Articles tagged "Syria"


Exile is Born at This Moment

Oh, my love, while you are in my breath, I am a statue of snow at the entrance to Damascus, with eyes closed, nose breathing anger, ears tuned to the noise of death, mouth speechless, trying to say: when…...

Exiled in Europe: An Interview with Three Women Writers

Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka has often examined the question of exile in essays and articles. Exile is indeed a place, he has written, a desolate space where one must confront the question: “Is there…...

Bag of the Nation

I took the big bag that I had inherited from my grandfather down from the attic. It was brightly colored like a storm of rainbows. I hoisted it onto my back and went out into the street. I closed my eyes…...

Autumn Here is Magical and Vast

A bloody shaft of light shone under our door between their compass & the north star so the road passed through our house out toward the estuary. Its stones are our tears which silted in our chests…...

Stories from “The Hedgehog”

My Invisible Friend My mother went to call on her neighbor Umm Baha’. She refused to take me with her, giving the excuse that women visit women and men visit men, and she left me at home alone, promising…...

Blackness

We who were killed in all wars. In the Basus war our corpses dangled from the Turks’ gallows In Troy’s war We were behind the walls Blood dried in our veins Those besieging us never went away…...

In the Doorway of My Friend’s House

I stopped in the doorway of my friend’s house And my palm was glued to the doorbell But my finger trembled, too weak to arouse A desire to ring in its wires I wavered. The road to his house had been…...

A Note on Syrian Poetry Today

At a moment of simultaneous disintegration and creation, survival looms just where the danger is. What is it like to be Syrian today, when a long ending and an unknown beginning are bloodily mingled? What…...

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,…...

Arabic


The First Breaths of Freedom

Haven't you missed the sun and rain and streets? During those long nights, didn't you dream of these paths as you were eating ful and smoking? And how often did you torture yourself with thoughts…...

Barada

Barada, oh father of all rivers Oh, horse that races the days Be, in our sad history, a prophet Who receives inspiration from his lord Millions acknowledge you as an Arab Prince . . . so pray as an imam…...

Damascus, What Are You Doing to Me?

1 My voice rings out, this time, from Damascus It rings out from the house of my mother and father In Sham. The geography of my body changes. The cells of my blood become green. My alphabet is green. In…...

from Feral Love

The day had advanced resolutely into evening. He returned to his hotel, anticipating an early departure in the morning; once in his room, he stretched out on the bed. Outside, blackest night. He rose to…...

Groans

1 Here I am you alone In this mad, gaping Hell Here I am you alone and death altogether With its predators and its seers and the informers Perhaps I am arriving at The limit of my possibilities For you…...

An Alphabetical Formation

Alif You're not beginning . . . It's an eternity, you know . . . I mean, the ever-after, you know No matter, then. Raise your cavalry But don't set out for the horizon, Or the sea . . . or…...