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Iraq

Various wooden letter blocks
Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash
9 Writers to Read on International Mother Language Day
By The Editors of Words Without Borders
We highlight 9 writers working in their heritage languages, from Galician and Cebuano to Guaraní and Kaaps.
Multimedia
An International Menagerie: Animal Stories
By Susan Harris
Some of the animals here possess the power of speech, deploying it to often subversive ends.
Portrait of writer Sinan Antoon
Photo © Koutaiba al-Janabi
The City and the Writer: In Baghdad with Sinan Antoon
By Nathalie Handal
I don’t live (t)here, but it lives in me still.
The Book of Stupid People
By Ibn al-Jawzī
I shall tell you about one of the nitwits.
Translated from Arabic by Emily Jane Selove
Beyond Queer: The Queer Issue
By Susan Harris
The contributors to our Queer issues produce narratives that elude facile compartmentalization.
While He Was Sitting There
By Mortada Gzar
He’s the third white soldier I’ve met this month.
Translated from Arabic by Claire C. Jacobson
The Hundred-Hour War
By David B. & Jean-Pierre Filiu
In April 1991, Saddam Hussein took back control of his country in its entirety.
Translated by Edward Gauvin
“It’s Us and Them”: Writing from and about Divided Countries
By Susan Harris
In the current environment of relentless political strife . . . debate deteriorates into name-calling; partisans morph into zealots, complex issues are reduced to binary terms, and hostility seethes just beneath the surface.
The Collapse of a Cellar
By Nawzat Shamdeen
“They shoot them right outside their front door and then send their folks a bill for the bullets.”
Translated from Arabic by Alice Guthrie
Mass Grave
By Faleeha Hassan
Our hands could not grip anything as long as their hands gripped our lives.
Translated from Arabic by William Maynard Hutchins
The Beginnings of Ja’far-i-Magholi and Hasan Tofan
By Bakhtiyar Ali
If one day you become a murderer, don't try to find out much about your victims.
Translated from Kurdish by Kareem Abdulrahman
Union
By Abdulla Pashew
I will make my skin your flag.
Translated from Kurdish by Hemn Bakr & Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse
The Poetry of Truth: An Interview with Abdulla Pashew
By Ziad Rashad
With the process of democratization the role of poetry has been curtailed.
Translated from Kurdish by Dina Dara Omer Meran & Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse
Separation from Earth
By Kajal Ahmad
My hair / Became a belt around the Earth’s waist.
Translated from Kurdish by Darya Ali
Sudden Sorrow
By Hama Jaza
Sorrow becomes my guest, in the square frame of my room
Translated from Kurdish by Hakar Dlshad
Painting the Occupation
By Paweł Smoleński
They locked him up for being a Kurd.
Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
If You See Fatima
By Jamal Khambar
Say, after her death, we lit our epic poems on fire.
Translated from Kurdish by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse & Soran Azad
The Green Zone Rabbit
By Hassan Blasim
Wasn’t it your bloody rabbit that laid the egg?
Translated from Arabic by Jonathan Wright
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