Your home in the City of the Pyramids: for reservations – that is, SUBMISSIONS – PLEASE EMAIL HERE


The truth is, I don’t believe all that much in writing. Starting with my own. Being a writer is pleasant—no, pleasant isn’t the word—it’s an activity that has its share of amusing moments, but I know of other things that are even more amusing, amusing in the same way that literature is for me. Holding up banks, for example. Or directing movies. Or being a gigolo. Or being a child again and playing on a more or less apocalyptic soccer team. Unfortunately, the child grows up, the bank robber is killed, the director runs out of money, the gigolo gets sick and then there’s no other choice but to write. For me, the word writing is the exact opposite of the word waiting. Instead of waiting, there is writing.—Roberto Bolaño



And once you have FOLLOWED US ON TWITTER, please help yourself to a copy of our signature city map


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

25 January • Abu Dhabi • Arab • Arabic • Arabic language • Arabic literature • Arab Spring • art • Cairo • death • Democracy • Egypt • English | Liteature • God • iphoneography • Islam • islamist • Islamists • Israel • literature • love • Middle East • Military • Mubarak • Muslim • Muslim Brotherhood • Nasser • Novel • photo art • photography • poem • political Islam • Revolution • Salafi • SCAF

أدب • أدب عربي • أدب معاصر • القاهرة • ثورة • جنس • حب • رواية • شعر • قصيدة • قصيدة نثر • مصر • موت • يوسف رخا • ٢٥ يناير

Carol Sansour: In the Time of the Apricots (The Complete Text)

Greek Orthodox service in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

Christopher Anderson, Greek Orthodox service in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, 2007.


Way in

Traffic lights


Separation wall

Jacir Palace

Amal Butchery

Azza Camp


United Nations Relief and Works Agency rubbish

New street

Building stones

Pebbles Sand Bulldozer


Cars cars cars

Restaurants restaurants restaurants

Monastery monks

Nativity guards

Tourist police



Presidential palace





Continue Reading

Seth Messinger: Laâbi, Maghreb, Anfas



Olivia C. Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio’s Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics, published by Stanford University Press this year, is a new way into the Middle East and North Africa

There would be little point in writing a conventional review of Souffles-Anfas. A collection such as this is about far more than the curatorial choices made by the editors, and should be celebrated simply for existing at all. To that end praise and congratulations should flow to the editors and to Stanford University Press for backing the publication. There can be no more apt reason for university presses to exist than to publish manifestoes and articles from a quintessential little magazine that endured less than seven years before being suppressed and shut down by an increasingly intolerant Moroccan government. On the other hand one of the journal editors recounts that the need to write so afflicted a contributor that he submitted a short story to an automobile club magazine simply to have an audience. Any collection of writings about the Middle East and North Africa that includes such a story demands an even larger, international audience.

Continue Reading

Mina Nagy: Pick-Up Lines


Elliott Erwitt, New York City, 1977. Source:

I can only relate poems to dreams,

that’s why the last three years

I had a few of them

though I’d already denounced myself as a poet;

because escaping from consciousness

is like escaping from the self,

it doesn’t go past skin’s borders.


I’ve counted masturbation sessions as though counting sheep,

without calculating mean or median

or any statistical tricks.

I wanted to say, Love you,

but it came out, Fuck you.

Maybe we can have dinner some time?

Pauls Toutonghi: The Gospel of Judas

Caravaggio’s "The Taking of Christ". Source:

Caravaggio’s “The Taking of Christ”. Source:

He is arrogant.

Like a Jerusalem oak—growing in the most narrow fissure, the most meager soil—that was his arrogance, at first. There was almost nothing to feed it. It was thin and pale and stood apart from the vast landscape of him—a few dry green leaves that were, at most, a distraction, a distraction from that great and beautiful emptiness. Because that’s what was most remarkable about him—that emptiness—vast and open and almost unimaginable.

Continue Reading

إسلام حنيش: ركوب البحر

Han Sungpil, My Sea, the Sea I Dreamt (015), 2006. Source:

مركب على حجر بقرب البحر
يسألون من رسمه؟
أحد المارة ربما،
أو شاب محبط،
حلم قبل سنتين أن يركب البحر، ويهرب.

استمر في القراءة

Jessica Sequeira: Three Poems


Liza Zhakova, from “fuckmehard”. Source:


From this red block of pure substance we look toward sea, separated from it by tiny flakes of white paint. Some finger has stuck itself in the same pot to draw wave tops, a line quivering but unbroken. Doctors speak of low iron levels in the blood and say things, “a nice broth is what you need” “a good cut of meat”, while the strength of the soul goes unmentioned. Yet here we rest, Soul and I, knowing better. I talk to you as if I’m old and you’re innocent, and I keep a shell in my hand. We sit in the shell of the boathouse, and my body remains a shell for you, and nothing passes through my mind except that I want to write lines clean and new. The wave top looks like a dishcloth wrung out, and the speed I move is not the speed of the water.

Continue Reading

No more posts.