Middle East/North African Lit discussion

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2012 group cruise > 2012 plan and 2011 feedback

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message 1: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 02, 2011 12:06AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Here are our thoughts as a moderation team for the next year and we would like to hear your opinions about them , please feel free to express yourselves, not only your reactions about the plan but also suggestions …

* we are thinking of having two axes of reading for the next year :

First - We will sail in the region again , not in geography this time ; but in history . So we will be reading ( fiction/non fiction books ) through major historical stops . As a beginning ; here are our suggestions :

MENA historical cruise :

1- Islamic Empires (The Middle Ages & Early modern period )

1-a - Islamic Empires (7th to 11th century ) / The Middle Ages

(Rashidun Caliphate , Umayyad Caliphate , Abbasid Caliphate , Al-Andalus , Fatimid Caliphate ,north/west Africa (Almoravid ) , The Great Seljuq Empire in persia .

1-b- Islamic Empires (11th to 19th century )/ Early modern period

crusades and Mongol conquests / (Ayyubid dynasty and Mamluk Sultanate ) , End of Al-Andalus , Ottoman Empire ,the (Dynasties of Iran and Afghan Empire) and even can come across Mughal Empire .


2- Late Modern history (until early 20th century )

2-a - ww1 , fall of The Ottoman Empire.
2-b- Colonialism , ww2 and independence movements .


3- Contemporary history (Post-1945 World)

3-a - Arabic -Israeli conflict .
3-b – Arab spring


**So we were thinking ( 1, 2 and 3 ) each can have one non-fiction book (can cover all or partial). "for long period for reading" while minors , (a&b) : each can have one fiction book - ( or whatever you suggest) .

Second -2012 … a dedicated year for Eve

Some say that after the Arab spring and Tawakkul Karmān winning the Nobel prize for peace , 2011 to be the year of the arab women :) So to stay linked with the contemporary era , we were thinking to dedicate the next year to Eve in our region . reading books by female authors and discussing topics that concern them (1 book each 2 months ?)

**N.B
We would like to hear what do you think about last year activities, if any one is looking for a certain improvement . would you like to make December as extended month so everyone can continue reading what ever books he missed ?


Looking forward hearing from you , and BTW , if you do not like the plan we will not be offended:)


message 2: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rmtb) | 3 comments This sounds like a good plan to me, I can't wait to see what books are suggested!


message 3: by Ruqaiya (new)

Ruqaiya Said Awesome! Can't wait :)


message 4: by Allison (new)

Allison Love it.


message 5: by Natalie (new)

Natalie  | 59 comments I think this is a wonderful plan and I do hope I can find more time to join in and contribute to the group reads!


message 6: by Marahm (new)

Marahm | 31 comments The historical perspective sounds good to me, especially noting the female authors. I still haven't read three of this year's books, but I plan to keep at it.


message 7: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendywoo) | 240 comments I really like the format you have suggested for next year! I will of course start the year w/ good intentions to keep up w/ all the reading, but will no doubt fall behind and end up having to pick and choose which books I'm able to get to in time to join the discussions. Thank you to our fabulous moderators for making this such smooth sailing :-)


message 8: by Melanie (new)

Melanie | 4 comments Sounds good!


message 9: by Ghada (new)

Ghada Arafat | 235 comments As usual ND great idea. Looking forward to next year :)


message 10: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments Looks like a very interesting plan ND. I'm amazed at the work you moderators do here. What an agenda! It looks like a course curriculum. Like Wendy, I will participate as much as I can. I do like the focus on "Eve".


message 11: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments I, too, think it's a great plan! I like the historical perspective and the focus on women authors. I'll read and join in whenever I can get the books. :-) How will the female authors thread be decided on - by theme/topic? by country?

1 book for 2 months is a good time frame for me.

I like the Cruise Salon for Individual Reads and would like to see that continued.


message 12: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 02, 2011 11:59AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Wooow; Thank you so much for your encouraging comments !:D :D

No one has to worry about not reading all the books, I know we had so many discussed books this year (2011) , but this was only determined to provide a flexible collection where each member can find something that interest him at some point , even us (the moderators) did no read all the books we discussed as a group .;)

Does everyone agree to have December as a spare month to catch up with any previous reads?

Bernadette wrote: "How will the female authors thread be decided on - by theme/topic? by country?

1 book for 2 months is a good time frame for me.

I like the Cruise Salon for Individual Reads and would like to see that continued...."


Sure , the Salon will always be opened , and we are very glad it had all this activity last year :D

For the female authors , we are still thinking about it - what do you prefer ?
we can have it as region as we did with our previous reads , but if themes or topics , do you have anything particular in your mind ?

