Almost a decade ago, Saadi Youssef began his poem "Imru` al-Qays` Grandson" by asking: "Is it your fault that once you were born in that country? / Three quarters of a century / and you still pay from your ebbing blood / its tax." He ended the poem with an even more vexing question: "What is it to you / now when you are asked to do the impossible?" As this long hot summer ends, we would not be mistaken to imagine these lines could be about Gaza, Mosul, or Ferguson.
- Maymanah Farhat contributes a recent essay from a monograph on Syrian painter Khaled Takreti.
- Excerpts from Khalil Sweileh`s Barbarians` Paradise, trans. by Michele Hejnum.
- Hannah Elansary reflects on the reception of street art in Egypt.
- Sonja Mejcher-Atassi interviews ABOUNADDARA.
Finally, it is not our fault that this late summer bouquet is haunted by ghosts. When Samih al-Qasim died this past month, many of us returned to his poetry and saw that it too reminds us that what we are asked to do is the impossible. We returned to his letters to Mahmoud Darwish and Rashid Hussein, and found all these poets speaking to us through death, after death, despite death. To Samih al-Qasim we offer neither obituary nor elegy, but this bouquet within a bouquet: