"In the last week of our series on Iraq’s diverse literary scene — curated by Hend Saeed — we focus on Diaa Jubaili's The Lion of Basra, which is set amongst the fragmentation of Iraq's different religious communities."
"I appreciate the hard work of the translator Ghassan Hamdan, who translate tirelessly all the modern Iranian, Afghan, and Kurdish literature into Arabic."
"In the quiet, slow-growing love between Elias and Helen, the reader experiences the polar opposite of the slave market and the horrors in Ayash's house."
"Madeen’s character is inexhaustible, and I like to keep my characters alive, especially the ones I wrote in my early years; now I can add some reality to give them life again. Like a journalist or someone looking for the truth."
"Why was I sitting here, wearing this uniform, with these people whose language I hardly understood?"
"The word eib rings in my head, it is eib to love, to sing, to get sick, to divorce, to show your emotions...and.…and. I felt these social chains were burdening me with fear, despair, and confusion, and I almost abandoned work on the book, but when I looked at the materials that I had collected, I knew that if I didn’t publish it now, it would never be published.”
"That day, Ali Salman went to watch the first public execution in al-Thawra City."
"In this first week, we focus on work by novelist Abdullah al-Sakhi, who was born in 1951, left Iraq in 1979, and published his first novel looking at Iraq's internal migrants, Behind the Dam, in 2008."