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Monkith Saaid: Fingertips Grasping Place

By 
Shawqi Abd al-Amir

In Monkith Saaid's studio in Sahnayah, a village south of Damascus, nothing escapes his artistic universe; neither moldy wood, rusted steel, smashed reeds nor stones or glass. Not even sawdust. All traditionally neglected material evading sight or interest enters his workshop and transforms itself, through his extraordinary genius, into beautiful and delicate creatures, whispers of love and shouts of protest against oppression, which collapse together in a hysterical dance.

Lebanese Immigrants in Australia: Growing Up in a Culture of Taxi Driving

By 
Christine Eid

By its very nature a taxi journey is seen as a passage between two places rather, than the subject of focus itself. Taxi driving is a humble profession, usually overlooked, undervalued and often the brunt of jokes and stereotypes. Most consider it a transitory occupation – a short-term solution between jobs, a source of additional income or just a good fall-back position.

Kennedy Center Festival Underscores Growing Interest in Arab Literature

By 
Andrea Shalal-Esa

Literature had a starring role at the Kennedy Center’s three-week festival of Arab arts and culture from February 23 - March 15, drawing dozens of noted writers and literary critics from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and other Arab countries, as well as the United States. Eight panels on varying topics and five performances were largely at full capacity, underscoring what many writers described as growing interest in their work.

Nazik al-Malaika (1923-2007) Iraqi Woman’s Journey Changes Map of Arabic Poetry

By 
Simone Stevens

Nazik al-Malaika, one of Iraq’s most famous poets, died June 20, 2007, at the age of 83.  Al-Malaika was best known for her role as a pioneer of the free verse movement, making a sharp departure from the classical rhyme form that had dominated Arabic poetry for centuries.

Nazik al-Malaika, one of Iraq’s most famous poets, died June 20, 2007, at the age of 83.  Al-Malaika was best known for her role as a pioneer of the free verse movement, making a sharp departure from the classical rhyme form that had dominated Arabic poetry for centuries.

Taking on Sexual Harassment, a Social Phenomenon in Egypt

By 
Mohammed Ali Atassi

Sexual harassment of women in Egypt is one of many social problems that politicians and the media have tended to treat as an instance of individual, abnormal behavior. Because they treat it as an isolated aberration from proper social norms – falling outside the path, principles and traditions of a sanctioned way of life – Egyptian society as a whole does not need to confront it.

Early Advocate of Separation Between Religion and State, Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi, from the Mysteries of His Life to the Clarity of His Ideas

By 
Ibrahim al-Ariss

Abd al-Rahman al-Kawakibi, a 19th century Syrian intellectual, is considered one of the most eminent enlightenment thinkers, having demonstrated the highest clarity in his political and intellectual undertakings. On the one hand, he aimed at seeing despotism destroyed through contemporary methods–through science and knowledge. On the other, he pointed to other means, that of the founding of an Arab political union that would be surrounded by a cohesive Islamic community.

Award-winning 'Bin Baraka Alley' Emerges from Decades of Censorship

By 
Dunya Mikhail

The second edition of Mahmoud Saeed’s “Bin Baraka Alley” was recently published by Dar Al-Adaab in Beirut. The first edition, published in Jordan by Dar al-Karmal in 1993, won first place in the novel category in Iraq that year. Despite such high recognition from Iraqi critics, the novel was banned in Iraq, Morocco, Jordan, and Kuwait.

The Paris and Turin Book Fairs To Boycott or Not to Boycott: Subjecting Culture to Politics

By 
Elie Chalala

The polemical issue of boycott is a longstanding one in Arab political, economic and cultural discourse. Not only has most of the Arab world long boycotted Israeli economic products, as well as cultural events that include Israeli participation, but boycotts have also targeted Western products if their producers conduct trade with Israel. Excluding a few Arab states and those states which signed peace agreements with Israel, the issue of boycott remains present today.

Multiple Factors Spur Resignations from Al Jazeera English

By 
Elie Chalala

Two years ago, Al Jazeera English launched a campaign claiming that Al Jazeera English would distinguish itself from its Arabic-language counterpart by being less ideological and partisan. However, recent resignations from the 24-hour international news channel suggest a different reality. David Marash, the channel’s Washington-based anchor, resigned when his two-year contract expired March 2007. According to The New York Times, Marash, a familiar face to ABC’s “Nightline” viewers, cited “increased editorial control” as one of the main reasons for his departure.

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