Maria Avino; Ada Barbaro; Monica Ruocco (a cura di), Qamariyyāt: Oltre ogni frontiera tra letteratura e traduzione. Studi in onore di Isabella Camera d’Afflitto

in La rivista di Arablit, a. XI, n. 21-22, giugno-dicembre 2021, pp. 115-123.

Thirty-two contributions from nine countries in four languages: this is the impressive homage offered to Professor Isabella Camera d’Afflitto, foundress of “La rivista di Arablit”, by friends, colleagues and former students. After the editors’ preface [pp. vii-xi], Professor Daniela Amaldi, a friend from student days, opens the volume with a translation of a poem by Maḥmūd Darwīš [p. xii]. A fifteen-page long bio-bibliographical presentation of the ustāḏah’s teaching and research, the distinctions she has received and her publications precedes the articles proper [pp. xiii-xxviii].
The editors have understandably decided to present these articles, which cover a very wide range of subjects, according to the alphabetical order of their authors’ names. By contrast, your reviewer has approached the individual contributions according to disciplines and themes, seeking where possible to bring them into dialogue with each other.
The earliest Arabic texts treated in Qamariyyāt, as indeed in histories of Arabic literature, are pre-Islamic poems. Luca D’Anna (Agreement Patterns with Plural Controllers in the Pre-Islamic Mu‘allaqāt [pp. 131-150]) approaches them as linguistic documents, showing how the agreement system in them shows much more variation than became the norm in Classical Arabic, whether rational or non-rational controllers are concerned. It displays certain similarities with agreement patterns in contemporary dialects, which supports the view that these dialects developed out of pre-Classical rather than Classical Arabic. A second linguistics paper, Giuliano Mion’s Arabografie, arabofonie, autotraduzioni. Ricognizioni linguistico-letterarie [pp. 377-390], takes as its starting-point the complex linguistic situation in the Arab world and examines cases of authors translating themselves from one variety of Arabic to another, or from Arabic to another language (or vice versa). The hypotheses advanced certainly do not lack validity, but as more research is done on texts of the post-classical period, it becomes clear that “middle Arabic” possesses a variety of registers, and some authors of the Mamluk and Ottoman periods modulate from a more classical to a more colloquial register as an organist moves from one manual to another, possibly without much conscious reflection. In his conclusion, Mion envisages in the future a dizzying panorama of emigrant and electronic forms of writing, innovating in style and register.
In Calvino arabo e persiano: una prima ricognizione [pp. 91-119], Mario Casari first documents the reception in Arabic and Persian of one of the greatest 20th-century Italian authors, who had a marked interest in fables and narrative structures and techniques. This quality struck a profound chord with his Middle Eastern readers, as did his existential drive to portray the complete human being in his writing. Casari then quotes passages from Arabic and Persian versions of texts by Calvino produced by experienced translators directly from Italian. In their renderings they offer instances of acculturation (understood as conscious modifications of the text) or incomprehension (such as omissions or simplifications of untranslatable terms). Casari goes on to raise the question of (self)censure in the Persian translation and also of additions to emphasize what the translator perceives as Calvino’s meaning. Stephan Guth’s contribution addresses translation in the other direction, from Arabic to a European language. He introduces and then renders into English the preface to one of the earliest Egyptian collections of short stories in ‘Īsà ‘Ubayd’s Programmatic Preface to “Miss Ihsan”, a Manifesto of Early adab qawmī – Introduction and Translation [pp. 293-315]. His carefully annotated translation brings out both the powerful drive to create a national literature and the fluidity of certain terms in this early stage of reflection on what such a literature should consist of.
