a blind eye?
Also from January 2019, this chapter of Mohamed Shoair’s brilliant popular history, translated by Samah Selim, centers around October 14, 1994, the day of the assassination attempt on Naguib Mahfouz.
After Jokha al-Harthi’s Celestial Bodies was longlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International — a prize it eventually won — ArabLit editor M Lynx Qualey talked to translator Marilyn Booth about re-crafting the book in English.
ArabLit’s Algeria editor Nadia Ghanem wrote about the literature of protest signs in Algeria in March 2019.
ArabLit editor M Lynx Qualey hazards an answer.
Outspoken Iraqi novelist Alaa Mashzoub was fired on by gunmen in front of his Karbala home in February of this year. He was struck by 13 bullets and died at the scene. Mashzoub was 50.
Another list by ArabLit’s Algeria editor Nadia Ghanem, this looks at the relationship between contemporary Algerian literature and English.
A rather straightforward list.
In May 2019, educator Laila Familiar published a call for recommended memoir written in Arabic. We culled some of the most popular responses.
As I wrote back in June: “Many literatures are underrepresented — India has only eight authors; Turkey has one; China gets short shrift with 12 — but there is nothing quite as strange as the seats at the back of the classics created for ‘Africa’ and ‘The Arab World.'”