** if you like we can plan each 4 months (choose books) , specially that we have major 3 historical stops , so we will have this step only 3 times a year , and we will have polls for:

2 historical fiction books (each 2 months period)
2 female authors books (each 2 months period)
1 historical non fiction or 2 (each 2 months period) , it depends on the size .

Or do you prefer to make polls each 2 months?


message 13: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wendywoo) | 240 comments I don't have a strong preference on the timing of the polls. Whatever you guys decide is fine by me.

It sounds like this is the case, but wanted to confirm -- will the discussion threads from this year remain open? I hope that they will since some of us may eventually get to a book that was read this year and would enjoy getting to at least read through the discussion thread.


message 14: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Wendy wrote: "I don't have a strong preference on the timing of the polls. Whatever you guys decide is fine by me.

It sounds like this is the case, but wanted to confirm -- will the discussion threads from..."


Do not worry , we will not close any threads and anyone can post a comment at any time that Suits him.


message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rmtb) | 3 comments Nile daughter wrote: "For the female authors , we are still thinking about it - what do you prefer ?
we can have it as region as we did with our previous reads , but if themes or topics , do you have anything particular in your mind ?"


I like the idea of grouping by topic/theme?


message 16: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Rebecca wrote: "I like the idea of grouping by topic/theme? ..."

I think this will be interesting , any themes or topics suggestions ?


message 17: by Natalie (new)

Natalie  | 59 comments Personally, I'd prefer choosing female authors by region. If we go for specific topics we might miss out on less obvious topics, maybe...just a thought.


message 18: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments I like choosing by topic...only because it may mean I'd have a better chance of getting a book along the chosen themes. ;-) But my access is limited - so it's better left up to you all who have more reliable access to books!

And I like the idea of December being a "catch-up" month!

Thanks to our cruise leaders for the excellent journey so far! :-)


message 19: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 03, 2011 01:18AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Hmmmm …how to provide an intersection area?

After thinking it through again , I believe we may not have enough female writers in all the regions (but we still can take it by regions if you want to) .

I thought of re-posting this link Arab women writers , that may be it can inspire us . As a start; we can have wide themes support varieties instead of narrow or specific topics, like (just examples):

- Classics / pioneers
- Prominent authors
- Prizes
- Memoirs / biographies / special experiences.
- Emerging Writers
- Journalism / Important figures

What do you think?


message 20: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Any suggestions ?


message 21: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Still thinking on themes for the women authors...


message 22: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Aasiyah , I did not hear about the book before , thanks ...I will check it .

Bernadette , can you suggest some themes?


message 23: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Perhaps by topic:

Love/Familial Relationships
Self-Discovery
Repression (and escape from...)
Immigration
History/War/Revolution
Cultural Relationships


Or by genre:

Personal Memoirs (Nonfiction)
Poetry
Short Stories/Essays
Realistic Contemporary Fiction
Fantasy
Historical Fiction
Plays

Just some ideas...I kind of like the different genres. I'm interested in reading some poetry, and I love short stories.


message 24: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments I agree with the inclination toward the genres.


message 25: by Amira (new)

Amira (amirahassan) | 34 comments I prefer the classification according to the genres too. I think It provides a larger variety of books that could appeal to more readers with different preferences.


message 26: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
That is a great feedback , we will try to finalize the plan soon ...

BTW , Bernadette , do you think we can have lots of recommendations for plays and Poetry ?


message 27: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Nile daughter wrote: "BTW , Bernadette , do you think we can have lots of recommendations for plays and Poetry ?"

From searching on the website you shared (Arab Women Writers), I noticed several books of poetry we could choose from.

The following women have written plays, but the challenge will be getting hold of the publications:

Fadia Faqir

Hanan al-Shaykh

Hoda Barakat (I don't think hers have been translated though)

Nawal al-Saadawi

Arusiya al-Naluti (again - not sure if the plays have been translated)

Fathia al-Assal (Her plays seem to have been translated...but not into English.) :-(

Salma Khadra Jayyusi (She seems promising - Modern Arabic Drama, an Anthology, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1993.
Arabic Short Plays, Interlink Books, New York, 2003.)

Nathalie Handal (a French and American of Palestinian origin - Has several plays and books of poetry in English)

Suheir Hammad (Palestinian-American...I'm very interested in her poetry as well!)

* I think we'd have the most luck finding the publications of these last 3 authors.


message 28: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Wow Bernadette ,you are studding it seriously :D

anther reference:Arab Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide, 1873-1999 , a preview of the book on google : Arab women writers: a critical reference guide



Well , we need 6 items instead of 7 (each 2 months) so can we merge some items ?