Consciously or not, researchers on modern Arabic literature are influenced by the concept of canon formulated for the texts they study. Gonzalo Fernández Parrilla’s Indagaciones en el proceso de formación del canon de la literatura árabe: las historias de la literatura árabe [pp. 235-262] addresses a fundamental issue in examining how the conventional history of modern Arabic literature was developed, first by Orientalists and then by thinkers and writers in Beirut and Cairo. He brings out the great contribution of Louis Cheikho and especially Ǧūrǧī Zaydān in forming the canon, while rightly calling into question their periodisation and their focus on, or neglect of, regions and religious groups1. He notes how the concept of nahḍah (risorgimento) and the date of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt as the beginning of modern Arabic literature, for long accepted as givens, are now being examined critically2. Arturo Monaco’s The Beginning of the New Age in Syro-Lebanese Poetry: the Case of the Revue al-Qīṯārah (The Lyre 1946-47) [pp. 391-405] is not only valuable in itself, situating this little-known Syrian literary journal in the context of the development of Arabic poetry and literary journals especially in Syria and Lebanon after WWII. It also implies that the canonical focus on developments in Egypt, in this case exemplified by the magazine “Apollo” (1932-1934), needs to be widened to take account of comparable developments in other literary scenes. An inclusive approach sensitive to the experiments in different parts of the Arab world is called for3. Fernanda Fischione’s Beyond the Myth of Inter-Arab Solidarity: Mashreq/Maghreb Interactions in Two Contemporary Jordanian Novels [pp. 263-278] is an interesting example of such an approach. While the literary scene in Jordan is customarily regarded as peripheral to Arabic literature in general, these novels treat issues of concern to the whole Arab world: inter-Arab relations, cultural hegemony expressed chiefly through language, and the cover of pan-Arab solidarity to further a domestic political agenda.
Morocco scores higher than Jordan in this volume for the attention its writers receive. With al-Riḥlah al-sifāriyyah in Marocco. Il viaggio in Europa del kātib Idrīs al-Ǧu‘aydī [pp. 11-38] Maria Avino presents a late 19th-century account of a Moroccan diplomatic mission to France, Belgium, England and Italy. Her sensitive discussion brings out how receptive the account’s author, the secretary Idrīs al-Ǧu‘aydī, was to what he saw in Europe and how free he was of stereotypes. She compares this text with the Egyptian al-Ṭahṭāwī’s memoir of the five years he spent in Paris and with other 19th-century Moroccan travel accounts. But it is probably the view of the nahḍah as marking a cesura which has prevented her from looking at accounts of earlier Moroccan diplomatic missions to different European countries. Between 1600 and 1800 four Moroccan envoys visited Europe and recorded their experiences, and al-Ǧu‘aydī may well have read some of these texts4. A very different Moroccan production is the recent detective novel examined by Angela Daiana Langone in Mīlūdī Ḥamdūšī e l’elogio della ragione [pp. 337-346]. Here an upright investigator’s scientific approach and methodical rationality, inspired by Ḥamdūšī’s own experience as a police commissioner, contrast sharply with the words and deeds of politicians – and criminals. A possible comparison between Ḥamdūšī and Leonardo Sciascia suggests itself.
Another contribution to the growing genre of detective novels in Arabic is Ṭawq al-ḥamām by the Saudi Arabian Raǧā ‘Ālim (Raja Alem). Richard van Leeuwen’s Intertextuality in Raja Alem’s The Dove’s Necklace [pp. 489-506] presents the whodunnit plot and then proceeds to bring out convincing parallels between this complex work and Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ’s Zuqāq al-midaqq (Midaqq Alley, 1947), Orhan Pamuk’s Kara ketap (The Black Book, 1990) and D.H. Lawrence’s Women in Love (1920). He shows how all of them are responses to rapid and profound transformations in their societies; in addition, the characters in the Turkish, English and Saudi novels express a sense of loss of identity in the face of ongoing destruction and reconstruction of their worlds. As the title of Simone Sibilio’s contribution, Sulla vetta del Kilimangiaro con Ibrāhīm Naṣrallāh. Dovere di testimonianza e intertestualità in un nuovo “atto” della commedia palestinese (al-Malhāh al-filasṭīniyyah) [pp. 463-488], indicates, intertextuality is also a prominent feature of Arwāḥ Kilīmanǧārū (The Spirits of Kilimanjaro). With this book, whose subject is the ascent of Kilimanjaro by two amputated Palestinian teenagers and an international group of volunteers in 2014, the author has created a hybrid text, part novel, part riḥlah (travel account)5, adding to his fresco of Palestinian history with a reflection on the current (mid-2010s) situation in the Occupied Territories. Young Palestinian victims of Israeli military violence (two in reality, three in the novel) and their companions, few of whom have mountaineering experience, rise to a mighty challenge and succeed where Harry, the central character of Hemingway’s The Snows of Kilimanjaro, fails and dies. Naṣrallāh has included an American writer, Hārī, in the team of victorious climbers, which offers a rich source of allusions and ironic contrasts to Hemingway’s story.
