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Taline Voskeritchian

Two Figures on a Bench, in a Park, Tiflis, 1914

[Image from author]

When I was growing up in Amman, where my parents had finally landed as refugees from Palestine, we had a valise where we kept folds of photographs, faded images with wrinkled edges, the oldest ones—just a handful--going back to the early 1910s. The valise was a repository of the cruel itinerary of both branches of my family, a walking history of the dispersion that followed the Aghéd, the term we Armenians use for the national catastrophe that befell us one hundred years ...

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Blind in Granada

[Alhambra. Image by Tamar Salibian]

I It was Mahmoud Darwish--by his own personal and poetic admission, a lover of Andalusia--who said about love that love is either the longing for its arrival or the mourning of its loss.  In the poem ‘Intazirha (Wait for her), the poet advises—even commands–the waiting lover to be slow, patient, disciplined; the poem itself is a kind of ritual of waiting, whose edges are illuminated by the image of her arrival though we and the poet know that she may not come, she may ...

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Translating Palestine: Dispatches from the 2011 Palestine Festival of Literature

[Palestinians and Guests of the Palestine Festival of Literature at the Local Market in Al-Khalil. Image by Taline Voskeritchian]

Finally, on our way to Jerusalem, the first stop of Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest). There are some twenty of us mainly from the UK, persons engaged in literature, writing, publishing, and teaching. We’re young and old; white and black; from the US, UK, Pakistan, and beyond; speakers of smooth-English as well as its accented variations. Pal Fest activities will include writing workshops, readings, panel discussions, and meetings with local individuals and ...

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Between Massacre and Genocide: On Eric Friedler's "Aghét: Nation Murder"


The equation of German documentary filmmaker Eric Friedler’s Aghét: Nation Murder (2010) is of two parts: aghét and genocide. The film’s voice-over proclaims that aghét (whose literal meaning is catastrophe) is the word Armenians use for what was visited on their ancestors during and immediately after World War I. In interviews and in post-screening Q & A sessions, Friedler has repeated the same assertion.  But I doubt that I am alone in asking: Is it really so? Are ...

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Taline Voskeritchian's work (prose, as well as translations from Arabic and Armenian) has appeared in Ahégan (Beirut), London Review of Books, The Nation, Agni Review, Book Forum, Words Without Borders, The Daily Star/International Herald Tribune (Beirut), Journal of Palestine Studies, MERIP/Milddle East Report, Alik (Tehran), Warwick Review (UK), artsMedia (Boston), the radio program “On Being,” and elsewhere. A recent essay, “The Valise,” is forthcoming from American Literary Review. She teaches writing at Boston University and blogs at: