Rotten Evidence: Ahmed Naji’s Incarcerated Fiction

On July 25, 2019, ARC in collaboration with apexart hosted Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji, who was the 2016 winner of the PEN/Barbey Freedom To Write Award, for a lecture entitled “Rotten Evidence: Reading and Writing in Prison.” Naji was formerly sentenced to two years in prison when a literary magazine published a chapter of his novel. … Continue reading Rotten Evidence: Ahmed Naji’s Incarcerated Fiction

The PEN Ten Interview: Ahmed Naji on Language, Identity, and Writing in Exile

This interview was first published at: https://pen.org/ahmed-naji-pen-ten-interview/ By: Lily Philpott May 2, 2019 The PEN Ten is PEN America’s weekly interview series. This week Lily Philpott, Public Programs Manager at PEN America, speaks with Ahmed Naji, 2016 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award recipient and the author of three books: Rogers (2007), Seven Lessons Learned from Ahmed … Continue reading The PEN Ten Interview: Ahmed Naji on Language, Identity, and Writing in Exile

Nurturing Love in Prison ‎

When thrown into prison, you realize that the hustle and bustle, the friends, all the pomp and fanfare, everything that has ever surrounded you all disappear into thin air. Nothing remains. The beloveds, the mothers, and the wives are the only ones who continue to linger, persistent. Diligently visiting, preparing food, bringing clothes and socks, … Continue reading Nurturing Love in Prison ‎

Yasmine Seale: After the Revolution

 Was published first in: https://harpers.org/archive/2018/01/after-the-revolution-2/ Iwas in a classroom in Turkey recently, explaining the word utopia. From u and topos: “no-place,” possibly a pun on eu-topos, “good place.” See also: dystopia. That, too, is a place that doesn’t exist, but— “Oh,” someone interrupted, “it exists.” My students were Syrian refugees, and they were taking no lessons on where the border lay between the real and … Continue reading Yasmine Seale: After the Revolution

From Cairene Alleyways to European Festivals: The Journey of Mahraganat

Though its birth does not precede five years, Mahraganat music has surged into a phenomenon, invading Egypt’s sonic atmosphere and beyond. This phenomenon has crossed borders and seas and made it into the European and international acoustic vernacular. The adolescents who, five years ago, huddled in the streets of Matariya and Salam City on Cairo’s … Continue reading From Cairene Alleyways to European Festivals: The Journey of Mahraganat

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Fate of Revolutionary Art in Egypt

In 2003, French philosopher Alain Badiou gave for the first time his lecture entitled “Fifteen Theories on Contemporary Art” at New York’s Drawing Center. In his lecture, Badiou explains the determining features of contemporary art, including a definition of what he calls “non-imperial art.” Badiou bases his definition on Antonio Negri’s theory of Empire as … Continue reading Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Fate of Revolutionary Art in Egypt

A Sad Melody at the End of the Road

Published for the first time on the old blog at Aug. 2013 The time for retreat is past and all the chances to avoid this path have been burned up. The incendiary speeches are escalating from every side and are morphing from incitement to war speeches. The television stations put up the slogan “Egypt is … Continue reading A Sad Melody at the End of the Road