Children and adventures of a very different kind are featured in Alessandro Buontempo’s Not so Innocent Readings: Social and Political Anxieties on Postcolonial Egyptian Youth in the Mystery Series al-Muġāmirūn al-Ḫamsah [pp. 69-90]. This series started as a translation of Enid Blyton’s successful Famous Find-Outers series, which was conceived for middle-class English children in the late 1940s, and later spawned dozens of original works. Examining the stories as examples of both popular literature and children’s literature, Buontempo characterizes them as nationalist, moralizing and socio-politically normalizing. Even in the war situation of October 1973, the children, who live in Ma‘ādī (where else!), are inspired only by enthusiasm.
This volume would not be complete without some discussion of the Egyptian maestro Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ (1911-2006) and Yūsuf Idrīs (1927-1991). Roger Allen (Short Story as Parable: Two Examples by Yūsuf Idrīs [pp. 3-10]) and Sobhi Boustani (Le silence eloquent dans la nouvelle Bayt min Laḥm de Yūsuf Idrīs [pp. 61-68]) discuss different examples of Idrīs’s stories. Allen presents two of his minimalist pieces from the 1960s, al-Martabah al-muqa‘‘arah (The Concave Mattress) and al-‘Uṣfūr wa ’l-silk (The Bird on the Telephone Wire), to show how apparently simple situations imaginatively presented can convey universal significations. Hence Allen’s qualifying them as “parables.” Boustani subjects a longer story, Bayt min laḥm (A House of Flesh, 1971), to a close reading, focusing on the characters, the space and key elements: silence; light and darkness; the ring and the finger. Bringing out Idrīs’s subtle artistry, he argues that the house symbolizes Egyptian society with its non-dits and its sexual frustrations. In Naǧīb Maḥfūẓ’s First Love and Its Reflections in His Fiction [pp. 207-215], Rasheed El Enany relates Maḥfūẓ’s memories of his first falling in love at the age of 13 with a girl of 20 whom he saw from afar to several of his works in which a similar relationship is explored. In each case a shy middle-class boy or young man falls for a somewhat older aristocratic woman; the best example is Kamāl ‘Abd al-Ǧawwād’s falling for ‘Ā’idah Šaddād in the Trilogy. El Enany traces how this experience of unrequited love stayed with Maḥfūẓ throughout his writings, and how he strove for a philosophical understanding of it.
