Elias Khoury on Looking at the Arab Spring Through the Eyes of Children

Mohga Hassib, who recently interviewed Elias Khoury for ArabLit, also attended his talk at the American University in Cairo. At the talk, he spoke about the value of seeing things afresh, through children's eyes:

New Releases: ‘Translating Egypt’s Revolution’ and ‘Now That We Have Tasted Hope’

Translating Egypt's Revolution: The Language of Tahrir, ed. Samia Mehrez, is now available from AUC Press. Although it's available for sale online and in AUCP bookstores, its official launch will come on June 9 (7 p.m., Oriental Hall, AUC Downtown Campus). The launch will be paired with a a photo exhibit by Michael Kennedy, who took the shot … Continue reading New Releases: ‘Translating Egypt’s Revolution’ and ‘Now That We Have Tasted Hope’

Art and the Struggle to Define Who and What is ‘Tahrir’

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned Egyptian playwright Laila Soliman's controversial summer 2011 theater projects, and her attempts to write "an alternative version of history." Hers is just one of many artistic projects rushing out into the public squares, streets, theaters, bookstores, art houses, and elsewhere. Some are just riding the coattails of a (sometimes) popular movement. But … Continue reading Art and the Struggle to Define Who and What is ‘Tahrir’

Novels that ‘Predicted’ a Revolution

Al Jazeera recently interviewed Habib Selmi about his most recent novel, The Women's Orchards. They ask the International Prize for Arabic Fiction-shortlisted author (for The Scents of Marie Claire, trans. Fadwa Qasem and published AUC Press) if his latest novel hadn't predicted the revolution. Selmi said that he did not capital-P predict the Tunisian uprising and ouster of President Ben Ali, he was just a good observer of society:

Nathalie Handal’s New Poem, ‘Freedom’

I don't want to borrow too much from Palestinian-American poet Nathalie Handal's "Freedom," published this week in Guernica. But I did want to make sure you saw the poem. It requires no introduction. Freedom                The Arab Revolt 2011 The story begins with a song— it’s stubborn, breaks air into history; for a minute it’s … Continue reading Nathalie Handal’s New Poem, ‘Freedom’