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The Wedding a short story by Omani writer Jokha AlharthiOn this night, on this chair made especially for her, Saloma shines. Her eyes are sultrily loose, either spontaneously or deliberately, and fixed on the bride. Her bejewelled ikfa2 hairstyle shows the size of her braids under the embroidered veil. Her gold nose-stud, shaped like a flower, is an inseparable part of her nose. And her confidence . . . Aah, her confidence. There is no doubt that her nine chickens are asleep now
Sami Zubaida Tribute to Faleh Abdul JabarIn addition to his voluminous work on Iraq and the Middle East, Faleh published many valuable contributions to social and political theory, mostly on the Hegelian and Marxist currents. These themes were central to two books he published, in Arabic, just before his untimely death. Al-Istirab/Alienation: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Hegel
Alaa al-Deeb : Excerpts from his novel Lemon BlossomWhen he had come to Suez four years earlier to work in the cultural centre, he had had a vague dream that he would find himself in this isolation and that he would sort out the chaos into which his life had descended. He hadn’t dreamed of any major change or great deeds, but he had said that cutting off his ties to Cairo would help him see things differently and that he would at least be able to adapt to the new reality and, most importantly, he would be able to put in order his relationship with the past.
Ahmed Saadawi :He is Dreaming or Playing or DyingComrade Dakhil and his friends in their olive-coloured uniforms descended on us from our roof, coming over the neighbouring roofs. They wandered about the house and went into all the rooms. As evidence, they presented comrade Dakhil with the rosaries they found and small prayer-disks of sacred earth used in prostration, and then they entered the kitchen
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
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.
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
Stefan Weidner: Ein Marschländer geht von unsDie 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
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.”
A BOAT TO LESBOS A poem by Syrian poet Nouri al-JarrahSuffering 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.
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.
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
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

Tenants and Cobwebs by Samir Naqqash coming soon
Samir Naqqash's stirring novel Tenants and Cobwebs nostalgically commemorates the lost culture of an ancient Iraqi Jewish minority living amidst a majority Muslim population in 1940s Baghdad. The plot unfolds during a time of great turmoil: the rise of Iraqi nationalism and anti-Jewish sentiment fueled by Nazi propaganda; the Farûd, a bloody pogrom carried out against Jewish residents of Baghdad in 1941; and the founding of Israel in 1948. These pivotal events profoundly affected Muslim-Jewish relationships, forever changing the nature of the Jewish experience in Iraq and eventually leading to a mass exodus of Iraqi Jews to Israel in 1951.
A Cloudy Day on the Western Shore by Mohamed al-Mansi Qandil 
A Cloudy Day on the Western Shore explores questions of Egypt’s identity and history, and the implications—for better or worse—of European exploitation of the treasures of pharaonic civilization. Novelist Qandil skillfully allows readers to encounter complex questions of colonialism, gender, and sectarianism—all through the symbolic lens of an unlikely Egyptian heroine.
“The Basil Revolution” a short story by Yemeni writer Wajdi al-Ahdal
We were surrounded by a truly festive atmosphere in which everyone felt an indescribable, overwhelming happiness. Our morale was sky high, and eyes gleamed with optimism and hope – two things that Yemenis had missed bitterly for the past thirty years. I caught this infectious delight, which coursed through my spirit. For the first time in my life, I felt I was standing on free Yemeni soil.
Iraqi Fiction in Banipal magazine 61
Banipal has always paid great attention to Iraqi literature. Over the years we have published features containing both fiction and poetry. This issue marks the first time we have concentrated solely on the Iraqi novel and not included poetry. This is purely to introduce some good examples of Iraqi novels, not for any other reason. It was not in our mind to make any judgement between fiction and poetry. Four Iraqi critics write in this feature that Iraqi intellectuals are nowadays expressing themselves through fiction, not poetry.
"What the Storytellers did not tell" A short story by Iraqi writer Lutfiya al-Dulaimi
Many women crossed paths with his, and in the midst of his longing they glowed then fizzled out, leaving behind fallen momentos from which he made a wax monument of the woman he coveted. His deep passion, confused but solid, began with a painful obsession with a woman he called Sheherazade, the one perpetually beyond reach. His infatuation gave way to a slavish resignation that came with the expected pleasures but drained the soul in a series of attachments to women where he sought some of Sheherazade’s
ROBIN MOGER wins 2017 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation
The 2017 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation is awarded to Robin Moger for his translation of the novel The Book of Safety by Yasser Abdel Hafez, published by Hoopoe Fiction. After four novels made the first shortlist of the prize, announced on 1 December 2017, the judges are unanimous in naming Robin Moger as the winner of the £3,000 prize, to be awarded by the Society of Authors on 1 March 2018.
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

Sherif Hetata "The Military Prison" Excerpts from the Memoir
The door of the room opened with a soft creak. A weak, faint light crept into the room, and I could see a figure standing in the doorway. Suddenly the light switched on, overpowering me so that I could not see anything. I saw a tall man with a pale face enter the room, pointing a black object at me. He said with a high-pitched voice ringing strangely in the silence, “I believe you are Dr. Sherif Hetata?”
Hanna Mina, Syrian Novelist Who Chronicled the Poor, Dies at 94
Hanna Mina, an eminent Syrian writer who chronicled the lives of the poor and oppressed in dozens of books as one of the first Arab novelists to employ social realism, died on Tuesday in Damascus. He was 94.
"Baghdad Noir" Presents A City Of Diverse Experiences
Yes, some of these stories go on too long, or have uneven structures, or leave out details that might make them stronger, but I was captivated by seeing how different they all were, how all of these accomplished writers deal with a genre they hadn't played around with before (at least not much). Some of Akashic's Noir titles take place in regions known for idyllic conditions, and their power derives from the contrast. That these writers have wrested surprise from a country with so little peace makes Baghdad Noir one of the most interesting of the lot.
Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation and International Understanding is accepting nominations for the year 2018

A poem by Omani poet Mohamed Al-Harthy
Oh, don’t bother yourself with it, my boy, don't bother. The English beat Hitler and the Axis powers while we were still suckling our mother’s milk. So I think they can fix the defects of Bedford trucks and these Land Rovers. It is their craftsmanship, and we learned it from them, then mastered it in Baluchistan and in the garages of the Sultan’s Special Forces, which would not have won over the imams if it hadn’t been for those vehicles, despite their numerous defects.
The Frightened by Dima Wannous
Sitting on the sofa, reading the same page 24 as she has been doing for days, my mother was suddenly old. I haven’t grasped how my mother grew old. We went to sleep and she was young, we woke up and like that, she was old. Had she aged over night? Is one night enough? Is a handful of dreams from a single night enough for a person to get as old as this? I say that it’s lucky she became old at night and not in the middle of the day, for instance, as I would have been terrified.
The Man Booker International Prize 2018 Longlist Announced
The Man Booker International Prize has revealed the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 13 novels in contention for the 2018 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world.
Youssef Rakha: Rediscovering and reanimating the Arabic language
My models were great historians of Cairo: Jabarti and, before him, Ibn Iyas. It was very enjoyable finding and employing a unique language for the book, mainly because it was risky, a challenge, but also because it was an opportunity to think about words and their origins and how they fit together. It was a way of rediscovering and reanimating the Arabic language.
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

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