Mythology occupies a prominent place in some contributions. Hartmut Fähndrich’s Fratricide in the Desert. Cain and Abel in Ibrahim al-Koni’s Novels [pp. 217-233] juxtaposes the story of Cain and Abel as told in Genesis and the Qur’an with the interpretation of it in the Libyan writer’s Nazīf al-ḥaǧar (The Bleeding Stone) and subsequent novels. In Ibrāhīm al-Kūnī’s view, the confrontation between the sedentary and nomadic ways of life which the two brothers represent seems eternal and tends to end in the elimination of the nomads. For L’acqua fra simbolismo e valore mitologico in Ǧabrā Ibrāhīm Ǧabrā, Ǧurǧ Sālim e Ḥalīm Barakāt [pp. 441-463], an exploration of the meaning of water in three well-contrasted Syro-Palestinian texts, Alma Salem draws on Gaston Bachelard’s study of the creative imagination and the significations of water in it as well as on Near Eastern mythology. In Ǧabrā Ibrāhīm Ǧabrā’s autobiographical al-Bi’r al-ūlà (The First Well) the well links the writer to Palestine and childhood, and it also reflects the sky. Ǧurǧ Sālim’s Ḥikāyat al-ẓami’ al-qadīm (Story of the Ancient Thirst) depicts wells run dry, drought and the journey to find water in an existential search for life and love. The heroine of Ḥalīm Barakāt’s Inānah wa ’l-nahr (Inānah and the River) abandons her given name, Īmān, for Inānah, almost the same name as Innānā, the Sumerian goddess of love, fertility and war. Her rebellion against social constraints coincides with torrential rain and floods. This is a thought-provoking triptych. Ada Barbaro’s Message in a Bottle: tra realismo magico e memoria, una metafora di appropriazione dell’universo femminile in un romanzo iracheno [pp. 39-60] offers a convincing analysis of Salīm Maṭar’s Imra’at al-qārūrah (The Woman of the Flask). In this highly original novel the main character, in his flight from his country Iraq, takes with him a flask, an heirloom which turns out to contain an immortal woman, Hāǧir, the embodiment of the legends and history of Mesopotamia from Gilgamesh on. Out of the bottle, the woman and the hero make love, but she is in no way subordinate to him. Rather, the bottle is her feminine space and she herself is the memory of Iraq’s glorious past. Mythology here is combined with magic realism.
Fāṭimah, the heroine of al-Ḫibā’, the novel by Mīrāl al-Ṭaḥāwī which Mònica Rius-Piniés discusses in Sick Bodies, Sick Souls. The Importance of Affects in Miral al-Tahawy’s The Tent [pp. 411-426], could hardly be more different from Hāǧir. The daughter of an Egyptian Bedouin shaikhly family, she grows up in an enclosed world of women dominated by a brutal and sadistic grandmother. Using insights gained from the theory of affects, Rius-Piniés traces her struggle to escape from this suffocating environment by carefully mapping her relationships to humans, non-humans and the ǧinn of Bedouin folklore and the effects they have on her. Paola Viviani in Kurrāsāt Ǧamīlah Ṣabrī: i taccuini di una donna militante [pp. 507-524] also addresses the issue of Egyptian women’s emancipation but from another angle, that of the notebooks in which Ǧamīlah Ṣabrī (1887-1962) recorded her life and reflections. A member of the Turco-Egyptian upper class, she sought to better the lives of her poorer sisters as part of the Egyptian nationalist struggle, but apparently, she did not develop any wider reflection on economic and social structures. Viviani, however, goes less into the contents of the notebooks and how they relate to the movement for women’s emancipation at the time than into Ṣabrī’s interruption of her writing, the parallels between this and other Egyptian writerly silences and the wider political developments in Egypt in the mid-20th century6. Mariangela Masullo addresses a much profounder reflection on women’s emancipation in al-Mar’ah bayna al-ṭarafayn. Una riflessione di Nāzik al-Malā’ikah sulle donne tra passività ed etica [pp. 353-376]. The famous poetess Nāzik al-Malā’ikah (1923-2007), who had studied in Iraq and the US, in two essays developed an impressive philosophical, sociological and political critique of the place of women in Iraqi society. She was influenced by existentialism, socialism and the struggle for independence, and the opposition between the terms “passivity” and “ethics” in the title of one of her essays reflects the originality of her thinking. As Masullo shows, some of the issues Nāzik raised in the early 1950s, such as recognizing the value of women’s domestic work, are still around, and not just in Iraq.
