Countering the Paradigm of Arab Othering Through Art

By Rebecca Joubin

Technology has played the muse for a new generation of Arab artists who came of age during a time of vast expansion in the Internet, satellite television, and digital technology. The exciting new book, “Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art: View from Inside” showcases the diverse talents of 49 of the leading artists from thirteen different Arab countries. The book gives voice to individuals who otherwise might not be heard in the Western World. 

Contemporary Arab Photography, Video and Mixed Media Art: View From Inside
By Karin Adrian von Roques
Schilt Publishing 
Amsterdam, NL, 2014

The Ripple Effect of the 'Eclipse' of Iraqi Sunnis

By Lynne Rogers

Only four years after its publication and a drastically changed landscape, reading Deborah Amos’ “Eclipse of the Sunnis, Power, Exile and Upheaval in the Middle East,” will give readers a chilling sense of futility towards the impending signs of violence that politicians either conveniently overlooked or malevolently exaggerated to their advantage.   With the American Occupation of Iraq, Amos, an award winning journalist, has set off to record the “the mass departure” of Iraqis to Damascus, Amman and Beirut.


The Only Diner in the Restaurant: A Travel Writer’s Perspective on the Arab Spring

By Daniel Hugh-Jones

Several excellent articles and books have been written concerning the revolutions of the Arab Spring, most by participants, relatives of the fallen, political analysts or foreign correspondents. Tom Chesshyre makes no claim to any of these perspectives. Instead, he deals with the subject of life during and after revolution with the light touch and charm of a travel writer.

When the first violent images of the Arab Spring flashed across our television screens, most of us watched with interest, wished the demonstrators more or less success in their efforts, depending on our points of view, and then got on with our lives. Tom Chesshyre, on the other hand, decided to take a look from up close, travelling through Tunisia, Libya and Egypt in the wake of revolt. This might come as no surprise – he is a journalist for the Times of London after all – but Chesshyre is not that sort of journalist. He is not a foreign correspondent.

Living with voices: magical realism in war-torn Iran

By Lynne Rogers

This riveting story will hold the reader spellbound as Ravanipur employs magical realism to illuminate the searing realities of life in war-torn Iran. Afsaneh Sarboland can remember little about her reasons for fleeing her home and husband in the middle of the night, and must deal with the unjust assumptions and indictments of Iranian patriarchy. Driven to the point of madness by abuse and the devastating Iran-Iraq War, the embattled woman must also come to terms with her personal demons, who have taken on internal lives and personalities of their own. In a world gone mad, Ravanipur skillfully leads her readers to the startling conclusion that Afsaneh’s internal dialogs represent a peculiar form of sanity, appropriate to the realities of her family and country. 

Afsaneh, A Novel From Iran
By Moniru Ravanipur
Translated from the Persian by Rebecca Joubin
Ibex Publishers, 2014, pp. 211


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