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Iraq

ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (November-December 2014)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series] English Articles        ISIS threatens the Islmaili capital of Syria (30 October 2014) The fear of ISIS continues to haunt the local residents, especially in Silmiya. Citizens believe the Syrian regime will shelter them from harm Syria: ISIS Tortured Kobani Child Hostages (4 November 2014) According to Human Rights Watch, “Kurdish children from the Syrian city of Kobani (or Ain al-`Arab in Arabic) were tortured and abused while detained by Islamic State (also known as ISIS).”  ISIS ...

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Jabra Ibrahim Jabra: Ramparts

[Image of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra from al-Quds al-Arabi]

Beneath the walls, walls. And beneath them, walls. Ur, Jericho, Ninevah, Nimrud— On the debris where the sighs of lovers went to die Where chattered then vanished the teeth of captives, stripped bare There, now are hills that bloom each spring Now home to crickets and ants, Refuge to sparrows in the late morning Feeling the last traces of the evening dew Through tattered feathers Beneath their tails lies a head Before which millions once kneeled Which ladies’ hands once anointed with perfume. Hide the laments of your heart in light song. You son has come to stay in the valley. Then to wander through the wilderness Where ladies, wrapped in ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon Wins 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Translation Prize

[Cover of

[Jadaliyya co-editor Sinan Antoon wins the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation for The Corpse Washer. Here are excerpts from the press release] The 2014 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation was awarded to Sinan Antoon, for his translation of his own novel The Corpse Washer, published by Yale University Press. It is the first time the award goes to a self-translated text. Paula Haydar is highly commended for her translation of June Rain, by Jabbour Douaihy, published by Bloomsbury Qatar Publishing Foundation. The judging panel comprised literary translator and joint winner of the 2013 Prize Jonathan Wright, translator ...

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هَلْوَسَة

[لوحة للفنانة العراقية ليلى كبة ]

في الوقتِ الذي كانت تسيلُ فيهِ دماءُ الكتابةِ إليكِ على أوراقي .. تكوّنتْ من الريحِ شجرة، قطفتُ صوركِ منها ثماراً... ثم جلستُ في الظلّ كمن ينذر نفسه للعاصفة... بكل ما أُوتي من عاطفة... فانهمرتِ على قلبي بغزارة أمطارٍ جاءت بعد صلاة استسقاء... ما من صوفيٍّ في الأرض تخلّفَ عنها... وتشكّلَ من قناديل السماء طيفكِ في الفضاء،  فتسلّقتُ على ظهور أحلامي لأصفع الوهم بكفّ قبلة الحقيقة! وفي خِضمِّ كلّ ذلك... نَبَتِّ زهرةً في أَقبيةِ ذاكرتي السحيقة... وأنا مُحاطٌ بكِ في اللامكان , خرج صوتكِ من الجدران .. كنتِ تقولين كل الكلماتِ التي أُريدها في وقتٍ واحد&

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Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab: The Balcony of the Nobleman's Daughter

[Image from Raseen.com]

I remember the village winter, where drops of light came sprinkling Through the gaps in the clouds, like melodies Sliding between the strings of an instrument set atremble by the darkness It had sung before--in the morning...why am I being so calculating?...as a child I would simply smile At my nights and days, their exultant boughs thickly laden with houri eye flowers. And we--as our booming grandfather laughed or sang in the shade of the reed pavilion And his tenants waited for “Your bounteous rain, O Lord,” and my brothers in forest haunts Hunted rabbits and butterflies, and Ahmad the caretaker-- We would gaze into the reed pavilion’s tawny reflection in the ...

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Badr Shakir al-Sayyab: Crutch in Hell

[Image of Sayyab, from Badr Shakir al-Sayyab, ed. Majid Salih al-Samara'i]

[This poem is purported to the be the last Sayyab composed during his life. We each translated it independently. Here, we present the two results, side by side. Between them and beyond them somewhere lies the beauty of the original.] 1. A Crutch in Hell I continue to circle Round the millstone of my pain A blindfolded bull, like a stone, how foolish to think it would rise up! While the people march onward to the mountain summits I cannot march—Woe unto me!—on my feet. And my bed is my prison, my coffin, my place of exile unto pain And unto nothingness! And I say: a day will come to me, after several months Or several years of sickness, Or several ...

