Essays and Features

A New Life for Arab Rationalism

By 
Elie Chalala

Nassif Nassar has a long-term research project and his latest book, titled “Al Zaat wa al-Hudur, Bahith fi Mabade’ al-Woujoud al-Tarikhi” (The Self and Existence: a Study in the Principles of Historical Existence), and published in Beirut by Dar al-Talia (2008), is the next step in this endeavor. In it, he characterizes Man, as the free and sovereign maker of his own social and political life, a depiction that has been routingly impunged by all types of of deterministic theories.

Disrepair and Neglect Mar Kahlil Gibran Memorial

By 
Stan Shabaz

In Washington, D.C., a memorial garden dedicated to the great Lebanese poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) sits nestled between the offices of world diplomats. A gift to the United States from the Kahlil Gibran Centennial Foundation, the garden park can be found on Massachusetts Avenue’s Embassy Row.

 

In Washington, D.C., a memorial garden dedicated to the great Lebanese poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) sits nestled between the offices of world diplomats. A gift to the United States from the Kahlil Gibran Centennial Foundation, the garden park can be found on Massachusetts Avenue’s Embassy Row.

Bashir al-Daouk (1931-2007) In Memoriam: Farewell to Publisher Hero

By 
Elie Chalala

As happens in the West, Arab culture often celebrates authors at the expense of publishers. Also like their Western counterparts, Arab publishers tend toward commercialism and self-interest, jeopardizing the public’s best interest.

As happens in the West, Arab culture often celebrates authors at the expense of publishers. Also like their Western counterparts, Arab publishers tend toward commercialism and self-interest, jeopardizing the public’s best interest. And, typically, they are only too ready to abandon authors of manuscripts deemed “controversial,” as well as those on whose behalf they receive threats from governments or non-governmental groups. But Lebanon, and even the Arab world, prides itself on the exception that was Dr.

In Memoriam: Suheil Idriss (1925-2008)

Founder of Al Adab 'moved the waters' of Arab Literature
By 
Mahmoud Saeed

The highest honors in modern Arab literature rightly fall on icons like Taha Hussein and Naguib Mahfouz, both authors of irrefutable genius. But while these figures deserve their place in Arab letters, the publishers behind them – who, 

The highest honors in modern Arab literature rightly fall on icons like Taha Hussein and Naguib Mahfouz, both authors of irrefutable genius. But while these figures deserve their place in Arab letters, the publishers behind them – who, often amid difficult circumstances, have the courage and vision to bring their work to readers – sometimes fail to receive their due.

The Season of Tayeb Salih--Crossing the Boundaries

By 
Lynne Rogers

While some immediately think of the violent crisis in Darfur at the mention of Sudan, others will remember Tayeb Salih, the legendary Sudanese writer who passed away in London at the age of 80. His monumental novel, “Season of Migration to the North,” first published in English in 1969

While some immediately think of the violent crisis in Darfur at the mention of Sudan, others will remember Tayeb Salih, the legendary Sudanese writer who passed away in London at the age of 80. His monumental novel, “Season of Migration to the North,” first published in English in 1969, is considered by many critics to be the work that launched contemporary Arab literature onto the world stage and into the modern canon.

Monkith Saaid: Fingertips Grasping Place

By 
Shawqi Abd al-Amir

In Monkith Saaid's studio in Sahnayah, a village south of Damascus, nothing escapes his artistic universe; neither moldy wood, rusted steel, smashed reeds nor stones or glass. Not even sawdust. All traditionally neglected material evading sight or interest enters his workshop and transforms itself, through his extraordinary genius, into beautiful and delicate creatures, whispers of love and shouts of protest against oppression, which collapse together in a hysterical dance.

Lebanese Immigrants in Australia: Growing Up in a Culture of Taxi Driving

By 
Christine Eid

By its very nature a taxi journey is seen as a passage between two places rather, than the subject of focus itself. Taxi driving is a humble profession, usually overlooked, undervalued and often the brunt of jokes and stereotypes. Most consider it a transitory occupation – a short-term solution between jobs, a source of additional income or just a good fall-back position.

Kennedy Center Festival Underscores Growing Interest in Arab Literature

By 
Andrea Shalal-Esa

Literature had a starring role at the Kennedy Center’s three-week festival of Arab arts and culture from February 23 - March 15, drawing dozens of noted writers and literary critics from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon and other Arab countries, as well as the United States. Eight panels on varying topics and five performances were largely at full capacity, underscoring what many writers described as growing interest in their work.

Nazik al-Malaika (1923-2007) Iraqi Woman’s Journey Changes Map of Arabic Poetry

By 
Simone Stevens

Nazik al-Malaika, one of Iraq’s most famous poets, died June 20, 2007, at the age of 83.  Al-Malaika was best known for her role as a pioneer of the free verse movement, making a sharp departure from the classical rhyme form that had dominated Arabic poetry for centuries.

Nazik al-Malaika, one of Iraq’s most famous poets, died June 20, 2007, at the age of 83.  Al-Malaika was best known for her role as a pioneer of the free verse movement, making a sharp departure from the classical rhyme form that had dominated Arabic poetry for centuries.

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