Middle East/North African Lit discussion

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message 1: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Just finished reading a big book of Bedouin poetry so it's been on my mind lately...and then I saw this article this morning:
Web helps revival of old Arabic poetry in Lebanon

I haven't browsed for them yet, but apparently there are lots of YouTube and Facebook videos and groups dedicated to zajal.

And on another web-poetry note, the Princeton Online Arabic Poetry Project hosts links to six Arabic poems - background info, audio recordings, and translations.


message 2: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Bernadette :
that is very interesting , thanks :D
I am not very much (a poetry reader) , but I hope there will be more members around here who can push this topic grow !


message 3: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
this is wonderful! my arabic tutor used to have me read and listen to poems and try to memorize parts of them. not necessarily to understand them, but to become accustomed to the rhythm of the language. i should start doing that again. :D
thanks, bernadette!


message 4: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Nile daughter wrote: "Bernadette :
that is very interesting , thanks :D
I am not very much (a poetry reader) , but I hope there will be more members around here who can push this topic grow !"


I can't say I'm much of a poetry reader either...and I wish I could read/understand more of this poetry in Arabic...but I am fascinated by the oral poetry of the Sinai Bedouin and learned so much about their culture and history through their poems.

I attended the Characters of Egypt Festival in October and my favorite part was listening to all the tribesmen recite poetry. Beautiful!


message 5: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Marieke wrote: "this is wonderful! my arabic tutor used to have me read and listen to poems and try to memorize parts of them. not necessarily to understand them, but to become accustomed to the rhythm of the lang..."

Great idea for language learning! Did your tutor have specific poems he suggested?


message 6: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
Nizar Qabbani! and she gave me cds with Kazem Saher and Majida al-Roumi singing his poems. they both sing very clearly and Qabbani's poems are relatively simple so i loved this part of my lessons and homework.


message 7: by Niledaughter (last edited Dec 29, 2010 04:08PM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Hmmm , here is my favorite for Nizar Qabbani : Kalemat sang by Majida al-Roumi
كلمات
يُسمعني.. حـينَ يراقصُني
كلماتٍ ليست كالكلمات
يأخذني من تحـتِ ذراعي
يزرعني في إحدى الغيمات
والمطـرُ الأسـودُ في عيني
يتساقـطُ زخاتٍ.. زخات
يحملـني معـهُ.. يحملـني
لمسـاءٍ ورديِ الشُـرفـات
وأنا.. كالطفلـةِ في يـدهِ
كالريشةِ تحملها النسمـات
يحمـلُ لي سبعـةَ أقمـارٍ
بيديـهِ وحُزمـةَ أغنيـات
يهديني شمسـاً.. يهـديني
صيفاً.. وقطيـعَ سنونوَّات
يخـبرني.. أني تحفتـهُ
وأساوي آلافَ النجمات
و بأنـي كنـزٌ... وبأني
أجملُ ما شاهدَ من لوحات
يروي أشيـاءَ تدوخـني
تنسيني المرقصَ والخطوات
كلماتٍ تقلـبُ تاريخي
تجعلني امرأةً في لحظـات
يبني لي قصـراً من وهـمٍ
لا أسكنُ فيهِ سوى لحظات
وأعودُ.. أعودُ لطـاولـتي
لا شيءَ معي.. إلا كلمات

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tlyjv...


message 8: by okyrhoe (last edited Jan 11, 2011 09:53AM) (new)


message 9: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
this is awesome! thanks okyrhoe! (and welcome...i echo what Nile Daughter said in that thread...)


message 10: by VivaPalestina (new)

VivaPalestina | 36 comments I read a beautiful poem yesterday for Iraq, so I thought I'd share :)

http://adab.com/modules.php?name=Sh3e...


message 11: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
VivaPalestina wrote: "I read a beautiful poem yesterday for Iraq, so I thought I'd share :)

http://adab.com/modules.php?name=Sh3e..."


thanks VivaPalestina! i printed this out because i have to read arabic really slowly and i'll surely have to look a lot of words up.

when i clicked on "english" to get a translation, it took me to Adab's main page...do you know if an english translation exists? i'm thinking mostly for the benefit of the many members here who don't read arabic... :D


message 12: by VivaPalestina (new)

VivaPalestina | 36 comments That was my initial reaction when my friend shared the poem with me, I thought it would take me a year to read it, but I listened to a part of it on youtube and found it flows beautifully so I hardened my hearts resolve and read it.

