[20 Mar 2023 | No Comment | 6 views]
Sinan Antoon writes about the US war on Iraq, twenty years and “a million lives” later

A million lives later, I cannot forgive what American terrorism did to my country, Iraq
Sinan Antoon, for The Guardian, March 19th, 2023
In early 2003, I was living in Cairo and carrying out research for my doctoral dissertation on a famous Iraqi poet who lived in my hometown, Baghdad, in the 10th century. But I was increasingly anxious about the Baghdad of the 21st century.

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[21 Mar 2023 | No Comment | 4 views]
Khaled Khalifa on the act of reading under a dictatorship, for La Croix

Khaled Khalifa, in an interview with Marianne Meunier for La Croix, March 10, 2023
Originally from Aleppo, Khaled Khalifa lives in Damascus, which he never wanted to leave despite the conflict. He reads there alone, saddened to no longer be able to discuss his reading with his relatives, most of whom have left.

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[7 Mar 2023 | No Comment | 4 views]
Les jardins de Basra

By Guirado for Mare Nostrum, January 3, 2023
It all starts with a dream. A haunting and poetic dream in which angels descend from heaven to pick jasmine from the gardens of Basra – present-day Basra in Iraq. This dream continually monopolizes the mind of Hishâm Khattab who, after brilliant studies in geology which did not lead to any professional opportunities, now earns his living by reselling old books.

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[7 Mar 2023 | No Comment | 12 views]
Mansoura Ezeldin “brilliantly mixes the codes of ancient Arabic writing with those of the contemporary novel” – Richard Jacquemond reviews “The orchards of Basra” for Le Monde des Livres

By Richard Jacquemond, for Le Monde des Livres, February 9th, 2023
Hisham, who lives off the antique book trade, is haunted by a dream. He sees himself alive, under the name of Yazid Ibn Abihi, in Basra (or Basra, name of the second city of Iraq, located in the south of the country), at the end of the first century of the Hegira, when this city was a major intellectual and religious center of the nascent Islamic empire.

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[7 Mar 2023 | No Comment | 11 views]
‘The memory of jasmine’ by Nadia Leila Aissaoui, L’Orient-Le-Jour

A review by Nadia Leila Aissaoui, for L’Orient-Le-Jour, February 2nd, 2023
The Orchards of Basra by Mansoura Ez-Eldin, translated from Arabic (Egypt) by Philippe Vigreux, Sindbad/Actes-sud, 2023, 224 p.
In this captivating and remarkably translated novel, Mansoura Ez-Eldin takes us on a round trip in time and space, between Cairo and Basra, to meet timeless characters in a story that subtly mixes fiction and historical fact.

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