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Kateb Yacine: A Profile from the Archives

[Algerian writer Kateb Yacine]

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Kateb Last Name: Yacine Date of Birth: 1929 Date of Death: 1989 Place of Birth: Smondo - Constantine Wife’s Name: Zobaida Sharghi Category: Writer Profession: Playwright, novelist, and poet Kateb Yacine   Algerian national. Born in a town called Smondo near Constantine on 6 ...

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Do Not Compel Me to Sing

[Still image from

I Left My Shoes in Istanbul, directed by Nigol Bezjian. Lebanon/Turkey, 2013. Nigol Bezjian’s I Left My Shoes in Istanbul begins with its protagonist protesting that he has no desire to go on the journey that lies at the heart of the film. It ends with the haunting voice of a singer, begging the listener, “Do not implore me, I will not sing.” Between these two attempts to escape from a story that nevertheless must be told, Bezjian presents us with a vision that is deeply personal, not always coherent, but remarkably unsparing in documenting the presence of an enforced Armenian absence in Istanbul. Bezjian, who has written, directed, and produced for film and television ...

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Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar in Translation

[Cover of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar,

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, The Time Regulation Institute, translated by Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe, introduction by Pankaj Mishra. New York: Penguin, 2014.   The verbal text is jealous of its linguistic signature but impatient of national identity. Translation flourishes by virtue of that paradox.  — Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Translation as Culture” 1. Traveling Tanpınar 2014 marks the appearance of a second English translation of one of the funniest satirical novels of the twentieth century. Serialized from June to September 1954 in the newspaper Yeni Istanbul (New Istanbul), Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü was published in ...

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The Military-Literary Complex

[Navy Reserve Cmdr. Kathleen Toomey Jabs autographs a copy of Operation Homecoming; image from Defense.gov]

Poetry cannot serve as an emotional bandage for the blood and guts of warfare; such an industry is doomed to dishonor the dead as well as the living. — Yusef Komunyakaa Not so long ago, American corporate media willingly accepted a set of new conditions and limitations in exchange for the privilege of reporting on the frontlines of Iraq, such as they existed. The military bed was a place of censorship, where reports underwent military review prior to publication. But more importantly, the failures of the bed were ones of sympathy and lack: by focusing on one story—the story of an all-volunteer American army—embedded journalism failed to report on the experiences of ...

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The House of Melancholy and Strength

[Nooshin Rostami's

House of Strength  Performance by Nooshin Rostami Choreography by Merisha Mesihovic Industry City Open Studios, Brooklyn 26 April 2014    [House of Strength is a performance by the Iranian Brooklyn-based artist Nooshin Rostami inspired by the traditional Persian gymnasiums called Zoorkhane (House of Strength). The Zoorkhaneh is a place where male participants practice a lengthy series of exercises designed to build their bodies and skills. Women have been traditionally forbidden from participating in these activities at the gyms where male performances are led by a singer who chants sacred poetry and plays drums and bells. In this ...

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ABOUNADDARA’s Take on Images in the Syrian Revolution: A Conversation between Charif Kiwan and Akram Zaatari (Part One)

[The Abounaddara Logo. Image from Author]]

[The text below is based on a workshop organized by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi at the American University of Beirut, 11 April 2014, with the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Initiative and the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at AUB and the School of English’ project Imagining the Common Ground, University of Kent, UK. Thanks to Loran Peterson and Dona Timani for their help with rendering the text ready for publication Part One appears below. Part Two will follow soon] Sonja Mejcher-Atassi: ABOUNADDARA is the name of a production house for documentary films, founded in Damascus in 2010, and of an anonymous collective of filmmakers who relay a ...

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Layer of Green: Eleven Photographic Works

[Ahmed Hamed chose to find the layer of green at Al Tawfiqiya Market. Image courtesy of Medrar TV.]

Layer of Green Eleven Photographic Works March - April 2014 Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo   “Layer of Green” is the outcome of a photography workshop organized by Goethe-Institut Kairo and CIC- PhotoSchool in November 2013. The theme is a highly adaptable layer that reflects a notion of green within social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. In their works, the photographers addressed this greenness in agriculture and greenhouses, in traffic; recreation; consumerism; still life; life and death; as well as more subtle features and aspects found around the city. The workshop was led by Egyptian artist Rana ElNemr and German artist Jens ...

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Baya Mahieddine: A Profile from the Archives

[Artist Baya Mohyieldin. Source: djazairess.com website.]

[A Profile from the Archives is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic  and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Baya Mahieddine (aka Fatima Haddad) was an Algerian plastic artist of tribal origin. She was born in 1931 in the town of Bordj El-Kiffan. By the age of five, both her parents had died, so she was raised by her grandmother. She never went to school in her life. Instead, Baya worked in ...

