Bulaq Podcast

BULAQ is a podcast about contemporary writing from and about the Mashreq and Maghreb. We talk about books written in Aleppo, Cairo, Marrakech and beyond. BULAQ is hosted by Ursula Lindsey and M Lynx Qualey and co-produced by Sowt.

Produced by:



Ursula Lindsey & M Lynx Qualey

Latest Episodes

Love and its Discontents BULAQ | بولاق

We wandered through Arabic poetry and prose to talk about many different forms of literary love: regretful love, unreciprocated love, bad love, vengeful love, liberating love, married love.  We read this poem by Núra al-Hawshán: “O eyes, pour me the clearest, freshest tearsAnd when the fresh part’s over, pour me the dregs.O eyes, gaze at his harvest and guard it.Keep watch upon his water-camels, look at his well.If he passes me on the roadI can’t speak to him.O God, such afflictionAnd utter calamity!Whoever desires usWe scorn to desire,And whom we desireFeeble fate does not deliver.” The Núra al-Hawshán poem, translated by Moneera al-Ghadeer, has a modern musical adaptation on YouTube produced by Majed Al Esa. Yasmine Seale’s translation of Ulayya Bint El Mahdi. This poem and others were set to music on the album “Medieval Femme.” Do’a al-Karawan (“The Nightingale’s Prayer”) by Taha Hussein I Do Not Sleep, Ihsan Abdel Kouddous, trans. Jonathan Smolin The Cairo Trilogy, Naguib Mahfouz (1956-57) Al-Bab al-Maftouh (The Open Door) Latifa al-Zayyat, trans. Marilyn Booth (1960)  All That I Want to Forget, by Bothayna Al-Essa, translated by Michele Henjum. Rita and the Rifle, Mahmoud Darwish, made into a song by Marcel Khalife.  Ode to My Husband, Who Brings the Music by Zeina Hashem Beck
  1. Love and its Discontents
  2. Should You Turn Down That Literary Award?
  3. Getting Your Wish
  4. Yasmin El-Rifae’s Radius
  5. 1001 Nights: A Never Ending Story