From the Editors
Nizar Qabbani (1923-1998) was a Syrian poet, essayist, diplomat, and publisher and one of the most popular poets in the Arab world in the last few decades of the 20th century. He was born and raised in Damascus in a middle-class merchant traditional family. At the age of 15, Qabbani’s sister committed suicide because she was unwilling to marry a man she did not love. It is believed that this tragic event incited Qabbani to write poetry that expresses women’s desire and ...Keep Reading »
Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabbi The Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabbi (1909-1934) is well known and appreciated throughout the Arab world. His words are committed to memory and reproduced in textbooks. With the recent Arab uprisings, his poems, and more particularly “The Will to Life” and “To the Tyrants of the World,” have witnessed a revival, yet with a whole new tone. It seems that the Arab spring has infused "The Will to Life" with a newly found hope, a new urgency, ...Keep Reading »
Ghada Mourad (Gaelle Raphael) is a PhD student in Comparative Literature and a Schaeffer fellow in literary translation at UC Irvine, working on (post)war literature in the Middle East and North Africa.