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لا أسئلة شائكة في بيت غسّان كنفاني: آني وليلى في نضال الماضي والحاضر

[آني تتوسط ليلى (اليسار) وفايز وابنته (إلى اليمين) في 8 تموز العام 1997، خلال حفل وضع حجر الأساس لمركز

يدخل المرء إلى منزل عائلة غسّان كنفاني في ساقية الجنزير في بيروت، شاعراً بالهيبة. ففي هذا البيت التي تسكنه الزوجة آني والإبنة ليلى، لم يتحوّل النضال إلى ذكريات. هنا، التتمة تسبق الذكرى. السياسة لم تتوقف عند زمن الفدائيين الأوائل، وإنما استمرت في الطباعة والنشر، في التعليم والتربية، وفي المقاطعة والعيش. هنا، لا يتهيّب الحديث أمام توازنات الحاضر والأسئلة الشائكة، من شروط التطبيع إلى يد الثقافة في السياسة، ومن جواز السفر الأجنبي إلى المخيّم. وعند الخروج من بيت كنفاني المتوسط الحال، المليء بالـــلوحات الآســــرة والتفاصيل الدافئة، لا مفر من فكرةٍ تخطر على البال: بينما نكبر نحن، يبقى هو متيناً في شبابه. مَن عرفوا اســــمه أطـــــفالاً كأديبٍ شهيد، باتوا اليــوم أكبر منـــه ...

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Ismail Shammout: A Profile from the Archives

[Palestinian artist Ismail Shammout]

[”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: Ismail Last Name: Shammout Date of Birth: 1930 Date of Death: 2006 Nationality: Palestinian Place of Birth: Lod Wife’s Name: Tamam Al-Akhal (plastic) Profession: Artist     Ismail Shammout Born in Lod, Palestine in 1930. Displaced by the Nakba of 1948. He ...

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Magdi Mostafa: The Surface of Spectral Scattering

[From above, Magdi Mostafa's installation offers a birds eye view of a familiar city. Image courtesy of Medrar TV.]

  Magdi Mostafa: The Surface of Spectral Scattering May - June 2014  Townhouse Factory Space, Cairo   For his latest project, Egyptian sound artist Magdi Mostafa created a multi-channel, site-specific sound and light installation spanning six hundred square meters at the Townhouse Factory Space. The installation translates the city of Cairo into a high energy discharge system with boundaries dictated by a poetic physics of transmission, where human actors play the role of inert conduits charged by abstract, external forces of zeal and fury. Electric currents pulse through roughly ten thousand hand-embroidered LED lights, pumped by fifteen ...

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Hany Rashed: Toys

[Hany Rashed sought to present snapshots from the street in new ways by combining photography, painting, installation, and sculpture. Image courtesy of MedrarTV.]

Hany Rashed: Toys April - May 2014 Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo   For his ninth solo exhibition, Cairo-based artist Hany Rashed experiments with plastic as a material, building on his interest in painting, street photography, and pop culture. Rashed creates a world where everything around him—from cars and people to buildings and pictures of daily life—is transformed into plastic objects, reminiscent of children's toys. The artist uses a particular technique that involves heating, stretching, and casting the material. The images are distorted, underlining the gap between reality and its reproduction. In this interview, Rashed explains how his project evolved over ...

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فصل من رواية نوكيا

عندما تخلع المدينة ثيابها لا تعود إليها أبداً. طرطوس تتغير، تتوسع، تتضخم حتى كورنيشها قضم قضمة طويلة من شطّها ومدّ لسانه محاولاً أن يتذوق جزيرة أرواد، أستغرب من نفسي وأنا أتكلم عن التغيير المكاني، نادراً ما سمعتُ عن الذين عناهم الأمر من جيلينا، فقط كبار السن - الذين جلسوا على الطاولات يرمون نردهم لعلّهم يقبضون على حظٍ  فاتهم، أو ينفثون دخانهم-  من يكترثون لذلك. تنقسم حياة الإنسان لقسمين، الأول للحفظ، والثاني لتذكر ما حفظه، كأنّه بذلك يريد أن يثبت لنفسه أنّه كان موجوداَ هنا. أبي الذي تقاعد، كثيراً ما قال لي: الرجل باستقلاله ومن لم يفخر بشبابه لا فخر له. فأردّ: تلك مقولة قديمة لم تعد تنفع في عصرنا، كان الولد فيها يُعطى ماله، ويُزوج عندما يحتلم، أمّا أنا فقد ...