1- Personal Memoirs ,Can we add biographical novels ?
2- Realistic Contemporary Fiction -( related plays ?)
3- Historical Fiction- ( related plays ?)
4- Fantasy and symbolism- ( related plays ?)
5- Essays / politics/journalism
6- Poetry / poetic novels or plays

*****
For the historical tour , any more comments ?


message 29: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Aasiyah wrote: "I was watching 'Artscape: The Poet of Baghdad,' about Iraqi poet Nabeel Yasin, last night. Has 'Nabeel's Song' been discussed before?"

Poetry's thread was not very active in the group , but we wish it will be more active , check it in Here , so feel free to revive it :)

Aasiyah wrote: "Regarding poetry, there is a treasure trove of poetry in this side of the world. And the languages have this linguistic advantage in form. I don't suppose we will have a hard time. :) We will have ..."

I have no doubt about that , but I am not good follower for poetry and not sure how many female poets have translated books ,that is why I asked :o


message 30: by Niledaughter (last edited Nov 10, 2011 08:59AM) (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
OK , I made a book shelf for poetry and added Nabeel's Song: A Family Story of Survival in Iraq , see how will it grow .Is anyone interested in reading poetry books here (in the group) from time to time / as a group read ?


message 31: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments I would be interested in trying some poetry as long as there is translation available. I have been enjoying English language poetry a lot more over the past year or so (and some in translation) and would love to have this experience too.


message 32: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Nile daughter wrote: "Is anyone interested in reading poetry books here (in the group) from time to time / as a group read ?"

Me!

I will try to add some books to the shelf.


message 33: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Nile daughter wrote: "OK , I made a book shelf for poetry and added Nabeel's Song: A Family Story of Survival in Iraq , see how will it grow "

Oops, I can't add books to the shelf. Here are some other books of poetry you can add:

Zaatar Diva
Born Palestinian, Born Black
by Suheir Hammad

Different Ways to Pray: Poems.
Hugging the Jukebox.
Yellow Glove. Breitenbush Books.
Red Suitcase: Poems.
Fuel: poems.
19 varieties of gazelle: poems of the Middle East.
You & yours: poems. All by
Naomi Shihab Nye

Love and Strange Horses,
The Lives of Rain,
The Neverfield Poem. All by
by Nathalie Handal


message 34: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Thanks Chelsea :)

Sue and Bernadette , I will check with Marieke and NG what we can do about that :)

Bernadette , thanks for the recommendations , I will add them , sorry for the control , we had a spam problem , so we thought it will better to add members' recommendations from any discussion board by moderators , hope this is not annoying .


message 35: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Nile daughter wrote: Bernadette , thanks for the recommendations , I will add them , sorry for the control , we ha..."

Nope, not annoying at all. I understand completely!


message 36: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Bernadette wrote: "Nope, not annoying at all. I understand completely!"

Great , I added them :)
So I was thinking of the order of genres in reading (in parallel to the historical tour) :


1- Personal Memoirs
2- Realistic Contemporary Fiction
3- Essays / politics/journalism
4- Fantasy and symbolism
5- Historical Fiction
6- Poetry

****
Does anyone want to add any note about anything (topics ...dates ...whatever ) ?


message 37: by Bernadette (new)

Bernadette (bernadettesimpson) | 205 comments Looks good to me, too!


message 38: by Revital (new)

Revital Shiri-Horowitz (revital-sh) I like the idea!


message 39: by Sue (new)

Sue | 628 comments ND, as we've discussed, I'm interested in poetry. Very much so. And I'd be interested in a poetry section.


message 40: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Revital wrote: "I like the idea!"

Thanks and welcome in the group .

Sue wrote: "ND, as we've discussed, I'm interested in poetry. Very much so. And I'd be interested in a poetry section."

I hope we will manage to move forward with that step ;)

Chelsea wrote: "My apologies if this is old news. The links are giving me some new ideas.

http://www.bu.edu/library/guides/caww...

http://www.arabwomenwriters.com/index......"


Thanks Chelsea , Do not worry we are still at the begining :)


message 41: by Haaze (new)

Haaze | 20 comments Your theme idea of a historical cruise in 2012 is fantastic and provides an unique opportunity for us all to gain different perspectives. Thanks for creating such a journey!


message 42: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Welcome in the group Haaze and I hope you will like here with us , thanks for your feedback :)


message 43: by Niledaughter (new)

Niledaughter | 2786 comments Mod
Chelsea wrote: "ND, This may or may not be helpful. You would be the better judge.

www.interlinkbooks.com"


Thanks, I found some interesting Syrian titles, I will do some more research in it.


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