Articles tagged "Iraqi Literature"


The Sad Portuguese

Luis Carvalho was the “sad Portuguese”—that is what they called him, or at least what we called him, we the children in the neighborhoods of Sif, Mahallat al-Pasha, Nadhran, and Bllush,…...

Beyond the Trauma of War: Iraqi Literature Today

A decade after the U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq, we cannot approach Iraqi literature today without recognizing the multiple shifts and varieties in its expression. In a matter of ten years, the post-Ba'thist…...

The Green Zone Rabbit

Before the egg appeared, I would read a book about law or religion every night before going to sleep. Like my rabbit, I would be most active in the hours around dawn and sunset. Salsal, on the other hand,…...

Salman and the Mule Suicides

My acquaintance with Salman extends back to our military service, to the winter of 1984, I think. In that year I began to serve in a series of units that fought in the mountains, cities, and canebrakes…...

Be Quiet, Soldiers

At the Ajeerda divide, the strip of land that separates the marshes on the eastern side, east of the city of Amarah, we were gathered into deeply dug-out positions. Thousands of soldiers, dressed in khaki…...

A Portal in Space

The Friday bombardment started a little later than usual, at 8:30 a.m. The sound was loud and clear. Umm Anwar sighed, and her pain showed clearly in her expression. Furrowing her brow and ready to explode,…...

The One-Eyed TV

Just as the thirteenth year of my life started, the Iraqi-Iran war began. Before it was even a year old, my oldest brother was killed and one of my cousins was taken as a prisoner of war. That is when…...

Merrymaking

He is not a tightrope walker, a snake charmer, or a tiger tamer. His hands are empty no charm or sleight to them, and he does not have any puppets, hoops, pungis, or whips—his mere body is his only…...

Music in a Baghdad Alley

No matter where you settle or wander That first melody is yours At every arrival and departure Its living face will meet you at the entrance that remains If you walk and the opposing wind is in your face…...

In Saadi Shirazi’s Garden (When He Was a Prisoner)

The river flows. Guides hide in the woods. I am a single day dragging an apocalypse of days. Wounded battalions smelling the burning air through the dried blood on the nose. Because the city of water is…...

The Arab Altar

The last thing on our minds was celebrating our wedding, after we had waited so long, to the sound of air raid sirens and the reverberation of Dushka guns targeting the Iranian airplanes attacking Baghdad.…...

The Mulberry Tree

My city—Mosul—was economical even in its delights. During its unhurried spring, which was fragrant with the scents of grass and wild flowers, there were only a few places for people to go on…...

from “Kumait”

He couldn’t help but see the school; from the time he had left the bus at the township’s station, he had never thought of going any other way. His feet felt at home on the township’s…...

from “Dreaming of Baghdad”

His life was short but rich, crammed with events. He was arrested at the age of seventeen, released five years later, and executed when he was twenty-four. At the foot of the mountains, the bushes burn…...

The Psychiatrist

My new position gave me contact with refugees from various communities in Copenhagen. Three municipalities had engaged me to study the cases of ordinary patients or ones whose health conditions were hard…...

Silence

Winds that do not blow in the evening, and winds that do not blow at dawn have burdened me with a book of boughs. I see my cry in the silence. Night descends, blue, between staircases and stars. I see…...

Departure ‘82

Soon all the rooms will be closed, and beginning with the basement, we will leave them one by one until we reach the guns on the roof. We will leave them too . . . like the rooms and go on to search in…...

The Jazz Corner

A moment after midnight every night jazz begins to soak the Jazz Corner like new wine like village wine A moment after midnight every night a woman descends a dark staircase to sing Brazil or balconies…...

A Shiver

Hold me, comfort me The stones are nothing but pain tonight Hold me to your breast so that I ramble: The stars are gray as ash and the road to them is ablaze with light. 1993

Koofa

We did not name it so that it would become a city. We came to it thirsty starved limping on blazing sands, blinded by sun glow. We cut the world from Mecca to the palace of Naaman. We cut the world with…...

The Bird’s Last Flight

When I enter the earth's nest contented and glad, my wings resting, I will free my eyelids so not to see the trees swaying nearer. Do not cry over me. I said do not cry. If you wish, remember that…...

Five Crosses

We stopped in five stations and did not leave a souvenir. We did not shiver there, or get drunk, or strum a guitar. Five rivers of sand on the guitar. Five crosses made of silence: You are sad; I wipe…...

Lisa

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from Cell Block Five

It took me some long months to realize that I was incarcerated. My dreams had suddenly ended. Like Zoroaster I awoke from a lengthy slumber to discover rudely and bitterly that justice does not always…...

Words

Who walks wearily within me at a time when your wound does not sleep? Baghdad I will divest you of your morgue so long to grasp I will divest you at the heart of things at the pinnacle of my childhood.…...

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