More Arab-American writers are getting their work published than ever before, but even those lucky few who land lucrative book contracts with big publishers still face a host of problems ranging from censorship to being pigeonholed as only Arab-American writers.
It is no accident that the "Love Boat" theatrical sea journey ends in Shakespeare's "King Lear," as more and more Syrians die either under assault from Assad and Russian bombs or by drowning, desperately taking to the seas in hopes of escaping genocidal policies.
In a predominantly patriarchal society, living as an independent woman proves difficult. But for the title character of the award winning film “Fatima” (2015), directed by Philippe Faucon and recently awarded the César Award for Best Picture — the struggle becomes even greater. Fatima, an Algerian Muslim immigrant divorcee living in Lyon, France with two young adult daughters, works an arduous housecleaning job to support her family.
For decades, Nickelsdorf, Austria has had refugees coming in and out of the town, and for the most part, the locals had welcomed them. However, a recent exhibit in the town’s annual Konfrontationen Festival has caused unease among the inhabitants. A simple white truck, which was discovered August last year, has reached millions across Europe with a grim reminder of the dangerous trials Middle Eastern refugees must face on their journeys. Abandoned on the shoulder of a road near Parndorf, Austrian police discovered 71 decomposing bodies, including several children.
"Arabic literature is perhaps one of very few literary traditions that have a distinct literary genre known as the "prison novel." This is not only because a great majority of writers have themselves lived the experience of arrest, imprisonment, and even torture, but also because the history of the contemporary Arab intellectual is one of constant struggle with the authorities.
Among the many theories surrounding the cause of Syria’s conflict, a sort of new theory has emerged. Could architecture have played a substantial role in its occurrence? Marwa al-Sabouni, a young architect based in Homs, argues yes. Having lived in Homs for two years and witnessed its destruction, Sabouni presents this provocative theory in her recent book, “The Battle for Home: The Vision of a Young Architect in Syria” (Thames & Hudson, 2016).
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