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Zein El-Amine

Zajal on Arak

[Image of zajal performance in Byblos from The Times of Malta]

I remember when electricity came to my village. I must have been about seven or eight.  The government installed a transformer in the village center. The thing was housed in a metal locker. The villagers called it ‘The Clock.’  At first, The Clock was a thing of contention. It was installed in the winter and was prone to overloading. Villagers would shout to each other from their warm perches, urging each other to flip the switch so they could enjoy the warm ...

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Zein El-Amine

Zein El-Amine’s poems have been published by Wild River Review, Folio, Foreign Policy in Focus, Beltway Quarterly, DC Poets Against the War Anthology, Penumbra, GYSTJoybringer and Middle East Report magazine. His poetry was featured in both Beltway Quarterly (in an issue highlighting five up-and-coming DC poets) and in Split this Rock (where his poem “How to Write A Poem According to Souha Bechara” was a featured poem of the week). His poetry will also be featured in an upcoming Ghost Fishing: An Eco-Justice Poetry Anthology, to be published by University of Georgia Press. His short stories have been published by Boundoff and Uno Mas magazines.

Zein was born and raised in Lebanon. He presently lives in Columbia Heights, Washington DC at the Ella Jo Baker Housing Cooperative. He teaches Global Literature and Arabic language and culture at the University of Maryland.  He leads literary study-abroad trips to Ireland and is now planning a new course for Morocco and Spain.  Zein is also the host of the radio show Shay wa Nana at the Pacifica Station in Washington DC. The radio program focuses on Arab politics and culture.