The Cultural View from Within and Without

Still Life
Directed by Diana Allan
Cinema Guild, 25 minutes.

By Lynne Rogers

Hussam Itani has written a post titled, "Intellectual Production and Criticism." “Since the beginning of the Arab revolutions, no concept has developed worthy of our attention” Itani states. Nor does he believe there exists either a legitimate intellectual discourse on the future of the region, or even one artistic work which provokes serious debate.

Samar Joukhadar, a Syrian mother from Daraya, along with her three children, became a refugee in her own country, and then embarked on a long and arduous journey to escape Assad’s barrel bombs.

By Mike D’Andrea

Sabah Zwein, a prominent Lebanese poet, critic and translator, lost her battle with lung cancer last June, an illness known to few of her friends and acquaintances. This secrecy probably came as no surprise to many of her intimates, who, like her literary critics, recognized that the struggle with isolation, bitterness, and despair colored many of Zwein’s poems.

Adonis is once again talking and singing the same, stale, old songs about ‘changing society.’ The latest refrain in this worn-out tune appeared in a 4500 word interview published in As Safir newspaper, which elicited sharp criticisms from multiple sources. Most publicized objections came from Walid Jumblatt, who described Adonis’s ideas as “causing one to vomit disgust.”

Nawal El-Saadawi’s ‘Daughter of Isis’ Life and Times via the Plenitude of Her Writings

By D.H. Melhem

Rarely have I missed the annual remembrance of the Lebanese Civil War. My main concern has always been the need to talk about it and insist on facing its causes and consequences. With this in mind, I have published and edited quite a few contributions during the past 20 plus years of Al Jadid’s life.

Stories of Change: Beyond the Arab Spring
Edited by Kari Lundelin and Rebecca Simons
Schilt Publishing, The Netherlands, 2014.


Let’s begin with the title of the book. What do you mean by the “orphan revolution?”

The Story of Joseph: A Fourteenth Century Turkish Morality Play
By Sheyyad Hamza
Translated by Bill Hickman
Syracuse University Press, 2014, 168 pages


The Penguin’s Song
By Daoud. Hassan
Translated by Marilyn Booth.
City Light Books, 2014.  222 pp. 


The Man From Bashmour
By Salwa Bakr
Translated by Nancy Roberts
Cairo University Press, 2007, 296 pp.


“I was still kneading the dough for the Eucharist break, working on getting it just right, with the intention of leaving it after that to rise. I had washed the earthenware kneading bowl in ritually pure water, as well as the lid and the sieve. The priest was standing over me, reciting the Psalms and making the sign of the cross.”


Swing Hakim
By Swing Hakim
Independently produced, 2011


The Moor's Account
By Laila Lalami
Pantheon Books, 2014, pp. 324.

Silver Treasures from the Land of Sheba: Regional Yemeni Jewelry
By Marjorie Ransom
The American University in Cairo Press, 2014

By Alyssa Wood 

Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors
By Brian A Catlos
Farra Staruss and Giroux, New York, 2014

By Bobby Gulshan

By Leila Sebbar
Interlink Publishing Group, 2014, pp. 285.

By David Aossey

Contemporary Arab-American Literature: Transnational Reconfigurations of Citizenship and Belonging
By Carol Fadda-Conrey
New York: NYU Press, 2014.

By Theri Pickens

Victoria College: The Making of Royalty and Celebrities (In Arabic)
By Dalia Assem
Jadawel, 2014, 360 pages

By Nada Ramadan Elnahla

Although Sabah remained off the stage, professionally speaking, for some time, the Lebanese kept hearing of and from her. Many Arab generations, especially the Lebanese, would miss her. Few would deny that she had become a household name since the 1950s, and even before. Though her songs varied with time, still she will be remembered most for her traditional folk music where she specialized in a Lebanese folk tradition called the mawal, which held a great appeal for early Lebanese generations, ourselves as well as our parents.

By Rima Assaf

Your fault is that you are dying in large numbers. Thus, you have ceased to be a rare scene. Your crime is that the photographs of your body parts no longer attract advertisers, and thus your death, pain, and displacement have ceased to attract TV viewers.

Over the years, we have devoted a generous space to covering dissent by Arab intellectuals, especially the Syrians. We believed that most of those who were arrested and imprisoned for long periods of time, the poet Farag Bayrakdar, 14 years; Riadh al-Turk, 17 years; Yassin al-Haj Saleh, 16 years, had been viewed as members of different leftist and Communist parties, thus posing threats to a repressive regime.

Watching a Kurdish city almost disappear from its "Kurdishness" as hundreds of thousands flee to Turkey is as painful as watching the millions of other Syrians thrown out into the cold in their own country and in neighboring states. Kobani under siege by ISIS rekindles distant and recent memories of Arab-Kurdish relationship, a history marked by chauvinistic Arab condescension toward the Kurds.

It is amazing how the Syrian regime orders its priorities at a time when an armada of allied forces daily bombards its territory. Nothing appears to restrain Assad’s war against his people. He ignores with equal facility the "global war," ceded daily to ISIS, the blood of 200,000 martyrs, the displacement of millions, and the reflexive, cynical destruction of some of civilization’s most ancient cities. Apparently, none of these facts have any power to instill sense into the Assad clique, otherwise why would they choose to pursue Mrs.

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