Essays and Features

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

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.

Nawal El-Saadawi’s ‘Daughter of Isis’ Life and Times via the Plenitude of Her Writings

D.H. Melhem

When the distinguished Egyptian writer Nawal el-Saadawi was scheduled to speak last October at the Brecht Forum as a guest of the Forum, the Kevorkian Center of New York University, and RAWI (Radius of Arab American Writers), I attended with anticipation. As she signed the books I had just bought, I was struck by her warm smile and alert gaze.  El-Saadawi wore no makeup, eschewing what she considered “a mask,” as she would note later. Like Firdaus, the heroine-narrator of her novel “Woman at Point Zero” (l983), she seemed “to look at me from the depths of her eyes,” peering below surface impressions and superficialities of language. Then it was time for her lecture.

The ‘Grand Compromise’ Between Lebanon’s ‘Strong Presidency’ and Iran’s 'Rejectionists' Hastens the Demise of Lebanon’s Economy

Elie Chalala

In early July, we wrote about two suicides in Lebanon while holding off on a third until we fact-checked it. Subsequently, the Beirut-based Al Modon newspaper wrote about a total of four suicides, including the two reported here. The article’s author deliberately stressed the reasons behind the suicides were not personal, but rather related to deteriorating economic conditions and the loss of dignity.


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