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مومس السياب وأيامي العمياء

[لوحة للفنان العراقي صدام الجميلي]

هو الشعور ذاته ينتابني عندما أكون أمام طلب أو رغبة في الكتابة عن أسماء خلدت نفسها بنفسها بأعمالها، وهذا ما حدث مع بدر شاكر السياب أيضاً وأنا أحاول جاهدة أن أكتب شهادتي عنه. بعدما كتب الكثيرون وكُتب الكثير عنه ما الذي سأكتبه لم يُكتب وما الذي سأضيفهُ! ورغم ذلك أجد أن ذاكرتي تلحّ علي لأبدأ في نقطة بدأ منها معظم جيلي. لقد فتح جيلي عينيه على قصائد السياب في كتب المناهج المدرسية وكانت أول أبجدياتنا بعد الشعر الجاهلي وعصور ما بعد الإسلام ليكونَ  اسمه إلى جانب أسماء من جيلهِ وعصره. كانت لأنشودة المطر الأولوية في كتبنا، على اختلاف المراحل الدراسية، إذ لم أعد أذكر بالضبط في أية مرحلة بدأنا دراسة الشعر الحر. لكن ما استوقفني وقتها هو قصيدته "المومس العمياء" ابتداء ...

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السيّاب...نهارٌ لا يرحل

عرفتُ السيّاب أول مرة في مطلع تسعينات القرن الماضي؛ أي بعد نحو ثلاثين عاماً على رحيله، من خلال قصيدته "رحل النهار"، فمن حسن حظي أنها كانت مدرجةً ضمن منهاج اللغة العربية للصفوف الثانوية كنموذج لحركة الشعر الحرّ، وذلك بعد أن تفرّد نزار قباني بالحظوة الواحدية شعرياً آنذاك خارج أسوار المدرسة وتقاليد المجتمع والعائلة المحافظين، وظلت قصائده العمودية هي الأكثر تداولاً كالمنشورات السرية بين أبناء جيلي ممن يسبّحون باسمه وبشعره في سنّ المراهقة. بدت "رحل النهار" أشبه ببيضة الدّيك، فقد حفظتُها عن ظهر قلب في فترة قياسية، ولا أزال أردّدها بين فينة وأخرى منذ ذلك الحين، بل وأمتحن نفسي بمدى حفظي لها كلّما عدتُ إلى ديوان "منزل الأقنان". كيف لا وقد كانت لحظة ...

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Al-Sayyab: Two Poems

[Al-Sayyab's Statue in Basrah. Image from Wikipedia]

[Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (1926-1964), one of Iraq’s most important modern poets and a pioneer of modern Arabic poetry, died fifty years ago today.] Two Poems Badr Shakir al-Sayyab Tr. Sinan Antoon The River and Death Buwayb Buwayb Bells of a tower lost deep in the sea Water in jars, sunset in trees Jars dripping bells of rain whose crystals melt in wailing Buwayb, Buwayb A longing darkens in my blood for you, my river Buwayb Sad as rain I wish I could run in the dark my hands holding a year of yearning in every finger As if carrying votive offerings wheat and flowers I wish I could rise from the hillbeds to glimpse the moon swimming between your ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (7 December)

[GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - A guard stands duty in a tower over Camp Delta Sept. 12, 2007. Image by by Army Sgt. Joseph Scozzari.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Palestine-Israel Leaked Email: Save the Children Trying to "Contain" Damage from Tony Blair, Ali Abunimah Abunimah details the backlash towards the charity Save the Children for awarding a "Global Legacy Award" to Tony Blair on 19 November, given Blair's ties to the Egyptian government and ...

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Arab Jewish Identity and the Art of Hospitality: A Conversation with Michael Rakowitz

[Artist Michael Rakowitz, Dar Al Sulh, 2014. Photo by Kamel Rasool. Image courtesy of Creative Time Reports.]