Ooops, I forgot about it having to be in English :D To be honest I was trying to translate it myself as a challenge in the hopes I'd improve my arabic so I didn't look to see if there already is one. If I do find though I'll be sure to share.


message 13: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
Or share your translation! Or maybe summarize each stanza? Can you post the YouTube link you used? I'd love to listen to it, too. :D


message 14: by VivaPalestina (new)

VivaPalestina | 36 comments This was the youtube link I used, its not complete, and he back tracks a few times

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EOmqNd...

My translation? Erm...lol i'll let you know how it goes okay?


message 15: by Marieke, Former moderator (new)

Marieke | 1179 comments Mod
lol--i totally understand about your translation! :D


message 16: by VivaPalestina (new)

VivaPalestina | 36 comments If I'm posting these in the wrong place someone tell me :$

A poem for Omar Khayyam

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it


message 17: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Abdo (jenniferabdo) | 81 comments I mentioned this in another thread-- wondering if anyone's read Tablet and Pen by Reza Aslan? I'm not a big poetry person, but it sounds so interesting and it's in English, apparently with a huge emphasis on getting the meaning and style to come through intact.

Also possibly of interest: Azam Ali's Middle Eastern lullabys, kind of like poetry... I heard this on the radio about it...
http://thestory.org/archive/The_Story...

The Guest expresses what I felt as well when the kids were newborn and I felt joy and fear and that time was already so short:

you are like a guest who has come into my life
and someday just like any other guest you will leave my house
but for the time that you are here you are the light of the house

I hope that when you do go out
because someday you will not belong to me
you will belong to the world
and when that day comes I hope that you will always be protected


message 18: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments Hi, I'm new to the group and interested in poetry. I just checked out Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East at Amazon and it sounds like a wonderful book. I think I'll put it on my wishlist and hopefully get it before too long. I've been reading more poetry in general over the past year and I would like to see what is coming from the Middle East. I'm afraid I only read (and speak English).


message 19: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Sue wrote: "Hi, I'm new to the group and interested in poetry. I just checked out Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East at Amazon and it sounds like a wonderful book. I t..."
wow , this is a very an old post !
Thanks , I added the book to the group , did you read it ?

I thought this can be interesting , poetry now and ‘Prince of Poets’ Ahmed Shawky


message 20: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments No i didn't. I'll have to check it out again. I'm glad you reminded me of it.


message 21: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments It is a bit expensive but I just checked and my library system does have it. Maybe I can borrow it and then buy it later. it does sound good.


message 22: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Sue wrote: "It is a bit expensive but I just checked and my library system does have it. Maybe I can borrow it and then buy it later. it does sound good."

Tell us about it then ...


message 23: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments I'm in the middle of a bunch of books over the next week but I'll request it then let you know what I find in a week or so.


message 24: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments As an addendum, I just looked inside the book at Amazon and I really like what I see so far. I is organized geographically and by time, from 1910 to 2010. I think I will try to get it but won't be able to until early next year.

I did put in a request from the library.


message 25: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Take your time sue , and I wish you can talk to us about it when you start reading it , It seems a good guide !


message 26: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
I see it has a kindle edition , I may try to read too ! all depends on your reaction and my time;)


message 27: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments Perhaps you can download a sample of the book?


message 28: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Sue wrote: "Perhaps you can download a sample of the book?"

Yes I can , I will let you know when I check it .


message 29: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments "This Script is my Script" by Ahmad Fu'ad Nigm

English translation can be read at:
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/...

"This poem, by the legendary Egyptian vernacular poet, Ahmad Fu’ad Nigm (1929-), was put to music and sung by his comrade al-Shaykh Imam (1918-1995). It is one of the many memorable songs the duo produced decades ago. They are circulating widely these day as they speak of and to revolts, past and present. You can listen to Imam singing the poem here."


message 30: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Thanks Bernadette , Ahmed Fouad Negm is famous for revolutionary Egyptian Arabic/ folk poetry.(I believe he intereted political prison several times)

BTW did you hear of his daughter Nawara Negm , she is one of the revolution figures.

* I think you may be interested in Abdel Rahman el-Abnudi as well .


message 31: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Oh, I like the sound of Abdel Rahman's work in Egyptian dialect instead of Standard Arabic - there's hope I may understand his works in the original language instead of a translation! :-) Thanks - I'll look for him!


message 32: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments http://www.reelfestivals.org/reel-con...

I Chose to Listen – New Translations from Reel Festivals 2011

"This free to download e-book (published in association with Forest Publications) features brand new English and Arabic poetry translations from collaboration and performance with the Reel Festivals poets.

