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On the Road: An Exhibition by Paul Ayoub Geday

[In Luxor, Paul Ayoub Geday photographed the houses in Gourna before they were demolished. Image courtesy of Medrar TV.]

On the Road An exhibition by Paul Ayoub Geday January - February 2014 Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo   Paul Ayoub Geday is an Egyptian artist, filmmaker, and curator. In this recent solo exhibition, Geday completes a photography project he started eight years ago. The project, which documents his travels across Egypt, will culminate in a book to be published soon. While on the road, Geday has been stopping to photograph landscapes and architectural sites using techniques and styles inspired by the history of painting and cinema. In the interview below, he explains the development of the project and his selection of specific sites, as well as the different styles that ...

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Call for Papers: 5th National RAWI + Mizna Literary Gathering (Deadline: April 21)

[Logo of the 5th National RAWI + Mizna Literary Gathering. Image from]

5th National RAWI + Mizna Literary Gathering Call for papers, workshops, performances, panels and more Deadline April 21 Theme: "New Beginnings" Minneapolis, Minnesota September 18-21 RAWI's Fifth National Gathering, held in partnership with Mizna, will take place at Open Book, which houses the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN, from September 18 through 21. We are very excited for this year’s gathering and look forward to sharing more information about special guests and readers in the coming months. These vibrant conferences are a chance to gather with leading writers, performers, and scholars of Arab American literature in a ...

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Teaching Arabic in the US after 9/11

[I Want You, image from Chicago Sun-Times]

On 9 May 2013 I was stabbed in front of the US Embassy in Cairo. My attacker was a young college-educated Egyptian man who had come from his village that day to kill an American in “revenge over U.S. policies in the Middle East.” At the time, I was living in Egypt and conducting research as part of my sabbatical from Hunter College of the City University of New York where I teach Arabic. The day I was stabbed, I had come to the Embassy looking to have a translation of my marriage certificate authenticated so that my wife’s Egyptian residency permit might be renewed. After the attack, a few Egyptian journalist friends wrote about the event, partly to rectify some ...

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Violence Lointaine

[The three artists chose a flat wrecked by a party as the set for Violence Lointaine. Image courtesy of Medrar TV.]

Violence Lointaine April 2014 Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival - D-CAF Talee'a Theatre, Cairo, Egypt   Theatre director Omar Ghayatt (Egypt) along with musician Maxime Denuc (France) and choreographer DeLaVallet Bidiefono (Congo) presented their new performance "Violence Lointaine" for the first time as part of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF). The performance plays with notions of violence and how people react to it, particularly when watching it from a distance. In this interview, the three artists discuss the design of the performance. They describe their process as quite organic, adapting to the different contexts they worked in ...

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Tamara Al-Samerai: Make Room For Me

[Al-Samerai's drawing series act like action-packed storyboards of the live of adolescents. Image courtesy of Medrar TV.]

Make Room For Me An exhibition by Tamara Al-Samerai 21 January - 12 February 2014 Gypsum Gallery, Cairo   Kuwaiti artist Tamara Al-Samerai's recent solo show is loosely inspired by Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Al-Samerai engages with the book as a story about societal values that tackles notions of revenge, fear, love, jealousy, absence, and death while negotiating the boundary between adolescence and adulthood. A sense of anxiety underlies much of the work: a pack of dogs run toward an unspecified object, a vacant chair, a solitary cactus, or an open laptop. Inanimate everyday objects seem to take on a life of their own in her work. In another ...

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[Within a few short years, Andeel has managed to attract a strong following among artists and general audiences. Image courtesy of Medrar TV.]

Andeel Interview by Hany Rashed Mohamed Kandeel (aka Andeel) was long known as the youngest political cartoonist in Egypt, working with a range of newspapers, from Al Dostour and Al Masry Al Youm to Egypt Independent and Mada Masr. Yet he has also been working on a number of other creative projects, specifically with a humorous twist, over the years—the most recent being Bassem Youssef's "Albernameg." Andeel was among the co-founders of the quarterly comics magazine Tok Tok, and is the mastermind behind the online show, "My Beloved Kafr El Sheikh's Radio." Egyptian visual artist Hany Rashed paid Andeel a visit in late 2013, and together they ...

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غزة في أعمال الفنانة الفلسطينية رنا بشارة

[الفنانة رنا بشارة خلال معرض في باريس]

[ هذا المقال جزء من ”أصوات من أجل غزة" وهو ملف خاص تنشره جدلية على مدار شهر كامل. للإطلاع على بقية المقالات اضغط/ي هنا] لدى تناولنا لأعمال الفنانة افلسطينية رنا بشارة ضمن سياق العلاقة الكولونيالية بين المستعمِر والمستعمَر، ثمة محورين يجب أن نتحرك عبرهما، وتنبني من خلالهما نظرتنا لحالة الحوار الفني التي أنتجتها تلك الأعمال وعلاقتهم بمكانهم المحاصر، غزّة خصوصًا وفلسطين عمومًا: - المحور الأول، وهو السؤال الذي لطالما أثارته دراسات الكولونيالية ومابعد الكولونيالية (وحالتنا لاتزال كولونيالية): إلى أي حد نجحت قوى الإحتلال في إسكات المحتَل، وإذا كان الأمر كذلك، فهل نموضع الفلسطيني الضحية موضع الأخرس الذي لا ينتج كلامًا، ومن ناحية أخرى أذا كان الأمر على غير ذلك، ...

