Recent Stories

Syrian, Palestinian and Afghan Stage Artists Cross Oceans to Land in Maxim Gorki Theater in Berlin

Despite being so far from their homes, a group of actors and actresses come together at Germany’s Maxim Gorki Theater to present a story near and dear to their hearts. “Winterreise” (or, “Winter Journey”), performed by the “Exil Ensemble,” tells of 24-year-old Syrian actress Kenda Hmeidan’s journey with her fellow six performers as they take a bus tour through Germany during the brittle cold weeks of January. Each an exile from Syria, Palestine, or Afghanistan, these actors have left their home countries in pursuit of their art, all while struggling with the transition from departure to settlement.

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Our Current Issue

Dreaming at the Crossroads of Cultures: Mirages

By 
Angele Ellis
 
Issa Makhlouf’s “Mirages” (The Post-Apollo Press, 2015), formerly translated from the Arabic into French in 2004, returns in an English edition translated by Alicia F. Lam. As a Lebanese writer and poet living in Paris, Makhlouf has written 11 books, of which many have been translated into other languages. In “Mirages,” he presents a collection of eye-catching poems that, as the book’s title suggests, are written with the mysticism of a mirage.
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Love and Loss: An Iran-Iraq Story

By 
Bobby Gulshan
 
For those unaccustomed to witnessing the daily, random bombardments of cities during a bloody conflict like the eight-year Iran-Iraq War, it would be hard to imagine the lives of those who actually endured those experiences. The novel “A Portal in Space” (Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2015), by Mahmoud Saeed, allows readers to feel, share, and interact with the ordinary people living in war-plagued Basra, Iraq. You cannot help but feel connected to the characters as they struggle to cope with their worries, fears, and despair.
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Diaspora Arab Women Writers: The Legacy of Shahrazad and Female Infanticide

By 
Nada Ramadan Elnahla
 
Rather than focus on Arab women’s repression from an observer’s viewpoint, Hanadi al-Samman’s “Anxiety of Erasure: Trauma, Authorship, and the Diaspora in Arab Women's Writings” (Syracuse University Press) instead highlights the accounts of female writers living in diaspora who have contributed productively and creatively through their writings.
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Former Lebanese Prisoners of ‘Tadmor’ Reenact Dark Days Within Assads’s Dungeons

By 
Elie Chalala

The name Tadmor Prison evokes images of one of the cruelest prisons in the world, with its gory history of torture and intense suffering. The prison, which ISIS seized briefly in May 2015, and was retaken a year later by governmental forces under questionable circumstances, holds a dark place in the memories of those forced to live in it during the 1980s under the Hafez al-Assad regime.

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