From Syria, Golan Haji and Rasha Omran, from Lebanon, Yehya Jaber and Mazen Maarouf and from Scotland, Tom Pow, Emily Ballou, William Letford and Ryan Van Winkle, along with beautiful Arabic Calligraphy by Everitte Barbee."


message 33: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments http://www.ou.edu/wlt/01_2012/poetry-...

Four Poems by Nathalie Handal

The four recordings here are from "Poet in Andalucía", forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in January 2012.

There is also an interview with the author here:
http://www.ou.edu/wlt/01_2012/intervi...


message 34: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Thanks for sharing Bernadette :)


message 35: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/...

Four Poems by Hussein Habasch

[Hussein Habasch (b. 1970) is a Kurdish poet from Syria. He writes in Kurdish and Arabic. He has published four collections of poetry. He lives in Germany]


message 36: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/...

Four Poems by Joyce Mansour

[Joyce Mansour (1928-1986) was a Francophone Egyptian poet. She published her first collection in 1953. She moved to Paris and joined the Surrealists and published sixteen books]


message 37: by Niledaughter (last edited Jan 08, 2012 11:46PM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Thanks Bernadette ...

The grand poet Abdel Rahman al-Abnoudi wrote “The Prisoners’ Laughter”In solidarity with activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah, who has been detained since October in relation to the Maspero violence of 9 October and missed the birth of his first child Khaled earlier this month , translation In here , sang beautifully by Singer Ali Al Haggar in here - music by Farouk El Sharnouby . more about that by Marcia in Arabic Literature (in English)


message 38: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments Bernadette, thanks for all your resources. I'll be checking them all out.

I did have Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East out of the library but I have to confess that I didn't actually get to it with the holidays and everything going on at year end. I had to return it to the library. At some point I will take it out again and report back. I did skim enough to know that it's a combination of prose and poetry, with the appearance of more prose than poetry.


message 39: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Nile daughter wrote: "Thanks Bernadette ...

The grand poet Abdel Rahman al-Abnoudi wrote “The Prisoners’ Laughter”In solidarity with activist and blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah, who has been detained since October in re..."


Thanks, Nile daughter! I had read the poem's translation on Al Masry Al Youm, but had not seen the song version. Do you know where I might see a copy of the original in Arabic?


message 40: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Sue wrote: "I did have Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East out of the library but I have to c..."

I haven't gotten around to the poetry I wanted to read yet either! I picked up a big book of poetry from Bedouin women in Saudi Arabia, but it looks like a lot more commentary than actual poetry. Hopefully, it will still be an interesting read.


message 41: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
You are welcome :)
I liked the song a lot , I love Al hagar voice . here is copy of the original in Arabic the original in Arabic

*****
Sue , I totally forgot about that book !


message 42: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Nile daughter wrote: "You are welcome :)
I liked the song a lot , I love Al hagar voice . here is copy of the original in Arabic the original in Arabic"


Thanks! Now I can practice my Arabic. :-)


message 43: by Niledaughter (last edited Jan 17, 2012 03:25AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Happy for you Bernadette :D

Sue wrote:" I did have Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East out of the library but I have to c..."

I downloaded a sample of the book and checked it, I think it is an interesting read , but it does not fit here, it is a literature full study and as Sue mentioned mostly prose , so I made a more detailed comment about it in “Reference reads” in here , it can be a good study/guide , and we can have it as a reference read, and if you like we can check with members later how many would like to read it ?


message 44: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments Bernadette and Nile Daughter, I've been catching up on some of the links you've both provided to poetry in translation. Thanks. It's a universal medium.


message 45: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
I am glad you like it Sue :)


message 46: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Does anyone have recommendations for poetry we should tackle in March/April? I was thinking of looking for some collections that complement whichever books are chosen for the main Historical Cruise, similar to what we did with The Rubaiyat.
Something Turkish to go along with My Name is Red?
Or something to go along with the Year of Eve selection?


message 47: by Niledaughter (last edited Feb 19, 2012 02:34AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2809 comments Mod
Bernadette wrote: "Does anyone have recommendations for poetry we should tackle in March/April? I was thinking of looking for some collections that complement whichever books are chosen for the main Historical Cruise..."

Great idea :)

speaking of Turkish poetry , not sure if this website will be useful or not (it is for contemporary poetry)

http://www.turkishpoetry.net/


message 48: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Oh, that's great, Nile Daughter!! Being able to read a selection of Turkish poetry online is perfect - everyone can access and read the same poems. And for the sake of everyone being able to access the poetry, I'm thinking we should choose something contemporary. What do others think? Want to keep the poetry historical or just related to the region?

Although this site has some historical Turkish poetry (including poems by two women):
http://www.ottomansouvenir.com/Genera...


message 50: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments This looks really good ND.


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