Cairo by Piri Reis, 16th century. Source: Wikipedia

Cairo’s coolest cosmopolitan hotel. General Manager: Youssef Rakha.


Arabic calligraphy by Mahmud Atef

Arabic language Arab Spring art Beirut black and white Cairo death Egypt Fiction History Islam literature love Muslim Novel Poetry Revolution

رواية سفر شعر شمس ضحك غرام قصة قصيرة قصيدة نثر قلب قهوة كتابة مدينة مرض مطر موت موسيقى نص نوم

محمود المنيرواي: هكذا أفتح صدري بفأس الحقيقة

Hassan Hajjaj, “Musician Hindi Zahra, 2011”. Source: designindaba.com

لا يعجبني حالي مهما فعلت
ولا حيلة لي معي، أنا الغريب في جلدي
جلدي الغريب عن بيته في حي الجنينة
جنينة من يعرفونني وأعرفهم
أعرف أن من اتبعوا هواهم ظلّوا
لكنني أوهن من جناح بعوضة
لذا لا يعجبني حالي مهما فعلت


استمر في القراءة

Robin Moger: A New Poem by Mohab Nasr


René Magritte, The Lovers. Paris, 1928. Source: moma.org

Life eternal might not be ours

but there’s what’s worse

that we are really forever

Music through earphones

casts no shadow

does not say to you when you must stop

nor through the earphones

signals No

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سأعتبر ما يقطر من شعرك صدقا مع النفس: أربع قصائد جديدة لمهاب نصر

Leonard Bramer (1596–1674), Mors Thriumphans. Source: Wikipedia

ولو لمرّة
أريد أن يغوص كاحلاي في الثلج
أن تنتثر ندف بيضاء من شفتي
أحدثك من هناك
في تسجيل حي
غير أن ما يصلك
ليس إلا هواء يتقصف على منحدر
ومن بعيد
يظهر بيت ودخان
الشاعر ينتظرنا.
مخمور في آخر العالم؛
العالم الذي احترق فعلا.

استمر في القراءة

Fatima Berro’s Beirut | البحر بعيد: بيروت فاطمة برّو


لا تُحدَّد النهايات ببطء. ولا تُقاس بحجم العمر

البحر بعيد ولا مجال للسباحة في كوب غاز

هذه المواد تخرّ أمامي فأستعملُها


استمر في القراءة

Jessica Sequeira: Race of the Horses


Han Gan (742–756), Night-Shining White. Source: metmuseum.org

An old man used to sit outside my school every day, playing music on a traditional Chinese instrument. He would move a light wood stick over two pieces of metal. Most of the time the songs he played were slow, but some of the time he’d play ones that were real quick, and at those moments we kids would gather around. We had no problem making excuses to our teachers to leave class for five minutes, or take an extended lunch break. 

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Antonio Denti: Notes on War in Times of Peace


I’d rather fight a war tomorrow than think my son might have to do it one day.

This sentence, which I know to be true, does not belong to me. It does not emanate from me. It inhabits me because I am part of this living planet. It originates in the deepest strata of life, in the mechanisms that regulate the way life is handed down from being to being, from generation to generation, across time. It does not make me any more courageous than the moderately frightened – or more heroic than the moderately selfish – man that I am.

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The Brimming Sea: More Ibn Arabi from Robin Moger

The Prophet Ilyas Rescues a Prince, from the Hamzanama, India, 1567-1572. Source: britishmuseum.org

Then the secret was there in my heart

and I was gone and my star set away

my heart by my lord’s secret changed and I

absented from the body’s feeling frame

wherefrom therewith I came

upon a ship of my high resolution

disposed therein my fortress thoughts

through a dark gulf of what I knew



and on my ship my longing blew

as winds, and so it passed

an arrow’s passage through the sea

and across that sea Approach I cut

till I perceived unsecret what

was without name. You!


I said, by my heart seen!

I loose an arrow at your love

for you are dear to me

and you are my festivity

the end of all my passion and my prize.


Ibn Arabi’s original poem can be found here.

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