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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 متأكداً أن مدينتك التي تتحدثين عنها، والتي لها نفس الاسم، لا علاقة لها بمدينتي. تشبهها إلى حد الجنون؛ الأسماء والبيارات والروائح وسينما الحمراء والأعراس وعيد النبي روبين ...

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Khalil Al-Sakakini: A Profile from the Archives

[Khalil Al-Sakakini]

[”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: Jerusalem Nationality: Palestinian Category: Author Profession: Writer and journalist Khalil Al-Sakakini   Palestinian national. Born on 23 January 1878 in ...

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July Culture Bouquet

[Detail of Mouteea Murad's

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 House of Strength. Daniella Rose King interviews Medrar.TV's Mai Elwakil in a post republished from online arts magazine Ibraaz, which is complimented by a Medrar.TV ...

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Video Channeling: Mai Elwakil in Conversation with Daniella Rose King

[Since its inception Medrar TV has spotlighted events throughout the Arab World, including Malak Helmy's interactive show

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 contemporary cultural production. From its early documentary-style videos of Indicated by Signs, Cairene curator and now gallerist Aleya Hamza's book launch at the Goethe ...

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

[Amjad Nasser. Image from Author]

[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 exile and a notional one that stayed at home. In this passage (from pages 58 to 63), which takes place in exile, the narrator has just run into Mahmoud, a former comrade ...

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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"

[Syrian author Khaled Khalifa. Image from Author]

[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 risk that dissident voices face when they criticise Assad’s regime. At the event, he brushed off inquiries about his wellbeing, explaining that his troubles were no ...

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The Wonder Box

The Wonder Box Traveling Peep show  April - May 2014 Cairo Mahatat, a Cairo-based initiative for “community art” and art in public spaces, brought together a group of artists, technologists, architects, musicians, and storytellers to revive the bygone traveling peep show genre in Egypt. “The Wonder Box,” which toured Cairo’s streets this summer and will travel to the Delta region next year, presents the stories of local cab and microbus drivers who are fictionalized to become ...

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It Might Be Too Late To Save Iraq's Christians

It Might Be Too Late To Save Iraq's Christians, Says Author Author of a Booker-nominated novel on the plight of Christians in Iraq, Sinan Antoon says the forced eviction of Mosul’s Christians "was coming" for many years. On his Facebook page at the beginning of the week, novelist and professor Sinan Antoon posted a video of an elderly Christian woman who has been recently forced to leave her house in Mosul by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria for having declined to convert to Islam. In ...

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Anis Sayigh: 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: Anis Last Name: Sayigh Date of Birth: 1931 Date of Death: 2009 Nationality: Lebanese Place of Birth: Tiberias, Palestine Wife’s ...

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Malak Helmy: Lost Referents of Some Attraction

Malak Helmy: Lost Referents of Some Attraction April 2014 Sharjah Gallery, The American University in Cairo   This solo show, curated by Beirut for the AUC Sharjah Gallery, presents works from the past five years of Malak Helmy's practice. Lost Referents of Some Attraction brings together three films, an audio and two text-based works, in addition to a series of objects and spatial interventions. In these works, Helmy sets up environments within environments, presenting altered objects stripped ...

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Kateb Yacine: 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: Kateb Last Name: Yacine Date of Birth: 1929 Date of Death: 1989 Place of Birth: Smondo - Constantine Wife’s Name: Zobaida ...

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Do Not Compel Me to Sing

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, ...

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Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar in Translation

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 ...

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The Military-Literary Complex

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 ...

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The House of Melancholy and Strength

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 ...

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

[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 ...

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Layer of Green: Eleven Photographic Works

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; ...

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Baya Mahieddine: 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.] Baya Mahieddine (aka Fatima Haddad) was an Algerian plastic artist of tribal origin. She was born in 1931 in the ...

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