“One of the trickiest, most mysterious secrets of the Arabic language is the root h-l-m.”
This year's shortlisted stories -- selected blindly, as in past years -- were chosen by Hilal Chouman, Donia Kamal, and 2019 ArabLit Story Prize winning translator Sawad Hussain.
"There was a skinny roughened hand buried in the dirt. It yearned for sun and rain, for the blue sky and the wind, and for years it crept slowly upward."
Today is publication day for the first-ever ArabLit Quarterly.
"In 2011, upon my return from Syria with a bag full of books by Tamer and others, I began translating some of the stories for fun, to keep up my Arabic, and to ‘test’ my mother tongue and its potential. Can Arabic be translated into an uncodified language like ours?"