Articles tagged "Arab Spring"


The Liberated Voice: Three Writers from Syria

Clearly the most important duty for the outsider looking to read new Syrian literature at the moment is not to expect a consistent voice or search for a monolithic take on the current period of Syrian…...

Magdy El Shafee Arrested and Held at Tora Prison

Magdy El Shafee, author of Egypt’s first graphic novel, Metro, was arrested by security forces on Friday in downtown Cairo. According to fellow author Muhammad Aladdin, El Shafee was detained near…...

Magdy El Shafee Publishes “Metro” in English

It's Metro Day at WWB. We're celebrating the publication of Magdy El Shafee's graphic novel, available today from Metropolitan Books in Chip Rossetti's translation. Readers will recall…...

Tahrir Square, One Year Ago

As the events of the Arab Spring unfolded last year, WWB published a number of dispatches from and about the affected countries.  One of our favorites came from Egyptian graphic novelist Magdy El…...

Homeless Rats: A Parable for Postrevolution Libya

Libyan writer and diplomat Ahmed Ibrahim Fagih’s Homeless Rats is a quasi-fantastic historical novel that offers considerable insight into Libyan culture and geography, in particular that of the…...

Declining Freedom

Translator’s Note:  In Wajdi al-Ahdal’s novel Donkey in the Choir, Tha’ira, the rebellious wife of a Yemeni politician, has neglected work on her master’s degree since her…...

A Conversation with Rafik Schami

Rafik Schami was born in Damascus in 1946, came to Germany in 1971, and studied chemistry in Heidelberg. Today he is the most successful German-speaking Arabic writer. His novels have been translated into…...

The Fountain

When the inscrutable embraces sluggish time spreading its invisible light between two suspended shores rags of screams, a flight of black cloth spread a hollow vertigo down the native alley Sanctuaries…...

A Scream Has No Alphabet: An Interview with Aïcha Arnaout

Born in Damascus, the poet and novelist Aïcha Arnaout has lived in Paris since 1978. We have had quite a few conversations over the past few years, often at the Marché de la Poésie,…...

Mukhtar

When my mother asked me to spend the summer in her brothers’ house in the south, I employed every sophistry of my sixteen years—an age when only a mother pays attention to your budding philosophy…...

Hanzala

It’s August 2000, and I’m overwhelmed by this emotional leavetaking. It’s the first time you’ve ever dreaded visiting your grandfather al-Atawi, but it’s because you’re…...

God After Ten O’Clock

The State Security Building: The First Arrest of the Seagull It was maybe three or four o'clock, or maybe sometime in between. Why am I trying to establish an exact time? Curses on the clock that forces…...

Dolls and Angels

Hannan didn’t realize how late it was or even that it was late. Today was different. It was an extraordinary moment in every respect. Her mother was no longer the woman she knew, and the neighborhood…...

August 2011


An Open Letter to Mohamed Bouazizi

Dear Brother: I write these few lines to let you know we’re doing well, on the whole, though it varies from day to day: sometimes the wind changes, it rains lead, life bleeds from every pore. To…...

Path of Light

Where have you come from? From the other world. And where are you going? Towards the other world. Rabi’a al-’Adawiyya “Song of the Hermit”   I slept for three centuries on…...

The Mothers

From now on the mothers will sleep alone among the portraits of the dead only the mothers know where they’ve gone and how the long labour of dying had distanced them already from the living alone…...

Founding Fathers

Author’s note: The Iraq in the novel is an imaginary Iraq, and I tried to use it as a symbol for all the Arab countries. Most of the characteristics of the four dictators in the novel are derived…...

Publishing in Tunisia: An Interview with Elisabeth Daldoul of Elyzad

Elisabeth Daldoul founded her publishing house, Elyzad, in Tunisia almost six years ago. My first experience with her was with A cinq mains, a book in which she published five short stories written by…...

I Call You Tunisia

I I heard your voice at daybreak Like a scarlet dawn Giving birth in darkness The years’ turning back On themselves Rocking the ebb and flow On the shore of a sea At once full and empty I caught…...

O My Libya

We’ll go with you wherever you may go. Our palm trees blossom from your secret springs. Your face redeems us. When Nowhere’s left for you we’ll take your place. You will always be us…...

July 2011