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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.

Remembering Lokman Slim (1962-2021)

Lebanese publisher, filmmaker, and activist Lokman Slim, an outspoken critic of Hezbollah, was murdered on Feb. 4, 2021 while on his way home from southern Lebanon. In 2017, Al Jadid published a review of his award-winning film “Tadmor” (Icarus Films, 2016), co-directed with his wife, Monika Borgmann. “Ghosts of the past come in many forms.

Film “1982” Glimpses into Emotional Costs for Innocents Caught in Lebanese War

Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, director Oualid Mouaness’ contemplative drama film “1982” explores the anxiety of war for those who never wished to take part in it. For the teachers and students at a private school in East Beirut, what should have been a “normal” last day of classes becomes anything but, as the distant sounds of bombing come closer and closer.

Premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, director Oualid Mouaness’ contemplative drama film “1982” explores the anxiety of war for those who never wished to take part in it. For the teachers and students at a private school in East Beirut, what should have been a “normal” last day of classes becomes anything but, as the distant sounds of bombing come closer and closer. It is 1982, and Beirut, divided between Muslims on the west and Christians on the east, teeters on the cusp of invasion as Israel and Syria fight overhead.

BOOK REVIEWS IN THE CURRENT AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 79, 2020

The Arab-Israeli Conflict: How the American Left Grabbed the Third Rail of American Politics
By 
Michael Teague
 
The Arab-Israeli conflict has long been a divisive issue in the left lane of American politics. Bitter disagreements came to the fore, especially during periods of armed conflict and subsequent occupation, such as the wars of 1967 and 1973, and Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982.

Once Hopeful Lebanon Faces Crises and Hopelessness as it Marks First Anniversary of its 17th October Uprising!

By 
Elie Chalala

Those who are looking for signs of Lebanese hopelessness need only look out over the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean sea, or to the doors of Western embassies in Beirut. The sea is where the Lebanese tragedy is really being played out, as hundreds board rickety vessels for the perilous journeys to neighboring Cyprus. We need to abandon the illusions that such deadly trips originate from countries other than Lebanon. A brief glimpse at the news, with all the stories of drowned and dead Lebanese, is more than enough to liberate us from the delusions of Lebanon’s “exceptionalism.”

ESSAYS IN FORTHCOMING AL JADID, VOL. 24, NO. 79, 2020

Lebanon, Corrupted, Blasted, Burning, ‘Celebrates’ in Irony the Centennial of Its Foundation
By 
Elie Chalala

The Lebanese political scene has a melancholy and desperate mood. The country suffered shock after shock, from the economic-financial meltdown to the COVID-19 pandemic, all the way to the explosion at its main port, a significant economic lifeline disabled when most needed. Most heartbreaking is watching and listening, even from afar, as Lebanon celebrates its centennial birthday while lacking the resources to extricate itself from its present predicament and being left to plead with foreign countries and economic institutions for humanitarian and economic assistance. Aside from the legitimate requests needed to address the consequences of the port explosion, Lebanon lacks the essential prerequisites of a functioning and legitimate state.

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