مصائب قوم عند قوم فوائد

Passion Week

Selections from Mina Nagy’s collection أسبوع الآلام [Passion Week], published in PDF format and available in its entirety here, with cover and layout by Youssef Rakha. As Mina explains in the foreword, the poems follow the pattern of the Coptic liturgy for Passion Week, or Holy Week as it’s otherwise known, hence the headings. The Common Burial Prayer is a mass funeral rite for all those who die during the course of the week. Mina has also published another poetry collection entitled سحر حقيقي (Dar Al Ain, 2011) [A Real Magic] and a short story collection الجندب يلهو حرا في شوارع القاهرة (Dar Kalima, 2013) [The grasshopper frolics free in the streets of Cairo]

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11 poems by Ahmed Shafie

Eleven poems from Ahmed Shafie’s collection وقصائد أخرى (Dar Al Nahda, 2012) [And Other Poems]. Youssef Rakha has written about this collection here with many fine translations woven into the text.

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Three chapters from the first half of Alaa Khaled‘s meditation on the city of his birth وجوه سكندرية (Dar El Shorouk, 2012) [Alexandrian Faces]. One of the most important figures in the development of the prose poem in Egypt he has written six poetry collections, the first published in 1990 and the most recent in 2012, as well as five collections of prose (including this book) and one novel, ألم خفيف كريشة طائر ينتقل بهدوء من مكان لآخر (Dar Al Shorouk, 2009) [A faint pain like a bird's feather moving gently from place to place]. He is the co-founder and editor of أمكنة [Places], an independent literary magazine issued out of Alexandria and concerned with place and location, which was started in 1990 by Khaled, his wife Salwa Rashad and Mohab Nasr.

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Captain Talat

An excerpt from Muhamed Abdel Nabi’s very beautiful, moving and clever debut novel رجوع الشيخ (Rawafid, 2012) [The Return of the Sheikh], which was longlisted for the 2013 IPAFMuhamed has three short story collections to his name, وردة للخونة (General Authority for Cultural Palaces, 2003) [A Rose for the Traitors], شبح أنطون تشيخوف (First Edition: Dar Fikra, 2008; Second Edition: General Egyptian Book Organization, 2012) [The Ghost of Anton Chekhov], which won the 2010 Sawiris Award for short stories by a young writer–with the title story translated here by Anna Swank–and most recently, كما يذهب السيل بقرية نائمة (Merit, 2013) [As the Flood Sweeps Away a Sleeping Village]. Meanwhile, بعد أن يخرج الأمير للصيد (Merit, 2007) [After the Prince Goes Out to Hunt], is a set of seven separate but interrelated texts. And then as if all that isn’t enough he’s a prolific translator from English to Arabic.

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The Creator

An excerpt from الخالق (Kotob Khan, 2013) [The Creator], a novel by Egyptian poet, translator and novelist Ahmed Shafie. The excerpt is in fact a string of passages from the first half of this complex, playful novel; one thread out of many introducing the central story , which is the creation of a city of wonders, populated with automata and equipped with buildings and streets that pop up and down and alter their layout, all located in some unnamed emirate and designed by legendary Japanese architect, Haturi Masanari. Ahmed lives and works in Muscat and has several publications to his name including a couple of poetry collections–وقصائد أخرى (Dar Al Nahda, 2012) [And Other Poems] and طريق جانبي ينتهي بنافورة [A Side Street Ending in a Fountain]–and a novel, رحلة سوسو (General Authority for Cultural Palaces, 2005) [Sousou's Journey]. He has at least two blogs, here and here

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Three poems by Yasser Abdel Latif

These three poems by Yasser are from the collection جولة ليلية (Dar Merit, 2009) [Night Tour]. The first of these poems, Night Tour, has been translated by Youssef Rakha here. The alketaba.com website has recently brought out an excellent review of Yasser’s work and life in a “special file” with superb contributions by friends, contemporaries and young ‘uns. Yasser recently won the Sawiris Short-Story Prize for his collection يونس في احشاء الحوت (Kotob Khan, 2011) [Jonah in the Belly of the Whale] and an excellent new collection is forthcoming from the same publisher: في الإقامة والترحال: قصص وحكايات (Kotob Khan, 2014) [Settling Down and Setting Out: Stories and Tales].

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A kid came to me

An extract from Youssef Rakha’s work in progress, the sequel to التماسيح (Dar Al Saqi, 2012) [The Crocodiles], which is due in English translation in Fall 2014 from Seven Stories Press

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A poem by Ahmed Nada

One more unpublished poem by Ahmed Nada, whose details (such as they are) are in this earlier post. If you are interested in reading more of Ahmed’s poetry in Arabic, he publishes much of it on his Facebook page, which is here.

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Poems by Mohab Nasr and Alaa Khaled

Six poems by Mohab Nasr from his recent collection يا رب… أعطنا كتابا لنقرأ (El Ain, 2012) [Lord, Give us a book that we might read] and two by Alaa Khaled from تحت شمس ذاكرة أخرى (Sharqiyat, 2012) [Beneath the sun of another memory].

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A dead man

An excerpt from the opening of Mohammed Rabie‘s second novel عام التنين (Kotob Khan, 2012) [Year of the Dragon]. Rabie’s first novel, كوكب عنبر (Kotob Khan, 2010) [Amber Planet] won first prize for the youth category in the 2011 Sawiris Awards. The excerpt misses out a small chapter between Tunnel and the letter. 

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