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Sinan Antoon سنان انطون

Co-Founder

Still at Sea: A Review of "Hope"

[Amal Basry/ Hope Press Kit]

Hope, directed by Steve Thomas. Australia, 2007. In one of his late poems, the Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944-2007) wrote of “A million refugees clinging to his footsteps.” This was not poetic hyperbole. Boulus was haunted by a visceral tragedy. The invasion and occupation of Iraq back in 2003 and the sectarian civil war that followed displaced more than 4.5 million Iraqis and forced them to leave their homes. Around 2.5 million of them were internally displaced within ...

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The Pomegranate Alone (Excerpt)

[

She was lying nude on her back on a marble bench in an open place with no walls or ceilings. There was no one around and nothing in sight except the sand, which reached all the way to the horizon where clouds crowded the sky and took turns blocking the sun before rushing to disappear. I was nude, barefoot and dumbfounded by everything I saw around me. I could feel the sand under my feet and a cool wind. I moved slowly to the bench to make sure it was she. When and why did ...

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The Forgotten War

[Iraqi Casualties. Image from unknown archive]

Selective amnesia is often deployed or manipulated to package history in a more simple and palatable narrative. The process involves major elisions to edit out any event(s) that might complicate the desired reductive and truncated narrative. One such major elision in the reigning Iraq narrative is that of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). That destructive war claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Iranians and predetermined the lives of millions of others. It ...

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Laugh! There is a Bomb in your Car

A Scene from the Show

Ramadan is a very special time of year for Muslims and it is impossible to overestimate its socio-cultural importance. Additional time and effort are invested in its daily rituals and practices. Familial and social bonds are augmented and celebrated. Traditional games used to be an important facet of the month’s celebratory and festive mood culminating in the feast marking the month’s end. While these games are still popular and are still played in many parts of the ...

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An Open Invitation to An Occupation Masquerade

جو بايدن مع المالكي وهوشيار زيباري، وزير خارجية العراق، في بغداد

       دعوة مفتوحة إلى حفلة احتلال تنكريّة    نائب الرئيس الأمريكي جو بايدن في بغداد (ليشرف على مفاوضات تشكيل الحكومة العراقية التي قد تستغرق قرناً). ووزير الدفاع الأمريكي روبرت غيتس وصل هناك صباح اليوم في زيارة مفاجئة للمشاركة في الطقوي الاحتفالية. مساء أمس وجّه أوباما خطاباً إلى الشعب الأمريكي من مكتبه في البيت الأبيض وهو تقليد مهم في السياسة الأمريكية وهي المرة الثانية فقط التي يستخدم فيها أوباما هذا المنبر بالذات. والمناسبة هي  ...

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The Poet Lives

[Image from unknown archive-Mahmoud Darwish and Edward Said]

Two years have passed since the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) died at a hospital in Texas from complication of heart surgery on August 9, 2008. His death left a considerable void in Palestine and the Arab world. He was, after all, a unique figure by any measure. By the end of his life he had been widely recognized and admired as a great world poet who left behind an oeuvre of staggering beauty and sophistication. He was the most popular and inventive Arab poet ...

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Al-Tahir Wattar (1936-2010)

Al-Tahir Wattar [private bootleg image]

Al-Tahir Wattar, one of Algeria’s most influential writers died on the 13th of August, after a two-year battle with colonic cancer. He was a foundational figure in the Arabophone novel in Algeria and widely recognized and celebrated in the Arab world. Some of his ten novels were translated into ten languages. Wattar was born to an Amazigh family in Suq Ahras, in eastern Algeria in 1936. After a traditional education, his father sent him in 1950 to Qasantina ...

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Animals React

[From Central Brevard Humane Society]

The Global Council of Concerned Pets: "Time for Animals to Act"  The struggle for animal rights has made significant strides in the last few centuries and while many of our fellow animals still suffer cruelty and slaughter at the hands of humans, many of us are also gravely concerned about human rights and believe that, as conscientious animals, we must defend the rights of humans as well. Our efforts to expose human cruelty and the various genocides ...

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Good News From Iraq

One of the New Schools in Iraq, (From Al-Jazeera.net)

Even when critical of the tragic situation in Iraq, mainstream media outlets cannot wean themselves away from the official master narrative and must slip in idiotic statements such as the one in today’s New York Times story about electricity in Iraq. Please note the second half of the title “ Electrical Grid Fails Iraqis.” So it’s the electrical grid, a neutral non-human element, which has failed Iraqis and not the superpower, which dismantled their state and replaced it ...

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A Portrait of an Iraqi Person at the End of Time

Sargon Boulos

A Portrait of an Iraqi Person at the End of Time by Sargon Boulus [Translated by Sinan Antoon]  

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Bio

Sinan Antoon سنان انطون

    

Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist and translator. His poems and essays (in Arabic) have appeared in as-Safir, al-Adab, al-Akhbar, al-Hayat, Majallat al-Dirasat al-FilastiniyyaMasharef and (in English) in The Nation, Middle East Report, Al-Ahram Weekly, Banipal, Journal of Palestine Studies, The Massachusetts ReviewWorld Literature Today, Ploughshares, Washington Square Journal, and the New York Times.

He has published two collections of poetry; Mawshur Muballal bil-Hurub (Cairo, 2003) and Laylun Wahidun fi Kull al-Mudun (One Night in All Cities) (Beirut/Baghdad: Dar al-Jamal, 2010). His novels include I`jaam (2003), which has been translated into English as I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody (City Lights, 2006) as well as Norwegian, German, Portuguese, and Italian, Wahdaha Shajarat al-Rumman (The Pomegranate Alone) (Beirut: al-Mu'assassa al-`Arabiyya, 2010 and al-Jamal, 2013) was translated by the author and published by Yale University Press in 2013 as The Corpse Washer and was longlisted for the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction. It won the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Literary Translation. His third novel, Ya Maryam (Beirut: Dar al-Jamal, 2012) was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (The Arabic Booker) and was translated to Spanish by Maria Luz Comendador and published by Turner Libros in May 2014 under the title Fragments de Bagdad. His translation of Mahmoud Darwish’s last prose book In the Presence of Absence, was published by Archipelago Books in 2011 and won the 2012 National Translation Award given by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). His co-translation (with Peter Money) of a selection of Saadi Youssef's late poetry was published by Graywolf in November 2012.

His academic works include articles on Mahmoud Darwish and Sargon Boulus and a book based on his doctoral dissertation; The Poetics of the Obscene: Ibn al-Hajjaj and Sukhf (PalgraveMacmillan, 2013).

Sinan is a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Arab Studies JournalHe is an associate professor at the Gallatin School, New York University and co-founder of Jadaliyya and co-editor of its culture page. You can follow him on Twitter: @sinanantoon.

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