Syria’s Young Writers

Yes, you must read Haidar Haidar, Ghada Samman (a new edition of her Beirut Nightmares was recently released), Hanna Mina, Fawwaz Haddad, Zakaria Tamer, Khaled Khalifa, and many other Syrian writers over 41. More on them tomorrow.

Samar Yazbek, ‘A Sudden Visitor in This Place’

Yesterday, Jadaliyya published a prose work by Yazbek that reflects events in Syria through the prism of a woman writer. The work, titled “Waiting for Death: I Will Not Carry Flowers to my Grave,” is not assigned a genre, but feels in parts like a prose poem, elsewhere an essay or a memoir fragment.

Qabbani Love Poems for Your Valentine’s Day

The Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was one of the most popular Arabic-language poets of the twentieth century, well-known for his focus on eroticism and love. As Bassam Frangieh notes in his introduction to Arabian Love Poems, a collection of Qabbani’s work he co-translated with Clementina Brown, “To say that Kabbani was the most popular and famous of contemporary Arab poets is not to claim that he was the most skilled.”