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Israel and the Palestinian Territories Lonely Planet: Systematic Erasure and Casual Racism

[A view from Wadi Salib towards Haifa's government center. Photo by Alex Shams]

Haifa is a picturesque city of hills, gardens, and trendy cafes perched along the slopes of Mount Carmel in northern Israel. If the Lonely Planet guidebook is to be believed, Haifa is notable because Arabs and Jews live in “visible harmony,” and residents consider themselves a “model of tolerance” for the region (158). In Israel/Palestine, it seems, all it takes for harmony to prevail is for Arabs and Jews to sip lattes together—or at least close to each other, while speaking in Hebrew of course. After reading this description, the first image one encounters when entering Haifa, then, is a bit of a shock. At the entrance to the city, an impressive collection of ruined, ...

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Ahmed Fouad Negm: A Profile from the Archives

[Egyptian poet Ahmed Fouad Negm]

[”A Profile from the Archives“  is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Ahmed Fouad Last Name: Negm Father’s Name: Muhammad Izzat Mother’s Name: Hanem Morsi Date of Birth: 1929 Place of Birth: Kfoor Negm Nationality: Egyptian Children: Nawara / Zainab / Afaf Category: Author Profession: Poet     Ahmed Fouad Negm   Born on 22 May 1929 ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editors Hesham Sallam and Adel Iskandar on Egypt Post-Election

[A painting of newly elected President Sisi. Photo by Thierry Ehrmann under Creative Commons]

In this interview with Zein El-Amine on WPFW, Jadaliyya Co-Editors Hesham Sallam and Adel Iskandar discuss the recent presidential elections in Egypt and the environment in which the vote was held, the state of Egypt's January 25 Revolution in light of successive waves of repression against political activists, the political and economic interests guiding the behavior of the country's military leaders, and the role of revolutionary art in documenting the history and dynamics of the revolution. 

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Saadi Yousef: At Kerak Citadel

[Saadi Yousef: Image from Wikimedia]

 At Kerak Citadel   Always, at sunset, the castle walls begin to breathe. The war is over—it has been two or twenty centuries now. But then suddenly when night falls, the war comes back. Soldiers in their towers light their candle, far from the gusting wind And alone, they cry to themselves. The Messenger will come. Most definitely he will come, carrying his head on the tip of a spear. Perhaps he was exhausted and, in his long wait, forgot that spears blossom in the morning. Do you think he will wake up? The soldiers in the tower, The candle slowly fading, the morning that has not come, And the he-will-arrive Messenger, his head fixed on a pike, He ...

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مقطع من رواية سِفر الاختفاء

[مقطع من رواية "سفر الاختفاء" صدرت الشهر الماضي عن دار الجمل بيروت - بغداد وهي الرواية الثانية للكاتبة]   أشعر بغضب عليك! ذاكرتك المرصعة في رأسي فيها شروخ. هل أنا الذي لا أذكر كل ما قلته أنت لي؟ أم أنك قلت ما لم يستوعبه عقلي؟ كنت صغيراً عندما بدأت أسمع حكاياتك. ولما استنجدت بها، اكتشفت شروخها. بدأت أسألك أكثر فأكثر عن تلك الحكايات. اختلطت عليك الأمور، أو لعلها اختلطت عليّ أنا، كلما سألتك أكثر. وكيف لها ألّا تختلط؟ كنت متأكداً أن هناك مدينة أخرى، فوق هذه المدينة التي نعيشها. ترتديها. كنت ...

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Khalil Al-Sakakini: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Khalil Last Name: Al-Sakakini Father’s Name: Qostandi Date of Birth: 1878 Date of Death: 1953 Place of Birth: ...

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July Culture Bouquet

July has been quite eventful and cruel. Neymar is out and the Caliphate is in and on. And we have a colorful bouquet for our readers. Elliot Colla examines the military-literary complex and the pervasive network of embedded iterature. Sonja Mejcher-Atassi curates a conversation between Charif KIwan and Akra Zaatarai. Jonathan Wright translates an excerpt from Amjad Nasser's novel, Land of No Rain. Soraya Morayef interviews Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa. Gelare Khoshgozaran reflects on Nooshin Rostami's ...

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Video Channeling: Mai Elwakil in Conversation with Daniella Rose King

Medrar.TV is a Cairo-based YouTube channel presenting digital content that documents contemporary visual art, sound and music events, exhibitions, talks, performances, and interviews across Egypt and the Arabic-speaking world. In the interview that follows, Medrar.TV's co-founder and writer Mai Elwakil talks about the beginnings of Medrar.TV, the technological changes made to accommodate broader audiences, and the founders' vision for enabling critical discussions and access to a plethora of ...