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Joint Statement: Palestinian NGOs in Israel Reject the "Sectarian Representation Law"

[Logo of Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. Image from]

[The following statement was issued by the undersigned and published by Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel on 27 February 2014] We, the Palestinian civil society organizations in Israel, absolutely reject the new law enacted by the Knesset on 24 February 2014, which replaces Arab representation on a public advisory board of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with sectarian representation. This new law is a dangerous attempt by the state to distort the Arab identity of Palestinians in Israel. Despite its actual marginal impact, racist motives underlie this law and foreshadow the enactment of more racist bills and policies, which we will ...

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New Texts Out Now: Rawia Bishara, Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking

[Cover of Rawia Bishara,

Rawia Bishara, Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking. Lanham, MD: Kyle Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you decide to write this book? Rawia Bishara (RB): Olives, Lemons & Za’atar has been a long time coming. My restaurant, Tanoreen, is now fifteen years old and I have been, in essence, testing these recipes all along. I also felt like this was the right time to contribute, as Middle Eastern food has come to the forefront and I have something to say about it. Additionally, I wanted to continue tradition. Olives, Lemons & Za’atar is a piece of family history. I'm glad my children and, one day (hurry up!), their children will ...

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Reclaiming and Redefining Rights: Status of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

[Logo of Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. Image from]

[The following report was published by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights on 23 February 2014] Reclaiming and Redefining Rights -- ICPD+20: Status of Sexual and Reproductive Rights Executive Summary The year 2014 was meant to be the year that ended the Program of Action adopted by the Cairo Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. The document was a paradigm shift in understanding and framing reproductive health and rights and prioritizing individuals’ rights to choose and make decisions with regards to their own bodies. Now that the General Assembly extended the PoA indefinitely, and will review  country progress at its 2014 session, it ...

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عن المشهد الموسيقي في غزة واستحالته


[ هذا المقال جزء من ”أصوات من أجل غزة" وهو ملف خاص تنشره جدلية على مدار شهر كامل. للإطلاع على بقية المقالات اضغط/ي هنا]  تحدثت عبر سكايب مؤخراً إلى صديق غزاوي عاد من لندن إلى غزة قبل حوالي عامين. بعد تعطش شديد عن أخبار المنطقة في لندن التي سكنها وأسكنها، بدأ يخبرني عن غزة. قال إنها مثل سجن كبير، يدور فيه المساجين بلا توقف، مشحونين، متوترين، يرتقبون التهلكة. وجوه كثيرة تنعاد وتتكرر كل يوم، على نفس المنوال، وهكذا. سألت صديقي عما يفعله في وقت فراغه، هو الشاب الطائش الذي كان يتغاضى عن نوم ليال كاملة ملاحقاً الموسيقى والفتيات، الضاج بالحياة والساعي دوماً إلى المغامرات، الشاب الذي لم أستطع مجاراته عندما كان يقرر أن "يطلع". قال أنه بعد العمل في محل ...

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About Human Breakage and Fragility

[ Drawing by the Jordanian artist Hasan Mnasra]

Nezar was a twenty-three year-old man with a Schizoid personality disorder. He became a regular visitor to my clinic after he entered my office once by mistake. I started to follow his case since that incident, and we developed a strong treatment relationship when I got to know him. He was in a state of severe autism but by coincidence he saw one of Salim Barakat’s novels on my desk on that day, and it took him out of his schizophrenic autism and drew him closer to me. “The pain of the tamed, undescribed, and puzzling in the voice of Sarmak,” a schizophrenic innovation by itself, was the title of the novel.  Nezar read the title, flipped a few pages before he put ...

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Adunis, Mistranslated (Part One)

Adonis, Selected Poems. Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010. Adunis (1930-) is one of the most influential and dominant Arab poets of the modern era and a perennial Nobel contender since the late 1980s. A number of his individual works have been ably translated into English in previous decades by Mirene Ghossein and Kamal Boullata, Samuel Hazo, and Shawkat Toorawa. More recently, Adnan Haydar and Michael Beard translated his most powerful and ...

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The truth is I was forced to return to Beirut without knowing if he was still hiding there. Maybe he’ll come back. Pounce on me. Keep me from sleeping. He sneaks in from the balcony or from the stairs or the street corners. I hated my home because of him. I can’t stand the empty rooms,  the benches where no one sits but shadows, the features that have disappeared under dust. I would have put up with my entire life if not for his appearance. I used to lean on my will to live like old woman on a cane. ...

