مصائب قوم عند قوم فوائد

Writing politics

A short, challenging piece by Youssef Rakha, the Arabic original of which is due to be published in Egyptian weekly أخبار الأدب (Akhbar Al Adab). And now it is published, here

Read the rest of this entry »

Seven poems by Malaka Badr

New poems by Malaka Badr, who has previously published one collection, the excellent دون خسائر فادحة (Merit, 2012) [Without Heavy Losses], bits of which appeared in English in Maged Zaher’s selection of seven Egyptian poets’ works, The Tahrir of Poems (Alice Blue Books, 2014). The poems below are from an as yet unpublished collection. One of these poems, in Arabic, and not translated here, can be found here.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Book of Games

A selection of poems on motherhood and love from Rana Al Tonsi’s beautiful collection كتاب الألعاب (Dar Al Sharqiyat, 2015) [The Book of Games]. This is Rana’s eighth collection, a list of which appear at the end of this article. Her first was published in 2001, and a selection from her earlier works were collected together in عندما لا أكون في الهواء (Manshourat Al Jamal, 2014) [When I’m Not in the Air]. Sinan Antoon’s  translations of poems from her 2003 collection وردة للأيام الأخيرة (Merit) [A Rose for the Last Days] appeared in Banipal, here.

Read the rest of this entry »


Two stories about sleep from Mohamed Kheir’s brilliant short story collection رمش العين (Kotob Khan, 2014) [Eyelash]. Kheir is perhaps best known as a poet, with three poetry collections published by Merit ليل خارجي (Outer Night, 2002), بارانويا (Paranoia, 2008) and هدايا الوحدة (The Gifts of Loneliness, 2010), with a fourth, excellent collection released this year by Kotob Khan, العادات السيئة للماضي (The Bad Habits of the Past), which Muhamed Abdel Nabi has written about hereThis is Mohamed’s second short story collection after عفاريت الراديو (Dar Malamih, 2008) [Radio Devils]. He has written one novel to date, the very fine سماء أقرب [Merit, 2013] (A Closer Sky). Abdel Nabi has also written about Eyelash, here, and Daily News Egypt recently published an interview with Kheir in English, which can be found here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Poems by Ahmed Shafie

Poems by Ahmed Shafie published in أخبار الأدب. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Mustajab VII

A short story from Muhammed Mustajab‘s collection قيام وانهيار آل مستجاب (Maktabat Al Usra, 1998) [The Rise and Fall of Clan Mustajab].

Read the rest of this entry »

Poems by Ibrahim Elsayed and Hermes

Depending on how you’re counting, seven or ten poems by Ibrahim Elsayed and Hermes, from their respective collections أحد عشر كلبا (Merit, 2014) [Eleven Dogs] and كلاشنكوفي الحبيب (Dar Al Sharqiyat, 2014) [My Darling Kalashnikov]. Poems from both these collections and others by these poets appear in The Tahrir of Poems: Seven Contemporary Egyptian Poets edited and translated by Maged Zaher, and much more about Maged’s book, Ibrahim, Hermes and others can be found here

Read the rest of this entry »

Hash and Gout

A new poem, حشيش ونقرس, by Yasser Abdel Latif (who doesn’t have gout) and which was published recently in أخبار الأدب here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Younis in the Belly of the Whale

The title story from poet, novelist and short story writer Yasser Abdel Latif’s Sawiris Prize-winning collection يونس في أحشاء الحوت (Kotob Khan, 2011) [Younis in the Belly of the Whale].

Read the rest of this entry »

Mit Nama

Another extract from Youssef Rakha’s باولو [Paulo], recently acquired by Dar Al-Saqi, the second novel in a planned trilogy and the sequel to التماسيح (Dar Al-Saqi, 2012) [The Crocodiles]. The novel takes the form of fifty nine sequential blog entries numbered in reverse (i.e. starting with 59 and ending on 1), authored by the eponymous Paulo, one of the central characters from The Crocodiles, now an ex-poet, a figure on the independent cultural scene, a revolutionary and a covert operative for the shadowy Wadie Bey, who narrates his adventures in revolutionary and post-revolutionary Egypt. This extract finds Paulo addressing his much-abused cat, Atrees.

The terms naqibusra and shu’ba are jargon from the Muslim Brotherhood’s internal organization. A naqib is the head or “captain” of an usra (family), a cell of maybe five or six Brothers, which itself belongs to a larger shu’ba, or “branch”. 

Read the rest of this entry »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 82 other followers