New Book Studies Egypt’s Modern History Through the Production of Its Number One Beer, Stella
By Al Jadid Staff
Lebanon and Egypt are the only two Muslim-majority countries to boast of significant alcoholic beverage industries. For the Lebanese this means Arak, the anise-flavored grape-wine whose production (and consumption) is nothing less than a matter of national pride. Egyptians, for their part, have a similar reputation with regard to beer-making, though this has not been quite as visible since the 1970s, when Sadat began appeasing the Islamists.
“There have been many attempts to suppress Darwish’s musical legacy, and reviving this legacy will expose how much some musicians have “borrowed” from him. Thus, bringing the musical legacy of Darwish into the public domain is a step toward revitalizing Arabic music and setting the record straight,” in the words of Nezar Mrouhe.
The Metamorphosis of a 19th Century Syrian Feminist: Hanna K. Kourani’s Journey from Lebanese Village to Chicago Women’s Rights Conference
By Al Jadid Staff
One recent book tells the story of a woman’s journey into the Arab feminist movement, at home and abroad – a journey that took her to the city of Chicago in the late 19th century. Hanna Kasbani Kourani (alternatively Hanna K. Korany) was born in 1870 in the town of Kfershima, a village that today is part of Lebanon. Throughout her travels, however, she was referred to as from Ottoman Syria. Kourani was educated at American and English missionary schools and taught in Tripoli’s American Girls School. Syrian writer and novelist Taissier Khalaf’s “The Early Women’s Movement in Ottoman Syria: The Experience of Hanna Kasbani Kourani, 1892-1896” (2019) traces Kourani’s accomplishments during her stay in Chicago, when she toured the United States giving lectures on Syrian life. She arrived in Chicago as the Syrian women’s representative for the World’s Congress of Representative Women in 1893.
Lebanon’s Tide of Change: Revolutionaries vs. Predators
By Elie Chalala
The Lebanese and Iraqi uprisings, and recently those in Algeria and Sudan, have shaken up the gloom and doom discourse following the first wave of the Arab Spring in 2011. Following the Iranian-Russian-Assadist “victory” over the Syrian revolution, Hezbollah pundits and pseudo-leftists declared it fruitless to replace more than half a century of Syrian tyranny with a democratic system. Those same pundits have recently demonized the second wave of Arab protests in Lebanon and Iraq, portraying them as the outcome of imperialist conspiracies and predicting for them the same fate of the first wave in Syria. Unlike previous conflicts in Lebanon that divided the country along confessional lines, the current revolution includes all sects, both Christian and Muslim – a remarkable historical change. While sectarianism is deep-rooted in Lebanon, and in fact enshrined in the confessional apportionment of state power, the current uprising has united ordinary Lebanese against the corruption of the powerful.
Muayyad al-Rawi, Iraqi Poet And Renaissance Man Whose Work Painted a Portrait of the 1960s
By Al Jadid Staff
Muayyad al-Rawi, the poet and intellectual, pushed the free verse movement of Arabic poetry into a new dawn during the 1960s. To many, Muayyad was a literary theorist and spiritual guide for this generation of Iraqis. “If we want to draw a portrait of the 1960s, al-Rawi was one of its most important members; and however short the memory of subsequent literary generations, that era remains a milestone in the history of radical rebellions in Iraqi culture,” said Iraqi author Fatima al-Mohsen.