In the media clips below (produced by Creative Time Reports), the artist Michael Rakowitz speaks with independent curator Regine Basha and scholar Ella Habiba Shohat about the disappearance of Arab Jewish identity, in the context of their recent collaboration Dar Al Sulh, a temporary restaurant serving Iraqi Jewish cuisine in Dubai. The following introduction also appears courtesy of Creative Time Reports:

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Call for Papers--Transformed Nations: State-Policies in Kurdish Populated Areas of Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran (Istanbul, 23 February 2015)

[Image from www.shutterstock.com]

Call for Papers IFEA-Ifpo-University of Exeter Workshop Transformed Nations: State-Policies in Kurdish Populated Areas of Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran (A Comparative Approach from a Transnational Perspective) Istanbul, 23 February 2015 I. Presentation of the Workshop In 2013, the French Institute for Anatolian Studies (IFEA, Istanbul), the French Institute for the Near East (IFPO, Erbil) and the University of Exeter, with the help of Aix- Marseille University, launched a common research program aiming at understanding the redefinition of relations between States and Kurdish-populated areas in the current regional context characterised by an intensification ...

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January Culture Bouquet

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind / If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? — Shelley Even in winter, some flowers will bloom. Their blossoms may be fragile, sad and short-lived, but the strongest of all flowers are those which fight the ice. Each petal reminds us that the dead land is yet not dead, and that dull roots soon will stir with spring rain and with that, memory and desire may mix. Here is a bouquet of long-stem pieces that do not fear the frost.  — Zein El-Amine recounts a ...

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Coming Soon! Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle In Iraq

A subsidiary of the Arab Studies Institute, Tadween Publishing seeks to institutionalize a new form of publishing press by contributing to breaking down barriers and preconceived notions of the publication world. Release Date: Late Spring 2015  E-book: $8.99 Print: $11.99 Book Description:  Collected from dozens of interviews with, and reports from, Iraqi feminists, labor organizers, environmentalists, and protest movement leaders, Against All Odds presents the unique ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (28 December)

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Palestine/Israel Why I Want Obama to Veto Abbas' UN Resolution on Palestine, Ali Abunimah Abunimah, writing for his blog on Electronic ...

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Badr Shakir al-Sayyab: Fifty Years On

The great Iraqi poet Badr Shakir al-Sayyab died fifty years ago today, on December 24, 1964. During his short life, Sayyab changed the language and form of Arabic poetry for good: in part, by breaking centuries' old meters and remaking the rhythms of verse; in part, by engaging intensely with a number of traditions and world literatures at the same time; and always, by engaging with the political, cultural and social dynamics of the moment he lived in. During his early years, Sayyab carried on a lively ...

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Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab: The Poem and the Phoenix

From the new room, my bier calls on me to write a poem. So I write what’s in my blood, and I cross out until the unruly idea gives in. My new room is spacious, more spacious than my grave. If fatigue descends over wakefulness, sleep is sweeter— springing up even from eyes of stone, even from the lonely fireplace set up in the far corner. Then the dry, dilapidated bier lifts up its head and gazes at the walls, the ceiling, the mirror, and the vials. How dark the corners are, as earth is ...

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Badr Shakir Al-Sayyab: Three Letters

[Sayyab's correspondence contains some of his most profound statements on poetry, modernity and contemporary politics of the era. Here, we present to you three letters, addressed to Suhayl Idris, Yusuf al-Khal, and Adonis, respectively.] 3/25/1954 To My Brother Dr. Suhayl Idris: Greetings! The letter that you just sent to me has left an indelible impression on my soul. It is yet another witness to the nobility of your soul, the greatness of your heart and the sincerity of your personal pledge to serve ...

