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Habib Abdulrab Sarori : The Discarded ComputerBecause of the extraordinary state of emergency declared in America and Europe immediately after the terrorist incidents, I head directly from the coffeehouse to my Paris home. I am welcomed rather anxiously by my beloved house robot, Bahlul. His artificial intelligence programs system, which is linked to the internet, learned that danger threatens the entire inhabited world. The moment I arrive his eye’s cameras direct their electronic sensors
Sheikh Zayed Book Award 2016-2017 Winners AnnouncedAbu Dhabi, March 29, 2017 – The Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced today the names of the winners of its eleventh session (2016 – 2017) in the categories of ‘Literature’, ‘Contribution to the Development of Nations’ , ‘Children’s Literature’, ‘Translation’, ‘Literary and Art Criticism’, ‘Arabic Culture in Other Languages’, and ‘Publishing and Technology’.
Nine poems by Saudi poet Ahmed al-MullaIn the kitchen thirst fell down.
His dreams trembled.
The window was torn open, stabbed by lightning scattering in the hallways.
His hands settled down and his soul reclined but there was nothing to lean on. They dived into clouds, drowning caught them and salt followed suit.
Water flowed, sobbing until the walls were dry. The pictures flaked off the walls and glass leapt out of the wooden frames.
The estrangement of his bed subdued, it makes him a nightcap.
The Alley of the Dead by Moroccan writer Abdelaziz ErrachidiI remember the grave, the darkness, the two angels and the hammer of repudiation and I hear muttering. I hastened and so did my pursuer: there was a dead woman in the alley, her chest bore sharp marks and blue flies were feasting around the clogged blood. Mother Rahma, the kind, bent woman pushing children into life, was found dead.
Khaled Khalifa: The Refugee - Living in a VoidMy sister, whom I haven’t seen for more than two years, told me she was going to cross the sea in a rubber dinghy. She hung up and didn’t want to hear what I thought. She just said something profound and sentimental and entrusted her three children to my care in the event that she drowns. A few minutes later I tried to call the unfamiliar Turkish number but the phone had been turned off
Jonathan Wright wins 2016 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Bamboo StalkJonathan Wright’s seamless English rendering does full justice to the original, exhibiting a sureness of touch that fully captures the spirit of the Arabic version. Although the particular cultural context of the work will be unfamiliar to many English-speaking readers, Wright’s ‘page-turner’ translation has a universal appeal, and it is difficult not to be moved by the predicament of the narrator, with his dual identity of Isa and José, as he comes to terms with the reality of life in Kuwait.
Film about Syrian Poet and translator Mamdouh Adwanwas born in Hama in Syria. He was a prolific writer, poet, playwright and critic, publishing his first collection of poetry, al-Dhul al-Akhdhar [The Green Shadow] in 1967 and since then 17 further collections. He also published two novels, twenty-four plays, translated twenty-three books from English, including the Iliad, the Odyssey and a biography of George Orwell, and wrote a number of television series.
Banipal wins Sheikh Hamad Achievement AwardBanipal magazine (Banipal Publishing) was honoured to receive one of the three Achievement Awards of the Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding, alongside Casa Arabe (Madrid & Cordoba, Spain) and the Ibn Tufayl Foundation of Almeria, Spain, at a Ceremony in Doha, Qatar on 13 December. For all information about all 13 winners of the awards
One Sky A short story by Palestinian writer Liana BadrI named him Robin, based on the assurances of our bird-loving neighbour. When I expressed my doubt about the name due to the incomplete red ruff on his neck feathers, he told me: “This is a young bird. The full red has not yet appeared on his feathers.”
Playing with the Clouds by Iraqi writer Ali BaderSoon after finishing the pizza, he turned on the TV to a porn channel to kill time. The only thing available in this country was porn channels, and there was a store just around the corner that would give you access to any channel for a little bit of money. Most of the owner’s customers were among the Islamists who had issued a fatwa that looking at non-Muslim women was OK
Eleven Poems by Syrian poet Hussein Bin HamzaBEFORE I SLEEP
Although I/ no longer care about anything,/ and squander most of my time out of the house –/ for days / I haven’t changed the water of the flowers,/ and the books/ and cups/ and cigarette ends/ are content with a layer of dust – yet,/ I find time/ to feed the wolves of your absence/ before I sleep.
"The Waterman’s Prophecy" by Sudanese writer Hamed el-NazirPerhaps the waterman wanted to exhaust them by allowing the hopeless confrontation to drag on until everyone grew too tired to let even one word escape their lips and so would leave before the battle came to an end.
Uncle Abu Ali finally became exhausted, his parched throat finally letting him down. He gestured to those around him to bring him water. Someone handed him a jug of water that must have been hot by that time
"A ride on the roof" by Sudanese writer Emad BlakeThen a pile of banknotes fell out – a little surprise I wasn’t expecting. It looked like a lot, maybe one thousand guinay, given each note was worth ten, and there must have been a hundred of them. The officer slammed the palms of both hands down on the table, stunned to see such a huge amount of cash, though not as stunned as I was. That old man had been carrying all that money
Adonis: Banipal is a unique cultural projectBanipal has been realizing a unique and twofold project within the sphere of cultural productions of the Arab world. For, on the one hand, it provides a space in which Arabic literary texts are set in motion, in a direct dialogue with literary texts in the English language, in terms of both content and form. And, on the other hand, it offers an historic opportunity that allows for the language of the self to be reflected in the language of the Other, through a continuous, diverse and profuse flux.
Hussain al-Mozany: Mother, Mother Tongue, and FatherlandIf I think back to my childhood and boyhood, I do not remember anything which demonstrated that my mother was primarily responsible for teaching me the principles of the Arabic language. Over time I have realised that we did not speak much in our house because silence and gesture were the prevalent languages then. My memory offers me only scattered fragments of the tales my grandmother offered ingeniously once she discovered her voice after her husband
A FATEFUL MEAL by Eyad BarghuthyTheir fathers had had a special friendship. They had both fled the village of Samaria for Acre after the ’48 Nakba. Mufid’s father had got himself one of the shops offered to refugees and had opened a grocery, while Saber’s father had worked as a building labourer on the new Jewish settlements.
Adel Khozam: House of the Wise ManDoing turns around the same spot in the same place will never lead to anything. Every day you need what’s new and extraordinary. Set off then: run through impossible pathways so you touch limits, so you’re the first to make a discovery and reach the truth
The Snows of Cairo by Lana Abdel Rahman The company where he would work consisted of a number of different Arab nationalities. The interviewer, an engineer, asked him a number of questions, about his previous jobs and his experience. He was so pleasant that Nagi became suspicious, but in the end, he joined the team and learned in the first few weeks that the company was managing huge tourist projects on the coast of the Red Sea
The Day the Olive Harvest was stopped by Mohammad KhashanWe harvested half or, sometimes most of the olives, but did not grind them. They remained in a heap on the platform in front of the house. That was in October 1948 and [political] conditions were becoming worse; yet people continued to act as though nothing had happened
The Gate of Passion by Waheed Taweela“Everything needs prostitutes,” Abu Shindi tells you. He’s sitting on one side of his table in a secluded corner, directly under a picture of the President. He sees you, but you don’t see him. The seat may have changed, but the years haven’t, and neither has the President’s picture.

Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding

8 Arabic novels in Banipal magazine
Summer Banipal is a chance to present a host of great reading opportunities, and our focus theme The Longlist, featuring novels from the longlists of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction over the last two years, offers precisely that. In a number of previous issues we have published, in collaboration with the IPAF Banipal 59
– The Longlist is packed with features, including for the first time a Guest Poet translated from Spanish – the great Angel Guinda who is recognised as “one of the most necessary and original poets in Spanish literature”, and “an incorruptible voice”. We are also proud to present, following features in earlier issues on Arabic literature in Japan and China, a fascinating essay by Russian Arabist Viktoria Zarytovskya on “Arabic Literature in Russia”, from its first translations of the Qura’n to the lack of translators today

Sally Gomaa reviews Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge by Ezzedine Choukri Fishere
The identity crisis so keenly experienced by some of the characters in the novel is as personal as it is political. For example, “Darwish’s book” in the first chapter is Albert Hourani’s History of the Arab Peoples. Now dying of lung cancer, Professor Darwish begins to ponder the figurative cancer in all of his failed relationships. Hourani’s book opens a window into this dark world.
The dead await me on the curb by Moroccan poet Abderrahim El-Khassar

Luis Fayad: A Writer Looks at Lebanese Influence in Colombian Literature
Fayad, who was born in Bogota in 1945, said he never thought he would write a book about Lebanese emigration to the Americas, and especially to Colombia, but eventually explored that topic in “La caida de los puntos cardinales” (The Fall of the Cardinal Points). “And why? Any Colombian could’ve written it, and I wrote it because I had direct exposure to the stories of my grandparents, of my great-uncles, who were the ones who made the trip.
No Knives in the Kitchens of This City’ Describes a Syrian Hell
Khaled Khalifa writes about his native city with sensuality and an almost feral intensity in his new novel, “No Knives in the Kitchens of This City.” The book focuses on just one family, and it stops several years short of the Syrian civil war. But it offers a glimpse into how terrified and empty of hope the people of a city must be to rise up in revolt. The future offers them nothing. It is a castle of closed doors.
Banipal 57 Editorial by Margaret Obank
Banipal’s core mission is to bring readers gems, in translation, from the wealth of creative writing being produced across the Arab world today. Banipal 57 – Syria in the Heart brings you twelve Syrian authors, and in addition, two from Palestine and Iraq. The focus on Arab literary modernism and its pioneers has been postponed on account of this most urgent subject of the future of Syria.
Olivia Snaije reviews Ici Même (Here and There) by Taleb Alrefai
Time has its own rhythm in Kuwait city, and two years later, Kawthar, in her late twenties approaches her father once again and tells him she would like to buy an apartment of her own.
“This had the effect of an electric shock on him . . . I would have liked to tell him that the world had changed, that I had the right to live my life in peace, as I saw fit to.”

