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Important, Sometimes Controversial Iraqi Poet Saadi Youssef (1934 - 2021) Requests a ‘Funeral Without Mourners’

By 
Elie Chalala
 
The legendary and controversial Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef died at 87 in his Harefield home outside of London on June 12 from lung cancer. The poet, whose multitude of works encompassed poetry, prose, literary criticism, translation, and memoir, leaves decades’ worth of work penned in exile and translated into several languages, among them English, French, German, and Italian.

Controversy Over Mohammad Shukri’s Literary Legacy Outlives the Author

By 
Al Jadid Staff
Many students and scholars of Arabic literature would recall the debates on the books of Mohammad Shukri (1935-2003) late last century and a part of the early 21st century. The debates centered primarily on Shukri’s picaresque approach, which included harsh depictions of repression, marginalization, deprivation, morality, breaching taboos and censorship, and of course, the banning of his books in most Arab countries. We can categorize many of his books as autobiographical, and the opposition was not to this type of literature but to the language and details he used. His spontaneity violated all technical and artistic norms in both Moroccan and Arab literature, especially in “The Bare Bread,” “Age of Mistakes,” and “Faces,” his autobiographical trilogy.
 

The Judiciary, Latest Indicator of Lebanon’s Impending Collapse:

A Judge Runs Amok
By 
Elie Chalala
The collapse of the Lebanese state grows imminent as news of different sectors unraveling emerges every day. The latest crisis reached the judiciary, which — though already known for its politicization and sectarianism — currently deals with a judge whose erratic, politicized personality violates all the norms of judicial behaviors and traditions. This controversial judge is Mount Lebanon state prosecutor, Ghada Aoun.
 

In a Statistical Vacuum, Speculating on the Arab-American Vote, 2016 vs. 2020

By 
Elie Chalala
 
While much of the country — and even the world — focused on the last U.S. election and remained engrossed even after its results and consequences, the picture of this historic event in the Arab world was unlike anything that was happening here. Regrettably, the distorted analysis and coverage by Arab media influenced to some extent the attitudes and electoral choices of many Arab immigrants in the U.S.

Beirut’s People Still Waiting: The Government That Left a Bomb on Their Doorstep Now Leaves Them Out in the Cold

By 
Al Jadid Staff
 
The never-ending reports from Lebanon on its social and economic crises are perplexing. Despite the gravity of the situation, officials sitting at the top refuse to relinquish or even reform the system. Recent news reports reveal a collapsing banking sector, a threatened educational system, and an impoverished and broken health system, all while the country watches a judiciary circus played daily on TV and social media, demolishing whatever legitimacy the courts still hold.

German Reinvention: Do a Million Syrian Refugees Bring Down the Curtain on WWII Legacy?

The devastating combination of the Syrian war, the failure of the Arab Spring, and the worsening state of refugee camps in the Middle East culminated in an influx of migrants across Europe. Between 2015-2016, two million migrants fled Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and Eritrea to European countries. This mass migration produced a crisis across the continent, as several countries refused to undertake the moral and economic responsibilities of housing and feeding newcomers. According to the Pew Research Center, 45% of refugees came to Germany, among whom over 1.2 million were Syrians.

 
The devastating combination of the Syrian war, the failure of the Arab Spring, and the worsening state of refugee camps in the Middle East culminated in an influx of migrant

The Golden Notebooks

By 
Angele Ellis

Zed Books has chosen interesting times in which to re-release the English translation of the two-part autobiography of Nawal El Saadawi, “A Daughter of Isis” and “Walking Through Fire.” One of the most important and distinctive voices of her generation, not only in the Arabic-speaking world, but across the globe, El Saadawi has served as a physician, writer, rebel, and revolutionary. Born in 1931, she explores in these two interwoven volumes her personal struggles for autonomy – for the survival of body, mind, and spirit – as both girl and woman in an Egyptian society warped by patriarchal religion, as well as repressive social traditions and laws. She states in “A Daughter of Isis” that at the age of six, she learned “these three words by heart and they were like one sentence: ‘God, calamity, marriage.’”As I write this review, similar women’s words echo in the halls of the U.S. Capitol and throughout America.

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