Ali al-Shawk in the Eyes of One Acquaintance

By 
Mahmoud Saeed


Ali al-Shawk’s death leaves an empty space that no one can fill. He was prolific, thoughtful, articulate, and of high manners. Personally, I thought of him as one of the most cultured intellectuals I have met inside or outside of Iraq. His cultural depth owed to the greatness and diversity of his reading, which included his fluent command of English, from which he translated several books.

‘Sexuality in the Arab World’: Book Attempts to Shed Multi-Faceted Light on Subject Long in the Shadows

Forthcoming in Al Jadid
By 
Al Jadid Staff


“Sexuality in the Arab World” has fascinated many Western scholars, though not as many Arabs, mainly for political and cultural reasons. Edited by Samir Khalaf and John Gagnon, this book first appeared in English in 2005 and then was published in Arabic by Dar al-Saqi in 2015, translated by Osama Manzalji. Novelist and critic Mahmoud Houjeiri has reviewed this book in Arabic, a review that offers an Arab perspective which is worthy of sharing and translating. 

Mustafa Khalifa’s ‘The Shell’ Latest Example of Literature Offering Insight of Syrian Ordeal

Forthcoming in Al Jadid
By 
Al Jadid Staff


A mere glance at the most notorious prisons in the world, Assad’s Tadmur moves to the forefront, ranking 2nd on a list of the 10 worst prisons. This is the prison which “hosted” Mustafa Khalifa, the author of “The Shell” for more than 13 years, and which Fawaz Azem reviews for the next issue of Al Jadid.

Prolific in Exile: An Appreciation of the Life and Work of Ali al-Shawk

Forthcoming in Al Jadid
By 
Al Jadid Staff

A prolific author and reader, Ali al-Shawk embodied scholarship, transforming himself into a veritable encyclopedia of intellectual knowledge. His humility endeared him to his friends and set a worthy example for others. He remains particularly known for being a good listener and for his non-confrontational ways, listening “to you until you finished talking before offering his own opinion,” according to Mahmoud Saeed. His writings encompassed the topics of mathematics, music, painting, literature, etymology, mythology, and science, and he wrote continuously until his death in his London home this year.

New Book Places Famed 20th Century Lebanese Beauty and Unappreciated Intellectual May Ziadeh at Center of Controversy Now as Then

Forthcoming in Al Jadid
By 
Elie Chalala

Twenty-years ago, Al Jadid published “The Victim Of Beauty: Reviving the Literary Legacy of Mai Ziadeh” by Ghada Samman. The issue we tackled then was how Ziadeh's talents and skills were overlooked because of her gender, and even worse, how highlighting her personal life at the expense of her intellect distorted her legacy. One Lebanese critic was emotionally overwhelmed by the recent book, “May: The Nights of Isis Copia” (Dar al-Adab, 2018) by Waciny Laredj, expressing her appreciation for this kind gesture by the Algerian-French novelist and academic toward a fellow “Lebanese.” However, an Egyptian critic takes issue with the new book. The same concerns which fueled early criticism of how Ziadeh was treated did not escape the notice of Sharif al-Shafei's thoughtful essay in Al Modon newspaper.  

May Menassa (1939-2019): Journalist, Novelist Wrote in the Black Ink of War and Tragedy

Forthcoming in Al Jadid
By 
Al Jadid Staff


The Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) spurred the production of a vast literature. Yet only a small fraction of these books, novelsand memoirs are available in English. An even smaller portion received wide attention through reviews or publicity campaigns. This leaves a void in the English language about the literature of this war. This essay highlights one novelist’s contributions in the Arabic literature of the war as well as a brief glimpse into her life.

Jocelyne Saab: A Just Life

Filmmaker, Journalist, Photographer, Fighter for Justice Dies at 70
By 
Al Jadid Staff
 
Jocelyne Saab belonged to a generation of Lebanese filmmakers and artists, often described as progressive and leftist, that emerged before, during, and after the Lebanese Civil War. A contemporary of directors like Burhan Alawia, John Chamoun, Maroun Baghdadi, Nahla al-Shahal, young progressive directors of the time, Saab shared their commitment to social justice, basic reforms in the pre-1975 Lebanese political system, and a commitment to defending the rights of Palestinians both within Lebanon and supporting their struggle against Israeli occupation.

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