This episode of Bulaq looks at the Fall 2020 issue of ArabLit Quarterly, with its focus on cats: in contemporary Arabic stories, in erotic poetry, in medieval scholarship, in Egyptian art, in Palestinian politics, and more:

We read from:

Ghada Samman’s “Beheading the Cat,” translated by Issa Boullata.

The poetry of Rasha Omran, in the issue in Arabic, French, and English.

Al-Jawbari’s advice on avoiding criminals with cats, translated for the issue by Dima El-Mouallem.

We also focus on:

Karim Zidan’s essay on cats in Egyptian art, “Felines, Fellahin, and Fortune Tellers.”

Hoda Marmar’s essay-interview with Muna Nasrallah, the daughter of Emily Nasrallah and previous owner of the cat from Nasrallah’s classic YA novel, What Happened to Zeeko?

The fifteenth-century encyclopedic text “Merits of the Housecat,” translated by David Larsen.

Layla Baalbaki’s classic story “The Cat,” translated by Tom Abi Samra.

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