The 100 best nonfiction books: No 8 – Orientalism by Edward Said

Raja Alem :Reading the infidels in Mecca
I continued to filch from his bag until I was shocked to find The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade, which I never admitted to stealing and didn’t even dare read at the time. But the true opening came with Maxim Gorky’s The Mother, which I found by accident in my maternal grandfather’s drawer. Gorky’s revolution roared through my mind, and forged my vision of the role I had to play as an agent of change in the world around me. Because my mother is of Russian origin

Salam Sarhan : Calling for an international treaty to ban the use of religion in politics
An international treaty to ban the use of religion in politics would be much more worthwhile. I would argue that it would be more so than even the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, as it would deal with a bigger threat to peaceful coexistence on this planet. Such a treaty would be a step towards more respect for human rights by liberating millions from religious repression, one of the ma­jor sources of human rights abuses.
Berlin Literatur Festival: Call for a World Wide Reading of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
This is why the international literature festival berlin is calling upon all cultural and political institutions, schools, universities, media and individuals interested in joining us to give a Worldwide Reading and to subsequently discuss the 30 articles that make up the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations Assembly on 10 December 1984
Elena chapyer from a novel by Syrian writer Mohammed Y. Burhan Translated by William M. Hutchins
Subsequently, what she liked to call “currents of moderation” had swept over her and carried her far from the ideas of political Zionism. She had actually come to hate the lofty but threadbare claims on which that movement had been established. Then she had worked intently for many months and produced two extraordinary studies on cultural Zionism.
The Last Jew of Tamentit Excerpt from a novel by Algerian writer Amin Zaoui
Her last husband, who was the imam and muezzin of the mosque in Tidikelt, had drawn her attention thanks to his beautiful voice when it reminded the faithful to pray to their God five times a day. At first, the muezzin had been a little disconcerted when he’d heard his wife speak to her bees in Latin
Farewell Herbert Mason
We are very sad to report that our consulting editor Herbert Mason passed away suddenly on New Year's Day. The distinguished Professor Emeritus and the William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of History and Religious thought at Boston University, author and translator of Louis Massignon's 4-volume work on The Passon of Al-Hallaj will be much missed around the world. We will always remember him through his writings and translations. All our deepest condolences and sympathies to his family. A full obituary and tribute will appear in Banipal 58
Stefan Weidner: Ein Marschländer geht von uns
Die weitaus meisten Autoren, welche Sprachwechsler sind, nicht in ihrer Muttersprache schreiben und mehrere Herkünfte und Identitäten für sich reklamieren, entscheiden sich am Ende für eine der beiden Seiten. Dass Hussain al-Mozany sich nicht entscheiden konnte oder wollte, dürfte zwar dazu beigetragen haben, dass ihm größerer Ruhm versagt blieb. Es macht ihn auch unter den Autoren, die den Chamisso-Preis bekamen, zu einem Sonderfall
"Liars Get Everything" An excerpt from the novel by Iraqi writer Ali Bader
It was a rainy day in Brussels, and on that cold, wintry day the view of the city was gloomy, gray and wet from that apartment window in the Matonge neighborhood. Everything from that view was awash with water: Shops, streets, the passenger’s faces, cars, trees, dumpsters, and the barstools on the sidewalk. Women, wearing rainy coats and umbrellas, walked slowly towards the Porte de Namur metro station from Ixelles Avenue, while others were running, trying to find shelter beneath the cornices and umbrellas of Boniface shops.
CITY POEMS by Moroccan poet Mbarek Sryfi
On the same bench
Sits an old woman, a red hat on her head,
Chewing a slice of plain pizza
As she gazes away, far, far away
As she mumbles words to herself or someone
Seen by no one but her
She has seen better days
Her left hand shakes
As she holds the paper plate
When she stands up
And slowly disappears

The Song of the Eternal Child by Majid Alhaydar

A BOAT TO LESBOS A poem by Syrian poet Nouri al-Jarrah
Suffering Syrians, beautiful Syrians, Syrian brothers fleeing death. You won’t reach the shores on rafts but will be born on beaches with the foam.
Lost gold dust you are, melted gold dust, scattered, dulled.
From abyss to abyss in the hollow of the sea of the Rum, with the star fish and her brother, the roving squid, the waves convey you under the light of Ursa Major, the Daughters of Na’sh.

Fiery Curses A short story by Qatari writer Noura Mohammad Faraj
I entered the public library a few days ago to research an essay I am writing and asked the librarian for the room where the books I needed were shelved. He pointed me to a downstairs room accessed by a spiral staircase.
I could not believe my eyes, which opened wide. It was the very same staircase from my dream!

Salma Hayek: I Saved My Belly Dancer
New York-based Egyptian artist and photographer Youssef Nabil’s film is a poetic depiction of his fascination with belly dancers and his anxiety over the disappearance of this art form that is unique to the Middle East. This excerpt of a 12-minute video installation is visually inspired by the 1950s