Articles tagged "Middle East"


From the Archives: Graphic History

With this seventh edition of our annual graphic novel issue, we've now published close to eighty graphic works. Despite the "comics" label, many of these pieces are anything but playful, as artists…...

The Beginning and End of the Oil Curse?

Why does oil wealth so often become a curse for developing states?  In the developing world, oil-producing states are fifty percent more likely to be ruled by autocrats, and more than twice as likely…...

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…...

July 2011


Poets, Eunuchs, and Pricks

When Apollonius and his disciple Damis paid a visit to Rhodes in the winter of 68 AD, they stopped by the Colossus where the young man asked his mentor if society could aspire to anything greater. Apollonius…...

Say No to Metro Confiscation and Trial

Say No to "Metro" Confiscation Last year we published an excerpt from Magdy El Shafee's Metro, an Arabic graphic novel set in Cairo that deals with the financial and social insecurity in Egypt. Shortly…...

Finding Keret: Two Israeli Editors Discuss the Author’s Discovery

The two Israeli editors who brought Etgar Keret to national attention met recently to reminisce for the record about their brief but memorable association with him. Hannan Hever and Moshe Ron had a history…...

An Athenian Story…from Afghanistan

This is the fourth installment in a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants…...

Reading Keret: Translating the Funhouse

"Hat Trick" first appeared in Missing Kissinger (1994), and has since proved one of Etgar Keret's most popular stories. In 1998, artist Batia Kolton of the Actus Tragicus comics collective adapted…...

Saying Big Things: The Art of Etgar Keret

In the latest dispatch for our Etgar Keret discussion, Todd Hasak-Lowy, author of Captives and The Task of this Translator, talks about Keret and the art of saying big things —Editors Etgar Keret…...

An Athenian Story…from Iran

This is the second installment of a series of "Athenian Stories" from Gazmend Kapllani as a complement to our Greek issue this month. In these short dispatches, Kapllani documents the experience of immigrants…...

Brutal Banality in Keret’s “An Exclusive”

At nearly nine pages, "An Exclusive" is the lengthiest story in Etgar Keret's Girl on the Fridge. Perhaps because it's the longest, it's one of my favorites. Keret is known as a stylist of…...

Reading Keret: Front-line of the Hyper-real

In his first blog post for our online book club on Etgar Keret's Girl on the Fridge, Adam Rovner discusses the hyper-real in Keret's story "The Night the Buses Died." We hope you'll read this…...

On Etgar Keret

Phillip Lopate's essay was included in the accompanying booklet to WWB's March 5th event at the Idlewild bookstore in New York City. It is also part of our ongoing discussion of Etgar Keret's…...

Etgar Keret in Context

In conjunction with our live Etgar Keret discussion on March 5th at the Idlewild bookstore in New York, Adam Rovner, writer, scholar and translations editor of Zeek, will be moderating an online discussion…...

Letter from Iraq

The young captain sat on his bed and sighed. íThere are not too many people around here I can talk with,ë he said. íAll the young guys talk about is women and fighting.ë This is…...

Three-week Arabic Arts Festival at Kennedy Center

Tomorrow, February 23rd, marks the beginning of a massive three-week festival of Arabic arts and culture at the Kennedy Center in D.C., titled Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World. This will, by far, be the…...

This Animated Life: An Interview with David Polonsky

An interview with David Polonsky, the artist behind the Oscar-nominated film and graphic novel Waltz with Bashir. A few simple descriptions would suffice to understand just how rich and strange an artwork…...

From the Symposium: Studying the Arab World in Western Universities

Last month I attended the symposium "The Study of the Arab World in Western Universities," sponsored by ALESCO, the Arab League Educational and Scientific Organization, and hosted by the Arabic department…...

A Treaty of Love

After my trip to Lebanon in the spring of 2007, I traveled to London to interview the Lebanese-Palestinian author Samir El-Youssef. El-Youssef has a beautiful and contagious laugh. That was the first thing…...

“BE HERE NOW”: An Introduction to “Yalo”

"How can I describe to you what happened to Yalo…the truth, sir, the truth that only God knows, is that my memory is distorted and I don't know." Yalo takes place during Beirut's 1975 Civil…...

on Translating “Yalo”

Drake Stutesman: Yalo is interesting for the various different voices that it employs, and the ways in which it combines vernaculars, languages and perspectives into a single narrative. What do you think…...

On Mahmoud Darwish

In an earlier post, I raised the issue of the dearth of translations done of intellectual and critical writing from Arabic (and most of the other languages of the world). The translation of poetry also…...

Mahmoud Darwish, 1941-2008

Mahmoud Darwish is dead. The great poet of Palestinian displacement died in a Houston hospital after open-heart surgery. In a poem in his 2006 "Diary," Darwish writes, If you were told: you're going to…...

A Kind of Farewell

Over the past months, I've been living in Cairo and posting regularly about the local literary scene to this blog. In a matter of days, perhaps even by the time this is posted, I'll be back in…...

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