Dossier: Arabic Literature

Sherko Fatah (photo: picture-alliance/ZB)

Book review: "The Last Place" by Sherko Fatah

A book about intercultural misunderstandings

Just like his novel "The Dark Ship", Sherko Fatah's latest book is alarmingly topical: one of the characters, the kidnapper Abdul, stands for all the radical Islamists who mourn the bygone days of Mesopotamia and embrace a fundamentalist worldview. Claudia Kramatschek spoke to the author about his new novelMore

Hartmut Faehndrich (photo: Ruth Renée Reif)

Interview with literary translator Hartmut Faehndrich

"What I don't see is an on-going interest in Arabic literature"

Hartmut Faehndrich is one of the most renowned translators of Arabic literature in the German-speaking world. He has translated nearly 60 novels into German. In this interview with Ruth Renée Reif, he explains why Arabic literature is undervalued in the German-speaking worldMore

Mohamed Choukri in Casablanca on 5 November 2000 (photo: picture-alliance/dpa)

Tenth anniversary of the death of Mohamed Choukri

The "White Nightingale" of Tangier

The Moroccan writer Mohamed Choukri may have died over a decade ago, but the debate surrounding his controversial work continues in conservative Morocco to this day. Aziz Dariouchi on the discourse surrounding Choukri's literary legacyMore

Abdellah Taïa (photo: Abderrahim Annag)

Abdellah Taïa's "Letters to a Young Moroccan"

"Listen to the chaos of life around you"

Roughly 80 years on from Rainer Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet", the Moroccan writer Abdellah Taïa compiled an anthology of letters that plays on Rilke's title. Originally published five years ago in French and Arabic, Taïa's book has now been published in German translation. It brings together 18 Moroccan authors, all addressing the country's young generation in urgent, powerful words. By Christoph LeistenMore

Rosa Yassin Hassan (photo: DW)

Book review: Rosa Yassin Hassan's "Guardians of the Air"

Nine months of suffering, hope and fear

While Assad's regime seems more firmly ensconced than ever, and Syria seems to have descended into an apparently endless and brutal civil war, the novel "Guardians of the Air" by Rosa Yassin Hassan, a Damascus-based writer, provides an insight into the difficult lives of those directly affected by violence and displacement. By Volker KaminskiMore

Yasmina Khadra (photo: Getty Images)

Interview with Yasmina Khadra

"The Algerian regime is pulling all the strings"

The renowned Algerian writer, Mohammed Moulessehoul, who goes by his pen name Yasmina Khadra, wanted to stand as an independent candidate for the presidency of Algeria. He funded his own campaign and criss-crossed the country seeking nomination. Unfortunately, he only managed to win the support of 43,000 people, 17,000 short of the minimum number needed to be able to contest the election. Regina Keil-Sagawe spoke to the author about his campaign and about the situation in AlgeriaMore

Sign and logo of the Hakawati bookshop in Amman (photo: Claudia Mende)

The Hakawati bookshop for children and young people in Amman

Huge appetite for exciting stories

Since opening ten years ago, the Hakawati bookshop in Amman has become an institution in the Jordanian capital. Nowhere else in the city offers such a wealth of books for children and young people. Claudia Mende took a look around this fascinating shopMore

Arabic calligraphy (photo: Fotolia/Ivan Montero)

The Arab world

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Arabic: the last tie that binds

In terms of politics, economics, religion and culture, the paths of the Arab states diverge. The once proclaimed unity between them has been consigned to the history books. Only one thing still binds them together: the Arabic language. By Kersten KnippMore

Ibrahim Nehme, editor-in-chief of "The Outpost" (photo: Ieva Saudargaite)gaite

The Lebanese magazine "The Outpost"

Road map to an uncensored world

The pan-Arab magazine "The Outpost" is produced on a quarterly basis in Beirut. Only one year after its establishment, it is already attracting international attention. Astrid Kaminski took a closer look at the magazine and spoke to its editor-in-chief, Ibrahim Nehme, about its successMore

Screenshot with the logo of the Syrian Writers Association

Syria's opposition writers

Fighting oppression and censorship

Syrian writers in exile have founded a new association. Their aim is to continue their country's rich literary tradition and to use the pen to fight for political and cultural change and freedom of speech in Syria. By Joseph CroitoruMore

Cover of the book "Contemporary Artists – Arab World" (source: Steidl-Verlag)

Book review: "Contemporary Artists – Arab World"

Perceptions of reality

The book "Contemporary Artists – Arab World" shows how different Arab artists have reacted to the upheaval in their countries. By Kersten KnippMore

Ounsi el-Hage (photo: AFP/Getty Images)

Obituary: Lebanese poet Ounsi el-Hage

One of the founders of Arab surrealism

Last month, the Lebanese poet Ounsi el-Hage died at the age of 77. Alongside Adonis and Mahmoud Darwish, he was one of the pioneers of modern Arabic poetry. An obituary by Suleman TaufiqMore

Empty aisles and stands at the Cairo International Book Fair 2014 (photo: Amira El Ahl)

Cairo International Book Fair 2014

Reader, where art thou?

Many Egyptians are avoiding this year's Cairo International Book Fair for fear of new outbreaks of violence or terrorist attacks. Publishers are complaining about intolerable conditions and a lack of planning. By Amira El Ahl in CairoMore

Raja Alem (photo: Unionsverlag)

Interview with Saudi Arabian writer Raja Alem

"When I write I am free, like flying in my dreams"

The Saudi writer Raja Alem is an outstanding voice in Arabic literature. Zurich's Unionsverlag has just published the German translation of her novel "The Doves' Necklace", which won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2011. Ruth Reif spoke to Raja Alem about her work and influencesMore

Mahmud Darwish (photo: AP)

Recreating Palestine in Literature

A Nation Crafted From Words

"We have a country made of words", reads a famous poem by the Palestinian writer Mahmud Darwish. In his essay, the well-known Jordanian journalist and literary scholar Fakhri Saleh explores the effect that the loss of homeland has had on Palestinian literature and self-perceptionMore

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