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An Excerpt from Amjad Nasser's "Land of No Rain"

[Land of No Rain, the recently published novel by Jordanian poet Amjad Nasser (b. 1955), describes the experiences, thoughts and memories of an ageing leftist who decides to go home to fictional Hamiya after twenty years in exile. The move makes him reflect on the effects time has wrought on him, on the world around him and on the ideals that have sustained him over the years. Much of the book is written in the second person, addressing either of the protagonist's two personae – the one that went into ...

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Call for Contributions: Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance, Cairo, March 2015

Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance Call for Papers Cairo, 6-8 March 2015 Deadline: 15 September 2014 Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, UK Organized by Mona Baker, Yasmin El Rifae, and Mada Masr Call for Contributions Keep Reading »

Khaled Khalifa: "Revolutions Can't Be Reversed"

[Last month, the Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa visited London to promote ‘Syria Speaks’, an anthology of short stories, poems, articles and visual art collected as a response to the Syrian regime’s crackdown on dissident voices since the 2011 Syrian uprising. As one of the most powerful and prominent writers in Syria, Khalifa continues to live in Damascus – despite being attacked and beaten by regime thugs at a funeral in 2012, despite his hugely popular books being banned, and despite the very real ...

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Sun Ra in Egypt, 1971

Sun Ra in Egypt, 1971 By Tom Bogaert May - June 2014 Medrar for Contemporary Art, Cairo   This art project by Tom Bogaert takes as its starting point Sun Ra's 1971 visit to Egypt. The legendary American jazz pioneer, mystic, poet, and philosopher was born as Herman Poole Blount, but changed his name to Le Sony'r Ra after a visionary experience led him to believe that he came from the planet Saturn. From then on, Sun Ra was fascinated by both outer space and ancient Egypt. Incorporating the ...

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"فصل من "أنا ونامق سبنسر

كنت أتأمل في مويجات الماء الناعمة، في هذا الغروب الشفيف، وتذكرت مرة أخرى ذلك العالم البعيد الذي عشته مع ماري قبل أن يخلق الأولاد. تذكرت نصفي البرازيلي. عشت رحلتنا ثانية بعد سنين من حدوثها. تماهيت مع الرحلة ونسيت بحيرة دامهوس التي أحدق بمياهها الزرقاء. أمر لفت بصري، ورأيته موجودا في أغلب الأمكنة. انهم الأطفال. الأطفال الذين ولدوا في الشوارع، ولايملكون أبا أو أما. يسرقون، يشتغلون في اللواطة وتجارة المخدرات، يمتهنون أحط المهن، ويموتون وحيدين. كانت هذه حالة أطفال البرازيل الذين شاهدتهم. هؤلاء يخشاهم السواح ...

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Sheikh Imam: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.]  Name: Imam Muhammad Last Name: Issa Father’s Name: Ahmed Date of Birth: 1918 Date of Death: ...

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رواية "1919": إعادة تأريخ جريئة تفتقد إلى روح الثورة

صدرت "1919" لأحمد مراد في بداية هذا العام، ونشرت منها حتى الآن ثلاث طبعات، مما يبشّر بنجاح أكبر من ذلك الذي حقّقته أعماله السابقة، من "فيرتيجو"، روايته الأولى التي حُوّلت إلى مسلسل، إلى "الفيل الأزرق" التي أُدرجت على القائمة القصيرة لجائزة البوكر العالمية سنة 2014. "1919" تدور أحداثها أثناء الثورة التي هزّت القطر المصري منذ حوالي قرن، ولكنّها تخرج عن مألوف المشاهد الراسخة في الوجدان المصري عنها، فهي ليست، كما قد تتوقّع من عنوانها، رواية عن مظاهرات مارس وأبريل 1919 ...

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Zeid Hamdan

Zeid Hamdan 2010-2013 Beirut, Lebanon   In this video, Medrar.TV takes you on a trip through the inspiring practice of Lebanese musician and producer Zeid Hamdan, who is credited as the main force behind developing electro Arab pop music. Since the mid nineties, Hamdan (b.1976) has either founded or produced music for some of the most successful underground bands in the region, including the Arabic trip hop band Soap Kills, The New Government (Pop rock), Katibe5 (Arabic hip-hop), ShiftZ (Arabic ...

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Jadaliyya’s Culture page is an open space for creative, original and creative texts about culture(s). Jadaliyya understanding of culture encompasses the production and dissemination of meanings in all sites, contexts and in a variety of media and genres.

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