Songs of Mihyar and Damascene

Poetry by Adonis

Translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

With a contribution by Robyn Creswell

Written while Adonis was on a scholarship in Paris from 1960 to 1961, Songs of Mihyar the Damascene is widely considered to be the apex of the modernist poetry movement in the Arab world. Drawing not only on Western influences, such as T. S. Eliot and Nietzsche, but on his own culture’s deep poetry traditions, Adonis single-handedly accomplished a masterful and radical transformation of the rigid formal structures and themes of Arabic poetry.…
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Confessions

Fiction by Rabee Jaber

Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

During the violence and chaos of the Lebanese Civil War, a car pulls up to a roadblock on a narrow side street in Beirut. After a brief and confused exchange, several rounds of bullets are fired into the car, killing everyone in the car except for a small boy of four or five. The boy is taken to the hospital, adopted by one of the assassins, and raised in a new family.…
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The Iraqi Nights

Poetry by Dunya Mikhail

Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

The Iraqi Nights is the third collection by the acclaimed Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail. Taking The One Thousand and One Nights as her central theme, Mikhail personifies the role of Scheherazade the storyteller, saving herself through her tales. In this haunting collection, the nights are endless, seemingly as dark and as endless as war. Yet the poet cannot stop dreaming of a future beyond the violence — of a place where “every moment / something ordinary / will happen under the sun.…
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The Mehlis Report

Fiction by Rabee Jaber

Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

A complex thriller, The Mehlis Report introduces English readers to a highly talented Arabic writer. When former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri is killed by a massive bomb blast, the U.N. appoints German judge Detlev Mehlis to conduct an investigation of the attack — while explosions continue to rock Beirut. Mehlis’s report is eagerly awaited by the entire Lebanese population. First we meet Saman Yarid, a middle-aged architect who wanders the tense streets of Beirut and, like everyone else in the city, can’t stop thinking about the pending report.…
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