Recent Stories

Layla Baalbaki (1936-2023): Lebanese Writer Who Left a Revolutionary Storm in Modern Arab Feminist Novel at 22 Before Unexpected Adieu to Fiction Writing
 
After a long stay in London, Layla returned to Beirut in 2009  to sign her novels, “I Live” and “The Gods Deformed,” and her short story collection “Spaceship of Tenderness to the Moon,” which had been republished by Dar al-Adab, at the Beirut Book Fair. Surrounded by her books, Layla seemed as if she was still preserving her old magic and charm. She was Beirut’s “star” novelist during the 60s, especially after “Spaceship of Tenderness” was banned in 1964 on charges of immorality. She was arrested, tried, and won the case.

Pages

Subscribe to Al Jadid

Our Current Issue

To a Woman He Never Met: What Gibran’s Love Letters to May Ziadeh Reveal About the Inner Life of the ‘Prophet’s’ Author

By 
Lynne Rogers

For the ordinary reader, “Love Letters” is a short yet savorable book, with letters you can thumb through when drawn to thoughtful musings or aspirations to better oneself. For those interested in Gibran as either a literary giant or an artist, this collection of letters provides a nuanced narrative of his deep spiritual yearnings, dedication to his work, extended gentleness, and benevolent humor. This touching correspondence between these two seminal intellectuals weaves together their mundane concerns, from Ziadeh’s change of hairstyle to intimate emotional and spiritual revelations, as well as Gibran’s aesthetic reflections, adding an empathic human depth to further appreciate both his art and life as an artist.

A Fresh Look at the Debate: Definitions and Historiography of Arab Americans in the New Century

1-4
By 
Elie Chalala
 
Arab American literature and how we define it remains central to the field’s discourse. Some scholars believe prior knowledge of Arab culture is essential to comprehending Arab American literature since it is an ethnic genre. Since the 20th century until the present, Arab Americans have strongly lobbied to classify Arab American studies as an ethnic field and draw a line between Middle East studies — which belongs to the area studies — and ethnic studies.

The Imperialism of Indifference: From Colonial Voice to Reliable News Source Trusted by Generations, the BBC Closes its Iconic Arabic Radio After 85 Years

By 
Elie Chalala

The demise of BBC Arabic closes a chapter in modern Arab history. This is not a romantic or idealistic lamentation. Any Arab student or scholar who lived through or part of the post-WWI era of the 20th century can easily recognize the association between BBC Arabic and major political events. The question becomes not who are the writers of history — it is a history written by the literate or middle classes as opposed to a popular history. How can scholars tell that BBC Arabic was part of the lives of the groups who have written about the contemporary history of the Arab world? We rely on two indicators: literacy and politicization. When I use the term history, I believe that most if not all those who wrote on the political history of the Arab world came from literate classes and were part of groups ‌that cared for and even were engaged in politics. Those included pan-Arabists of the radical schools such as Nasserites and Bathists, conservatives, Islamists, and those moderate liberals opposed to socialists and communist groups.

Brexit and Lebanon’s Economic Collapse Close the Chapter of London’s Iconic Saqi Bookshop

By 
Naomi Pham and Elie Chalala
For 44 years, Al Saqi Books has served as the beating heart of Arab culture for tourists, expatriates, and Arab readers in London — but after struggling to stay afloat amid a rocky economic climate both in the Middle East and at home in the United Kingdom, the independent bookstore recently announced its closure at the end of the month, just before the new year. Over the past decade, bookstores worldwide have been forced to shut their doors. Syria and Lebanon have faced closures due to economic and social crises (read more about the state of the Arab world’s publishing industry in Al Jadid, Vol. 25, Nos. 80-81, 2021 and Vol. 26, Nos. 82-83, 2022). The bookstore chain Borders was liquidated in 2011, and even Barnes & Noble has closed several of its locations. Independent bookstores have taken especially hard hits as the culture of reading shifts with technology, making it increasingly difficult to keep up with costs.
 

Ghassan al-Jibai (1952-2022)

Remembering A Courageous Writer: His Refusal of Censorship, of Exile, and of Silence
By 
Elie Chalala and Naomi Pham
 
The late Syrian writer Ghassan al-Jibai (1952-2022) was known for his intellectual activities across various art forms, from theater to novels and poetry — but though his craft came in many forms, each harnessed his steadfast opposition to tyranny and oppression. His career as a theater director, dramatist, and writer suffered immensely under the Syrian regime.

Once the Cinderella of the Arab Screen, Tragedy Overshadowed Layla Murad’s Life and Career

By 
Naomi Pham and Elie Chalala
 
A common methodology for Arab critics, journalists, historians, and academics in studying different cinema, music, and other art fields is to categorize them under “Golden” or “Classic” eras, which are defined based on a system of values, a code of behavior, or another classification, such as progressive or conservative. The downside of this method is that it may not allow for impartial analysis and may prevent a thorough understanding of the subject at hand.

Pages