[25 Feb 2021 | No Comment | 2 views]
Al Araby reviews Hoda Barakat’s Night post “Hoda Barakat does it again”!

By Tahmina Begum, for Al Araby, February 19, 2021
Usually, when you open up a book, which begins with a letter, you presume that the answer is hidden somewhere in the pages. Instead what you get with Voices of The Lost, is a sense of ambiguity and a human chain revealing that we’re all much more similar than we recognise. That we see our stories inside one another, even those whose circumstances on the surface seem opposing to ours.

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[17 Feb 2021 | No Comment | 15 views]
The Guardian reviews Barakat’s Voices of the lost (aka Night post): “Searing”

By Madeleine Thien, for The Guardian, February13th, 2021
 
A chain of letters links five refugees in the Lebanese writer’s searing prizewinner
“That country is now gone,” observes an unnamed woman in Voices of the Lost. “It is finished, toppled over and shattered like a huge glass vase. To attempt to bring any of this back … could produce only a pure, unadulterated grief, an unbearable bitterness.” The woman is waiting in a hotel in an unnamed European country for a lover she has not seen in decades. As the hours tick by, …

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[11 Nov 2020 | No Comment | 101 views]
“The Markaz Review” interviews Samar Yazbek, “19 women” in focus

Interview and forward by Nada Ghosn, for The Markaz Review, November 9, 2020
In the cities or in the countryside, in the first year, women were symbols, the showcase of the revolution. But they were symbolically murdered by their comrades. They were the targets of the regime, of the revolutionaries, as well as of the militias that oppressed them politically. With the war, the tensions within Syrian identity since the country’s independence exploded. Our identity became fragmented. Intellectuals proved to be communitarian and separatist as well. Revolutionaries have not been less …

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[9 Aug 2020 | No Comment | 78 views]
This is not Beirut, by Elias Khoury, The Paris Review

Photograph courtesy of © 2020 Marwan Chamaa
A few minutes after 6:00pm, Beirut time, on August 4th, I received an all too familiar WhatsApp message from a friend “Family in Beirut ok?”. I instantly knew what this meant: Something somewhere in Beirut must have exploded. I immediately go to Twitter, seeking an answer to my question: Gas leak or booby trapped car?
Ok, immediate family is safe WhatsApp confirms in parallel. I was not too worried at first. But the tone on Twitter was alarming.

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[30 Jun 2020 | No Comment | 54 views]
The book satchel’s selection of the 10 best books of 2020 so far: Dima Wannous’ “The frightened ones”: “Mind-blowing”!

Do you love books that surprise you? I do. I had such a rush reading The Frightened Ones translated from the Arabic. The same kind when I read Bunny by Mona Awad—dark, trippy novel about MFA students and decapitated rabbit heads—and Supper Club by Lara Williams—women indulging in food, gluttony and sex.

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