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Poetry

Flower Revolution

Khet Mar (born 1969) is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and essayist. As a twenty-two-year-old university student, she was arrested for her political activism, tortured, and sentenced to ten...

Text: Khet Mar October 01 2021
Article

Crisis and Unrepresentability

PEN/Opp publishes “Crisis and unrepresentability” – a new written lecture by the Syrian author, thinker and the Tucholsky Prize winner Yassin Al-Haj Saleh. The lecture was previously presented in...

Text: Yassin Al-Haj Saleh September 10 2021
Article

The International and Constitutional Lebanese Entity

The Lebanese paradox can be formulated as follows: while the Lebanese idea of an independent state, recognised and proclaimed by all its citizens, has expanded and survived a terrible war, the...

Text: Farès Sassine September 03 2021
Article

Lebanon and Freedom of Speech

In this article, the Lebanese author and lawyer Alexandre Najjar shortly explains the historical significance of Lebanese freedom of expression for the Arab world and the challenges it is facing today...

Text: Alexandre Najjar August 20 2021
Article

Fragments of a Grieving Memory

Following the catastrophic explosion in the port of Beirut on August 4 last year, writing became impossible for the Lebanese writer Najwa Barakat. Now that she is attempting to get back to her writing...

Text: Najwa Barakat August 13 2021
Article

To visit Lebanon after a revolution, explosion and collapse.

Today it is exactly one year since the port explosion in Beirut occurred. Over 200 people died and as many became homeless. PEN/Opp asked Bissane El-Cheikh, a respected Lebanese journalist, to write a...

Text: Bissane El-Cheikh August 04 2021
Article

Prose Poem in Arabic and Jordanian Poetry

Jordan is the country where the Arab Spring did not take place. The Hashemite Kingdom has survived and the regime remains stable. Maha Alautoom, a Jordanian poet and academic (born 1973), claims in...

Text: Maha Alautoom May 19 2021
Article

Eros as Activist

The task of the translator is to facilitate the love between the original and its shadow, says Gayatri Spivak. The poet and translator Helena Boberg (b. 1974) in this essay discusses the role of...

Text: Helena Boberg April 28 2021
Article

A portrait of the fugitive in his shelter

In this text, the pseudonym Jafaar looks back from his European life in exile on his and other dissidents' experiences of arrests and torture from Egyptian prisons. The notes are divided by colours...

Text: Jafaar April 14 2021
Article

From Collective Intimacy to the Horizon of the Self

The poet and translator Samira Negrouche writes from within Algeria as a country marked by grief, she keeps returning to this: the silence around the heritage, the lack of a cultural infrastructure...

Text: Samira Negrouche March 17 2021
Article

The ideal choice for a young Iraqi poet

“When life finally reached us / I was inside a coffin running around,” writes the Iraqi poet Ali Thareb in one of his early poems. Ali was born in 1988 in the city of Babil in Iraq. These lines...

Text: Ali Thareb March 10 2021
Article

National Allegories: The Case of Poet Abdel Wahab Latinos

Naljaa Altom is a Sudanese poet, writer, translator, academic, and intellectual activist. She was born in Khartoum in 1975 and since a few years back she lives in Sweden as a dissident. She also...

Text: Najlaa Eltom March 03 2021

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