Poetry

An Arab in Ben Gurion airport

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An Arab in Ben Gurion airport

Should Palestinian writers write about subjects other than Palestine? Does doing so somehow serve to naturalise and accomodate the ongoing occupation? An evening of poetry in London pushes Anna Birawi to ask such questions, and to come to some unsettling conclusions.

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Poems on Silence

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Poems on Silence

Exiled Iraqi poet Ghareeb Iskander is perhaps best known in the west for his 2009 collection Chariot of Illusion. Illustrating his work with poetic themes such as the sea, exile, life and sadness, these five poems explore the notion of silence; of absence, loss and nostalgia.

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Interpreting the veil: Poems from both sides

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Interpreting the veil: Poems from both sides

The Islamic veil, or hijab is perhaps one of the more hotly contested subjects when it comes to women’s issues in the Arab and Muslim worlds. While in the West the hijab is popularly seen as a symbol of female oppression and subjugation, for those women who chose to wear it – both in the East and the West – it often symbolises female emancipation and the freedom to choose their own manner of religious expression. This is a debate that has polarised social and political opinion across the world, and is encapsulated in the eloquent words of these two poems. Coming from both sides of the East/West ‘divide’, these poems reflect the diverse and...

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Poetry, visualised

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Mahmoud Darwish is arguably the most influential Palestinian poet of our time; his poems in which the anguish of Palestinian exile is transformed int Positive Spreads – The Only Spread Betting Tipster Online o the eloquence of verse have captured the imagination of people and activists all over the world. Now, a group of young creatives have turned his poem ‘I do not sleep to dream’ into an evocative short film: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xiz2MjrdZc] I do not sleep to dream, she told him. I sleep to forget you. I feel no pain from your absence; neither the night nor your lips scratch my breast. I sleep in my body utterly, sharing with no...

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Tapestry of whispers

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Tapestry of whispers

Poetry can speak our silences and make sense of our pain, harnessing the anguish of so many souls… Someone once said that if you want to know what the moon is truly like, send a poet… In this manner the poet reconciles the false distinction between the active life and the contemplative life – demonstrating how words are also actions.

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