"Give her back her earrings, God / Return to her clay oven the fire / And the rain to her farms / And take away death which harvests her children."
"I am a writer of senses."
"The winters are long and dark in this country, with snow blowing in great generous gusts, while summer is shorter than a sip of tea at the side of the road."
Poetry was another thing Colla said he thought a lot about while he was writing Baghdad Central.
"There was also a problem about the terrorist operations and bombings that took place in Baghdad. I know a lot about all this, but I had to watch a lot of videos on the internet, which caused me great sorrow and depression."
Much as in old photo albums, we the undersigned—the Ayoub A.L. family—gradually appear either standing together, or behind one another, or in front, or a little further off. We thought it better to let our mother Makiah sit on a chair, as she can’t stand for long, even if it’s for a photo. Beside her is Auntie Fatihiya, and then the younger auntie, Saneea. Our grandmother Bebe Fatim has no place among us; she stayed upstairs.
"The central themes that emerge are al-Ani’s role as an organic intellectual who championed the dispossessed and identified with the left across his roles as theatre practitioner, playwright and actor. This came to see him identified as ‘the people’s artist’ during his ownlifetime, expression and function of his artistic craft merging into a coherent approach."
"The Chaldean translator turns to the truck driver:" / "Le traducteur chaldéen regarde le chauffeur de la fourgonnette"
Yasmina Jraissati at the RAYA Agency is recommending three very different titles for the fall. Two are new releases: a debut novel by Palestinian author Asma al-Atawna and a historical novel by award-winning Sudanese writer Hammour Ziada. The third is a fictionalized biography of Saddam Hussain (1937-2006): The least surprising recommendation is الغرق: حكايات القهر والونس (Drowning), by Naguib … Continue reading New Arabic Releases: 3 Recommendations from the RAYA Agency
In “Definitions” all my editorial decisions were guided by the speaker’s urge to define. The raw translation: “My tale, a maiden/ Not led by innocence” became “My story? I’m a girl/ tempted.”
“Karim is a poet for our times, with his strong yet beautiful voice, his indignation … and the haunting memories of certain lines that seem intended for all of us, but that few can hear in the endless tumult of what is called life.”
"In the beginning, it was an annoying experience, because the poems pulled me right and left (as Arabic and English are written in opposite directions, you know), but when I let them work freely with each other (like a democrat), they actually benefited from each other."