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Hassan Blasim: ‘A Refugee in the Paradise that is Europe’

This short text by Iraqi short-story writer and playwright Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright, has been circulating again on social media.

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‘Limbo Beirut’: A Don’t-miss Illustrated Novel of Contemporary Limbos, Beiruts

“Limbo Beirut″ is a demand that the reader ″balance in the uneasy space between being a voyeur and a participant, gratifying our desire to get inside the head of that stranger we meet on the street…but on the other hand surprising us with the fact that you can never just be a witness, that you′re always going to somehow become involved in the other′s life, whether you mean to or not.″

Queerness in Khaled Khalifa’s ‘No Knives in the Kitchens of This City’

“There is no shortage of varieties of shame: of body, of one’s sexuality or lack of sexuality, of modest or immodest dress, of impoverished dress, of ugliness, of age, of illness, of disability, of vanity, of religion, of doubting one’s religion, of being complicit with the regime, of Syrianness, of having no ‘important’ family roots, of people who talk incessantly about their roots.”