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

Odra: The River Parable

Marilyn Silverstone, lotus head bent over by snow in Srinagar, Kashmir, 1968. Source: magnumphotos.com

Before a river stands a peasant.

Earlier he had the simple objective of traveling to another village. He was a man of plain speech, for him to be “overwhelmed by a river” simply meant drowning, but there he is, standing, stunned, gaping at a river, overwhelmed by some ineffable attribute.

He passed other rivers before, never had he stopped and felt so enthralled by one. “Only booze can make it any better,” he thought, so he camped near the river bank.

That night he drank to excess: he accumulates hubris and greed in his inebriation, and merely observing the river was not enough for him now. So he waded through the river. Then he realizes what he has done when the water slushes his jaw; he has grimed the river, he couldn’t bring but filth to it, he panicked. At first, he thought drowning would be the only resort from the overbearing remorse that awaits him. But that would only defile it more, leaving a decaying bloated corpse for the river to deal with. He floundered helplessly out of the water, and ran as far as he can before trembling and perching in his place.

He slept. And the next morning he couldn’t resist going back to the river, this time making a pact with the gods: “O gods I shall only observe.” But this can only last for a week before he misjudges his capacity to control the urge to drink, and he falls for it again, and he staggers in panic out of the river again. Only this time he tries to cripple himself by jumping off a cliff nearby, and that only added blood to the filth he brought to the river after.

The peasant wondered why the river seemed so inviting, he’s so certain it was only his imagination when he’s sober, looking at all the filth he brought and still bringing. “Only if the river stopped me,” he consoles himself.

Now the peasant keeps wading through the river begging it to rebuff him.

البودكاست، مع مينا وإسلام 🎙: (٢) هكذا تكلم البِلْد: مقابلة مع ياسر عبد اللطيف

Portrait of Yasser Abdellatif, courtesy of the author

في الحلقة الثانية من بودكاست ختم السلطان، يستضيف مينا وإسلام ياسر عبد اللطيف، الذي يتحدث عن أدبية النص أو ما يجعل نصاً ما أدباً في مقابل نص آخر، وعن أشكال الكتابة والأنواع الأدبية ومعنى الرواية السردية في ماضي وحاضر العربية، وعن علاقة الفلسفة بالأدب والترجمة ومستقبل الكتابة العربية في اللغات الغربية.

𝐹𝑜𝓊𝓃𝒹 1900

Having worked for years to prevent war, and seeing the folly of Italy and America being at war—! I certainly wasn’t telling the troops to revolt. I thought I was fighting an internal question of constitutional government. And if any man, any individual man, can say he has had a bad deal from me because of race, creed, or color, let him come out and state it with particulars. The Guide to Kulchur was dedicated to Basil Bunting and Louis Zukofsky, a Quaker and a Jew …

What I was right about was the conservation of individual rights. If, when the executive or any other branch exceeds its legitimate powers, no one protests, you will lose all your liberties. My method of opposing tyranny was wrong over a thirty-year period; it had nothing to do with the Second World War in particular. If the individual, or heretic, gets hold of some essential truth, or sees some error in the system being practiced, he commits so many marginal errors himself that he is worn out before he can establish his point.

The world in twenty years has piled up hysteria—anxiety over a third war, bureaucratic tyranny, and hysteria from paper forms. The immense and undeniable loss of freedoms, as they were in 1900, is undeniable. We have seen the acceleration in efficiency of the tyrannizing factors. It’s enough to keep a man worried. Wars are made to make debt. I suppose there’s a possible out in space satellites and other ways of making debt.

— from The Paris Review interview with Ezra Pound




رسائل كارول صنصور 📺: (٢) زياد خدّاش

زياد خداش كاتب قصة فلسطيني، ولد في مدينة القدس عام ١٩٦٤، يكتب القصة القصيرة، في رصيده اثنتا عشرة مجموعة قصصية، يعمل مدرساً للكتابة الإبداعية في مدارس رام الله. حصل على الجائزة التقديرية لدولة فلسطين، كما وتأهل للقائمة القصيرة في مسابقة الملتقى الأدبي للقصة العربية في الكويت لعام ٢٠١٥


اقرأ نصاً لزياد خداش

Nurat Maqbool: Gone


Nilima Sheikh, Hunarmand, 2014. From “Each night put Kashmir in your dreams”. Source: cdn.aaa.org.hk

“Rizwan, it’s you, it’s you. Is that you, Rizwan?”

“Yes, it is me. But who are you? I know your voice but I can’t put a face to it.”

“Ah, never mind. Your father… your father has been looking for you. Where were you? What took you so long?”

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