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Banipal Magazine - Issue 27

Banipal Magazine - Issue 27

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Farewell, Naguib Mahfouz! The issue opens with tributes to the “writer of the world”, the late Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, by Banipal’s editor and contributing editors Roger Allen and Peter Clark. Further on in the issue, the well-known Iraqi author Jalil al-Qaisi is remembered by Fadhil al-Azzawi.

Fourteen fiction writers dominate this issue, among them ten women authors. Basra is the setting for two disturbing but gripping stories by Iraqi author Luay Hamza Abbas. From Syria, three novelists writing completely different genres of novels: Salim Barakat with mysterious, highly inventive place-names and characters that take the reader into a world of mythology and legend, Nabil Sulaiman with a modern setting and topical references, for instance to Michael Moore and George, in a novel designed to make the reader think; and Nihad Sirees’s A State of Passion – an enthralling saga of life among the marginalised in 1930s Syria. There’s an excerpt from Lebananese author Alawiyah Sobh’s acclaimed novel Dunya, and a rich file of diverse short stories – by Salwa Bakr and Sahar Tawfiq from Egypt, Salima Salih from Iraq, Rabia Raihane from Morocco, Hayet Raies from Tunisia, Fatma Yousif al-Ali from Kuwait, and last but not least Ghalia Kabbani from Syria.

The two poets in the issue each present three poems, and then it is on to the TRAVELLING TALE, which is an unusual and profoundly thoughtful view of Beirut through the eyes of Youssef Rakha, a young Egyptian writer and journalist visiting the war-ridden city for the first time, with excerpts from his work Beirut shi Mahal [Beirut, Some Place], which was nominated for the Lettre Ulysses Art of Reportage Prize 2006.

INTERVIEW WITH AN EDITOR is with Brian Whitaker, the Guardian newspaper’s Middle East editor, in his capacity of founder editor of the Arab Gateway website, an entirely altruistic and objective source of information about the Arab world. Stephen Watts begins a regular review of poetry in translation with Mahmoud Darwish’s Why Did you Leave the Horse alone? and the long-awaited Lebanon: Poems of Love and War by Nadia Tuéni. Other reviews in include Naguib Mahfouz’s Ancient Egyptian Tales, and two novels by Egyptian author Ibrahim Aslan.

PLUS PHOTO-REPORTS of the Award of the Banipal Arabic Literary Translation Prize, with those for French, German, Italian, Spanish and Swedish; the Banipal Live 2006 Tour and the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Banipal No. 27, Autumn/Winter 2007


Cover artist: Nabil Abu Hamad

Editorial – Farewell, Naguib Mahfouz

Luay Hamza Abbas Two short stories Closing his Eyes and A Much-travelled Man
Alawiya Sobh Excerpt from the novel Dunya
Rabia Raihane A short story The Señora
Salim Barakat Excerpt from the novel Hydrahodahose Caves
introduced by Issa J. boullata
Salwa Bakr A short story The River Nile
Fadwa al-Qasem Two short stories My Shirt and The Loop
Nabil Sulaiman “Dance of the Wicker Basket”
– an excerpt from the novel Hypostases of Day and Night
Fatma Yousif al-Ali Two short stories
Nothing Shameful and A Feminine Ending
Sahar Tawfiq A short story Two Blue-Gum Trees in Giza
Hayet Raies A short story Azrael and the Author
Malika Moustadraf (1963–2006) A short story A Mere Difference
Ghalia Kabbani A short story A Cup of Tea with Mrs Robinson
Salima Salih Two short stories Forgiveness Tree and The Revenant
Nihad Sirees Excerpt from the novel A State of Passion
Lamia Makaddam: Three Poems
Firas Sulaiman: Three Poems

Youssef Rakha
Excerpts from Beirut shi Mahal, Beirut – Some Place

Brian Whitaker, editor of Arab Gateway,

Fadhil al-Azzawi remembers Jalil al-Qaisi (1936–2006)


Stephen Watts reviews poetry in translation
Why Did You Leave The Horse Alone? by Mahmoud Darwish
and Lebanon: Poems of Love and War by Nadia Tuéni

Peter Clark Voices from the Other World: Ancient Egyptian Tales
by Naguib Mahfouz

Peter Clark Abdelrahman Munif and Iraq by Maher Jarrar
Zuzana Kratka The Heron and Nile Sparrows by Ibrahim Aslan


Banipal Translation Prize – First Prizewinner
Banipal Live UK tour – 14-20 August
Leipzig: Adel Karasholi at 70
London: Mourid Barghouti Reading
Frankfurt: 2006 Book Fair, 3-8 October