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Announcing the Third Issue of B|Ta'arof Magazine: An Iranian Cultural Arts Publication

The third issue of B|ta’arof magazine, the Street Culture Issue, brings together popular and high art, searching for the extraordinary in the everyday. Its pages feature previously unseen work by Iranian visual art giant Ardeshir Mohasses and up-and-coming L.A. based artist Samira Yamin, interviews with scholar/writer Persis Karim and professional skateboarder Salman Agah, and a one-of-a-kind translation from Ahmad Shamlu’s Ketab-e Kuce (The Book of the Street) by Stanford University Stegner Fellow ...

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Book Launch Event: Leisurely Islam (10 April, Harvard University)

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies Outreach Program at Harvard University is pleased to present an author talk by Lara Deeb - Associate Professor of Anthropology, Scripps College and Mona Harb - Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Politics, American University of Beirut Moderated by Susan Kah, Associate Director and Director of the AM Program, CMES; Lecturer on Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, Harvard University About the Event: A limited number of free copies of Leisurely ...

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A Civilian Snapshot of Iraq: NPR Interview with Sinan Antoon on His 'The Corpse Washer'

In the following interview on 30 March epsiode of NPR's All Things Considered, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon discusses his self-translated The Corpse Washer. In his comments, Antoon highlights some the ideas and processes that went into both the writing of the original Arabic version as well as English translation. Click the below media player to listen to the interview. You may also click here to access the transcripts of the interview. 

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The Vagabond

They saw him arrive one summer evening. It was hot, very hot. Man and beast seemed to sleep in the shade of the walls. Wrapped from head to toe, barely able to open an eye, they seemed forever petrified into statues, turned in on themselves, alone in the silence of the high plains.  No one suspected, nothing about them suggested they were men except their shape obvious beneath the folds of fabric.  It was the color of the earth in which they had worked in the dawn’s coolness, those mild hours ...

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Shaima Kamel: Cinderella's Tales

Cinderella's Tales An exhibition by Shaima Kamel 16 February - 20 March 2014 Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo   In this exhibition, Shaima Kamel attempts to highlight the contrast between the idealized images of certain media and the reality of Egyptian society. Kamel argues that although little girls idolize such popular characters as Cinderella and other fairytale heroines, their very image conflicts with the present-day norms shaping Egyptian society. Attempting to further anchor this idea as it ...

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Hello, Zimo

Hello, Zimo November 2013 Beirut, Lebanon   Samer Saem Eldahr (aka Zimo) is a musician and visual artist from Aleppo, Syria. Five years ago, he began working on a project that has now become a hit in the Arab underground music scene: Hello Psychaleppo. The two albums that he released so far mix classical Arabic songs with electronic beats, and showcase the collaborative work of artists and designers from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Spain. In this video interview, Zimo discusses how the group ...

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Mahmoud Darwish: My God Why Have You Forsaken Me?

While his readers were celebrating his birthday on the 13th of March, the authorities at the Riyad Book Fair confiscated Mahmoud Darwish’s books after members of the Committee for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue complained about “blasphemous passages.” One poem from his 1986 collection Fewer Roses was particularly infuriating as shown in this video. Here is a translation of the poem; a salute to the ever present Darwish and to the freedom of reading.   Mahmoud Darwish My god why ...

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محمود درويش: إلهي لماذا تخلّيت عنّي؟

بينما كان قراؤه، شرقاً وغرباً، يحتفلون بذكرى ميلاده في الثالث عشر من آذار، صادرت إدارة معرض الرياض للكتاب دواوين محمود درويش (1941-2008) بعد اعتراض محتسبين من هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر على ما وصفوه بعبارات ”زندقة وكفر وإلحاد.“ ويبدو أن قصيدة ”إلهي لماذا تخلّيت عني؟“ من ديوان ”ورد أقل“ كانت القصيدة التي أغضبت المحتسبين كما يظهر الفديو أدناه. نعيد نشر القصيدة هنا مع ترجمة بالانكليزية تحية للشاعر الغائب الحاضر ولحرية القراءة. وشملت مذبحة المنع والمصادرة ٤٢٠ كتاباً ”مخالفاً“ في كافة الحقول، ومن ...

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New Texts Out Now: India: Wounded States (Special Issue of Warscapes)

India: Wounded States. Special issue of Warscapes, edited by Bhakti Shringarpure and Aruni Kashyap. February 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue? Warscapes (W): Since the inception of Warscapes we have had a stream of submissions from India that recount experiences of military occupation and state violence in places like Assam and Kashmir. Meanwhile, if you look through the pages of most western mainstream media, as well as Indian outlets, they are projecting a ...

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MEETING POINTS 7: Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks

MEETING POINTS 7: Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks February — March 2014 Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo   Meeting Points 7 is a series of exhibitions taking place between September 2013 and June 2014 in Zagreb, Antwerp, Cairo, Hong Kong, Beirut, Vienna, and Moscow. Organized by the Young Arab Theatre Fund, Meeting Points is a biennial program of exhibitions, screenings, and performances held at several international venues over the course of several months. This latest ...

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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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