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[5 May 2011 | No Comment | 137 views]

It was the final day of the fourth Palestine Festival of Literature and I knew it was going to be a long day.

I’m a student volunteer at the festival, and the closing event was to take place in the Silwan Solidarity Tent – a public meeting point in a deeply threatened neighbourhood of my city, Jerusalem – with more than twenty writers from all over the world.

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[2 May 2011 | No Comment | 670 views]

A local start-up is turning Arabic books into audio editions, seeking to create the Arab world’s first digital audio library.

Established only three months ago, Masmoo3 has already secured business deals with several local value-added service companies which will introduce its audio content locally and in the region through mobile operators and related websites.

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[1 May 2011 | No Comment | 600 views]

Over the last decade, a new generation of Arabic novelists has been moving beyond the social realism of their predecessors to reach out to the world.

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[26 Apr 2011 | 3 Comments | 1,616 views]

(April 1, 2011) Security patrols swarm through the streets; they are everywhere I go. Cars coming and going; speeding then slowing down. Huge buses of security men wearing helmets and military uniforms are spreading through the markets, squares, major intersections and places where there might be demonstrations. Men in civilian clothes are gathering; their heavy presence exposes them. How did I learn to tell the difference between a security officer and an ordinary man in Damascus? It’s hard to tell when I first started to play this game; when my instincts first outpaced questions and words. I know them from their eyes. From the way their wear their clothes. From their shoes. There are more security men than ordinary people on the streets today, in the alleys, in front of stalls, in the squares, in front of schools. Everywhere I go, the security men are there.

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[17 Apr 2011 | No Comment | 334 views]

An Egyptian cartoonist who was arrested and had his graphic novel banned under Hosni Mubarak’s regime is to be published in English. Magdy El Shafee wrote the graphic novel “Metro” in 2008. It was banned in his home country and El Shafee was convicted of offending public decency after a lengthy trial.

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[3 Apr 2011 | No Comment | 434 views]

I won’t say that I am calm now. I am truly silent. I listen to the beats of my heart like the echo of a distant explosion that is clearer than the sound of the bullets, than the shouts of the young, than the wailing of mothers. Clearer than the tremor in my mother’s voice when she implores me not to go out onto the street.
By Samar Yazbek