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السياب.. جدول النواح

(1) لم أتعرّف على شعر بدر شاكر السياب إلا من باب التدرّب، كنت فتى في الخامسة عشر من عمره يحاول أن يكون ممثلاً مسرحيّاً، ولم يختر مدرّبي على الإلقاء –آنذاك- سوى قصيدة "المومس العمياء" لما تحمله من صعود درامي، وكلمات "أصيلة" بإمكانها مساعدتي على نُطق الأحرف بشكلها الصحيح والرصين، وكنت حينها اقرأ القصيدة وألهج كلماتها من دون فهم شيء، فراح المدرّب يشرح لي ما تحمله من دراما، ولم يبالغ وقتها حين أخبرني بأن هذه القصيدة لا تقلّ أهميّة عن أي نص لشكسبير لما فيها من "هياج" درامي، وجمل ...

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ملف من الأرشيف : بدر شاكر السياب

[تعيد جدلية نشر هذا الملف اليوم بمناسبة الذكرى الخمسين لرحيل السياب. ”ملف من الأرشيف“ هي سلسة تقوم ”جدلية“ بنشرها بالعربية والإنجليزية بالتعاون مع جريدة ”السفير“ اللبنانية. الملفات  شخصيات أيقونية تركت أثراً عميقاً في الحقل السياسي والثقافي في العالم العربي.] ‫       الاسم: بدر الشهرة: سياب إسم الأب: شاكر إسم الأم: كريمة السياب مكان الولادة: جيكور تاريخ الولادة: 1925 تاريخ الوفاة: 1964 تاريخ الزواج: 1955 إسم الزوجة: إقبال طه عبد الجليل الأولاد: غيداء/ ...

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The Islamic State: The Fear of Decline?

Following a series of military setbacks, Dabiq—the propaganda magazine of the Islamic State (IS)—is issuing calls for the unity of followers to compensate for the dwindling number of its fighters. Through its powerful media apparatus, IS states its ambitions. The Islamic State has shown great capabilities on the field, but also in the virtual sphere. The group has developed a high-quality media industry and mastered this tool like no jihadist group ever has. In comparison, al-Qa‘ida propaganda is a ...

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A Poem by Wadi Saadeh

An Attempt to Reach Beirut from Beirut Wadi Saadeh Dedicated to Sargon Boulos Did I have to step out today to stroke the enemies’ rocket with my small fingers to embark upon a road whose asphalt is melting as I recall the workers in its mine who were dismembered by dynamite as I recall its blind, its ancient bohemians who observe the earth being stripped of its skin like an immolated pirate Did I have to go to you After the last of my wrists died my feet, my hands embracing each other like ...

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شعراء ما بعد الطوفان

توطئة كان التغيير نفقا مجهولا ننتظر الضوء في آخره، وكنا نياما في المركب لا نعلم بأمر الطوفان، الطوفان في نهاية النفق. خرج لنا جيل ما بعد التغيير بصورة لامعة ومتفردة، مزج ألم الماضي بأمل المستقبل واضعين جسرا من التساؤلات بينهما. فتحت جفوننا الشعرية بعدهم على الطوفان، على الفاجعة والدم، طوفان الدم لنصبح شعراء ما بعد الطوفان. لكن الصورة ضبابية والسطح الأزرق للطوفان حاكاه سطح افتراضي يماثله باللون ويخالفه بالعزاء. قال لي الشاعر أحمد عبد الحسين ذات يوم "العدم أورثنا خلاصة الألم، لكنه أورثنا الشعر كذلك ...

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نون إنسان

-1- تنحني هذه الرسوم والكلمات لحرف النون، فالنون وعاء كلمة إنسان (ا ن س ا ن). والإنسان تحتويه نونان، لذا كان الإنسان مثنى مذ كان. فكلمة إنسان تضمر المثنى وتعلن المفرد، لأنها تدلّ على الذكر والأنثى. فيها نستعيد المثنى الذي كان علامة سيد الشعراء وملك الغرباء. فأمروء القيس لم يقف ويستوقف ويخاطب المثنى في بداية معلقته، إلا ليعلن أن المثنى هو الأصل، وأن الإنسان مزدوج حتى حين يكون وحيداً. المثنى وعاء الروح وامتداده، لذا حار المجددون أمام ظاهرة المثنى وصعوباتها، فحاولوا إلغاءها، لكنهم فشلوا، إذ كيف يبدأ شعر ...

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