"I think one of the issues we have is that, in the US, the book industry is, well, very industrial. Most editors know exactly what they're looking for, what would fit with their house’s identity, their target readership, their marketing strategy, their catalog of the following Spring."
"Also, there is much more ignorance about Arabic and Arab literature, and Arab countries, than the ignorance of us about the rest of the world. We have dictators, we have a stupid education system, but here there is no excuse for them, because the information is there."
"I’ve started calling my practice a 'practice of necessity' because these shifts that were forced on me, forced on my identity, apply a shift to my practice and I have to adapt. I’m always responding to the urgent matters around me."
In the last five years, there has been a surge of interest in Syrian writing in German translation. In this series of interviews, writers, poets, publishers, and artists in Berlin talk about their experience with the publishing industry in Germany and beyond.
"Whoever loves his country, Mr. President, purifies its wounds with alcohol, and with fire cauterizes—if need be—the areas that are wounded."
"Beirut / I dreamed you were invaded / and awoke to the noise of destruction"
Khaled Khalifa is set to arrive in Durham on January 11, 2021. During the term, he's expected to engage in literary activity with writers and readers in Durham, the North East of England, and other parts of the UK, in addition to pursuing his work-in-progress.
This poem first appeared in the British magazine The Wolf. It appears here -- to celebrate the life and writing of Fadwa Suleiman -- with permission.
"Raqqa is no longer the city I knew; I belong to a place that no longer exists. I try to get it back through writing."
"The divide among poets has added a diaspora to the spatial diaspora, which scattered Syrians around the world."
Syrian theatre artist Riad Ismat died earlier this month after contracting COVID-19 in Chicago, where he was part of Northwestern's "Scholars at Risk" program. He was 73.
"There was a skinny roughened hand buried in the dirt. It yearned for sun and rain, for the blue sky and the wind, and for years it crept slowly upward."