Fall 2018 - Beginnings
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.
The second edition of ArabLit Quarterly will unsettle and awe you with an appreciation of “the Strange” in Arabic literature translated into English. Rachel Schine splices the personal demons of rapper Kendrick Lamar with the ghouls that afflicted fifth-century poet Ta’abbata Sharran.
Fadwa Suleiman of Syria talks to her suitcase in a poem translated by Marilyn Hacker. Trays “loaded with skulls and spiced with hearts” pass by in works of the late Syrian Abd al-Latif Khattab translated by Daniel Behar. Astonishing worlds in the poetry of Morocco’s Abdallah Zrika are explored in an interview by Ali Abdeddine and Shireen Hamza and translation by Hamza and Tim DeMay.
Nada Menzalji of Syria finds herself in a “Land of Strangers” in her poem translated by Valentina Viene, while Salim Barakat beseeches Syria to return “to what astonishes and dumbfounds” in a poem translated by Huda Fakhreddine and Jayson Iwen. Hoda Marmar tells the late Emily Nasrallah how she was dumbfounded by the Lebanese novelist in this installment of “Open Letter to a Late Author,” and in the ltest “Translate This,” Susan Slyomovics makes the case for why English readers deserve Algerian Amina Mekahli’s novel Nomad Burning.
The strange covers on the books of Palestinian author and poet Mazen Maarouf are examined by M Lynx Qualey. The food scholar Nawal Nasrallah finds poetry in a recipe for sweet chicken from medieval Egypt. The physician-poets Fouad M. Fouad and Norbert Hirschhorn discuss their translation exchange. Or sip a selection of stories as short of a cup of tea or as quick as a mocha by Tareq Imam of Egypt translated by Riham Adly, Diaa Jubaili of Iraq translated by Yasmeen Hanoosh, Eman Abdelrahim of Egypt translated by Nashwa Gowanlock, Bushra Al-Fadil of Sudan translated by Lemya Shammat, Hisham Bustani of Jordan translated by maia tabet, Amgad ElSabban of Egypt translated by Mona Khedr.