From Cairo to Damascus and from Tunisia to Bahrain, Layla Al-Zubaidi and Matthew Cassel have brought together some of the most exciting new writing born out of revolution in the Arab world. This is a remarkable collection of testimony, entirely composed by participants in, and witnesses to, the profound changes shaking their region. Situated between past, present and future – in a space where the personal and the political collide – these voices are part of an ongoing process, one that is at once hopeful and heartbreaking. Unique amongst material emanating from and about the convulsions in the Arab Middle East, these creative and original writers speak of history, determination and struggle, as well as of political and poetic engagement with questions of identity and activism. This book gives a moving and inspiring insight into the Arab revolutions and uprisings: why they are happening and what might come next.
Table of Contents
Introduction by Samar Yazbek
1. Greetings to the Dawn: Living through the Bittersweet Revolution (Tunisia) by Malek Sghiri
2. Cairo, City in Waiting (Egypt) by Yasmine El Rashidi
3. Bayou and Laila (Libya) by Mohamed Mesrati
4. We Are Not Swallows (Algeria) by Ghania Mouffok
5. The Resistance: Armed with Words (Yemen) by Jamal Jubran
6. Coming Down from the Tower (Bahrain) by Ali Aldairy
7. Wishful Thinking (Saudi Arabia) by Safa Al Ahmad
8. And the Demonstrations Go On: Diary of an Unfinished Revolution (Syria) by Khawla Dunia
About the Editors
Matthew Cassel is a journalist and photographer covering the Middle East for Al Jazeera English. Cassel first learned about the region through his human rights and media work in Palestinian refugee camps. Over the past decade he has worked in the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain and elsewhere. Formerly Assistant Editor of the The Electronic Intifada online journal, he is connected to activists, journalists, writers, artists and others at the forefront of the movement for change in the region.
Nemonie Craven Roderick is a literary agent. She has contributed to Sight & Sound, Roads & Kingdoms and The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Literary and Cultural Theory, amongst other publications.
Layla Al-Zubaidi is Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in South Africa, and was previously based in Beirut and Ramallah. She has published on cultural resistance and freedom of expression, and is co-editor of Democratic Transition in the Middle East: Unmaking Power (Routledge, 2012). She is also on the Executive Committee of Freemuse — World Forum on Music and Censorship.