ArabLit Quarterly emerged in 2018 from the community around the ArabLit website and Bulaq podcast. It aims to bring out beautiful literary translations from Arabic, fresh work by Arab artists, and also new forms of literary criticism that re-frame the discussions around Arabic literature, translation, and art. In our pages, you can find classical Arabic recipes in translation, illuminative infographics, and literary playlists.
A celebration of BEGINNINGS, this BEGIN AGAIN issue brings together some of the work in our first issue -- in a new form and design -- with other work about the process of beginning. Dima Ayoub and maia tabet talk about the beginnings of a career in translation, Sofia Samatar pens a letter to the great, deceased author Tayeb Salih, Marilyn Hacker translates a short-short story by Zakaria Tamer, Hanan Natour talks with the poet Munsif al-Wahaybi. Waadie Saadeh writes about the body, in translation by Suneela Mubayi, and we have three of the four stories shortlisted for the inaugural ArabLit Story Prize. You will also find a few works about the tension between beginnings and endings. We have Aya Nabih’s “Resection,” in translation by Sara Elkamel, in which the poet declares she has “discarded days in the wastebasket to make room for barrenness”; Balkis Sharara’s moving introduction to Hayat Sharara’s When Darkness Falls, which begins in Najaf, “the city of the dead and the living”; and Rasha Omran’s “Normal Life,” translated by Phoebe Bay Carter, where the poem’s narrator resists ending, striving toward her own sort of immortal in-between.