Posts Tagged: middle east

This Week in Indie Bookstores

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Loganberry Books in Cleveland, Ohio is drawing attention to female authors by turning books by men around on the shelves, leaving the books pages out to hide the spine.

A Pittsburgh bookstore is providing a home to books by writers in exile, drawing attention to the authors’ works.

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The Mirror’s Shards

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In the face of colossal and destructive political lies, we need a more nuanced understanding of the world than simply truth versus lie. ...more

This Week in Books: The Red Hijab

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Welcome to This Week in Books, a new Rumpus column that will highlight books just released by small and independent presses.

Books are more important than ever. As we head into a Trump presidency, we’re seeing attacks on basic constitutional rights, increased hate crimes, and denial of accepted science.

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The Rumpus Mini-Interview Project #60: Leah Kaminsky

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Leah Kaminsky’s debut novel, The Waiting Room, depicts one fateful day in the life of an Australian doctor and mother, Dina, living in Haifa, Israel. Dina is trying to maintain normalcy as she goes about her work as a family doctor, cares for her son, and fights to preserve her faltering relationship with her husband, with whom she’s expecting a daughter.

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Fresh Comics #12: Rolling Blackouts

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Some books take such a mammoth effort to produce that it’s hard to want to be critical of them. Rolling Blackouts is one of those books. The nearly 300 pages of delicately crafted, watercolored panels make evident that Sarah Glidden is a workhorse of a talent.

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The Rumpus Interview with Saleem Haddad

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Saleem Haddad discusses his debut novel Guapa, the Orlando shootings, the importance of queer spaces, and Arab literature. ...more

Cooked: The Story of Everything

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Because Cooked samples from all of its predecessors in style and topic, it becomes a show that can't be pigeonholed into the tired and dry mechanisms of foodie-media. ...more

The Rumpus Review of Mustang: Five French Girls Walk into an Anatolian Village

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American Ambiguity

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My racial awareness, perhaps even my awareness of myself as a person, self-consciousness, is a three-pronged paradox of shame, pride, and indifference. ...more

The Middle East in Writing

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Increasingly, a writer needs an access point, a micro-focus, a close-up lens—even a gimmick: one small story through which larger historical truths can be elucidated anew.

For the Los Angeles Review of Books, N.S. Morris writes about how journalism inform stories being written about the Middle East, exploring the various shapes nonfiction takes in the process of trying to understand something so expansive.

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Poetry As Propaganda

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Oxford academic Elisabeth Kendall has found that poetry may be a major recruitment tool for militant jihadis in the Middle East. Although poetry is often sidelined in Western cultures, it is still important in Arab-speaking nations, where a reality TV show called Millions Poet gets more views than sports events:

“The language of poetry emulates the language in which the Qu’ran was revealed … jihadist publications make liberal use of poetry from the classical heritage, which they largely fail to attribute, but which listeners might find faintly familiar from oral tradition,” [Kendall] says.

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Fresh Comics #1: An Iranian Metamorphosis

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The question that lingers even after reading the book is about the use of symbolism in the cartoon and who has the final say—the creator or the readers? ...more

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Another Story to Guide You

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Over at the New Yorker, Etgar Keret and Sayed Kashua continue their conversation:

I believe that this despair is temporary, and that even though there are quite a few political elements that would rather see us despairing, and even though it sometimes seems as if enormous forces are working to convince us that hope is just another word in our national anthem and not a powerful force that can lead to change, people feel deep down that the terrible situation we find ourselves in is not really the only dish on the regional menu.

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A Story to See You Through

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Etgar Keret and Sasha Kayua have had a pretty busy year: after speaking out against Israeli intolerance, and getting snubbed on every front, the pair turned to penning their viewpoints to each other. The New Yorker‘s published a few of them, and when Kashua asks Keret for a story to see him through, his friend does us all the favor of obliging:

2015 was a historic year in the Middle East, all because of a surprising, brilliant idea that an Arab-Israeli expatriate had.

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ISIS: A Rumpus Roundup

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The Islamic State of Iraq in Syria, known better as ISIS, has operated in Syria and Iraq since 2003 as an offshoot of al-Qaeda—at least until al-Qaeda disavowed any connection. The military organization is neither a political party nor religious group, though membership primarily consists of Sunni Muslims, the “orthodox” branch of Islam and the religion’s largest sect (Baghdad’s government contains mostly Shiite Muslims).

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