On a sweltering July day in Amman, I left my friend’s apartment in Abdoun and made my way to Jabal Amman with nothing more than a set of vague coordinates plugged in to Google Maps to guide me. I was in search of Abdulrahman Munif’s childhood home. Continue Reading

Yet Iraqi literature continues, somehow, to blossom. There are older writers Fadhil al-Azzawi and Muhammad Khudayyir still at work (although the former in exile), and much younger ones, too: Thirtysomething Iraqi Hassan Blassim has been called “perhaps the best writer of Arabic fiction alive.”Continue Reading

I missed this in last week’s Al Ahram Weekly, but I suppose it wasn’t “timely” in any case: these are memories of a Palestinian who died in 1994 and whose Baghdad home was destroyed in April 2010. The news of his home’s destruction was reported in the NYTimes in May,Continue Reading