In Wardah, guerillera et femme. Un idéal de liberté et d’égalité [pp. 167-180], Laurence Denooz provides a lucid analysis of one of Ṣun‘ Allāh Ibrāhīm’s (1937) more recent novels, Wardah (2000), which portrays a woman guerilla engaged in the struggle for Dhofari independence from the Sultanate of Oman (1963-1976). As a student in Beirut, Wardah has adopted revolutionary Marxist ideas and is willing to sacrifice her personal projects and desires for the collective good. But the longer she is engaged in the Dhofari struggle, the more she becomes disillusioned about the possibility of achieving real change through it. Ibrāhīm distances himself here from the revolutionary Marxism of his youth without abandoning the ideals of freedom and equality which underly all his work. The Syrian playwright Sa‘d Allāh Wannūs (1941-1997) shared convictions similar to those of his contemporary Ibrāhīm. Discussing Wannūs’s little-known first play, al-Ḥayāh abadan! (Life for Ever!) and his early articles in La vita, sempre! Gli esordi del drammaturgo siriano Sa‘d Allāh Wannūs [pp. 427-439], Monica Ruocco relates them to his early existentialist and nationalist ideals, but shows how under the influence of the break-up of the union between Syria and Egypt (1961) he embarked on a process of critical reflection about the political course of the Arab world, without abandoning his revolutionary and left-wing beliefs.
The Arab Spring and its aftermath cast a shadow over several contributions. Francesco De Angelis examines a Yemeni novel set in the 1990s, Qahwà amīrikiyyah (American Coffee, 2007), in Il romanzo yemenita come testimonianza del dissenso: Qahwà amīrikiyyah di Aḥmad Zayn [pp. 151-166]. He proposes a reading of it on three levels, one focusing on the events of the novel and their international context, another on the portrayal of Yemeni every-day life, and the third on the main character seen as a representative of Yemeni youth. For De Angelis this novel gives a foretaste of the events which started in 2011. Nasser Ismail’s La narrativa egiziana post 2011: un mondo di dispotismo e “distopismo” [pp. 317-336], having noted the publication of post-2011 dystopias by prominent writers in different Arab countries, examines four Egyptian examples. ‘Izz al-Dīn Šikrī Fišīr’s (1966) Bāb al-ḫurūğ (The Exit, 2012) was first considered a dystopia but is now read as a novel anticipating the post-2013 situation; Basmah ‘Abd al-‘Azīz’s (1976) al-Ṭābūr (The Queue, 2013) is a Kafkaesque depiction of state repression and the indifference of citizens; Nā’il al-Ṭūḫī’s (1978) Nisā’ al-Karantīnā (The Women of Karantina, 2013) celebrates the criminal underworld with linguistic verve; Muḥammad Rabī‘’s (1978) ‘Uṭārid (Mercury, 2014) looks back from 2025 on an invasion, resistance and the regime’s merciless counter-revolutionary campaign. Ismail sees these novels with their denunciation of political and social conditions as one of the few remaining monuments in Egypt to the Arab Spring. As an introduction to her discussion of a recent Syrian short story collection, Rivoluzione rubata: la guerra siriana in Ṭifl al-tuffāḥ di Hayfā’ Bīṭār [pp. 525-544], Patrizia Zanelli sketches this Syrian writer’s previous production. She then examines the tragic experience of women and especially children as depicted in this collection and the women’s refusal of the violence practiced by the regime. She notes that Bīṭār has abandoned her previous caution in addressing sensitive political and social subjects and seeks with her writing to awaken and encourage human solidarity in her country. In one of the rare contributions in the volume treating poetry as literature, Yves Gonzalez-Quijano’s Poètes délinquants du Golfe au temps du tout numérique [pp. 279-292] affirms the continuing importance of poetry in the Arab world and its capacity to adapt to new forms of communication, notably TV series and social media. The Gulf countries are now creators as well as consumers of literature, but especially since 2011 their poets have been victims of severe repression. Gonzalez-Quijano presents six cases drawn from different countries, quoting from the poets’ work and indicating the price they have paid in fines, imprisonment or exile.
The absence of freedom of speech has driven many Arab writers, poets and others, to seek refuge abroad, generally in Europe. Elvira Diana in Letteratura irachena d’esilio: la scrittura di Muḥsin al-Ramlī [pp. 181-206] starts with a list of Iraqi writers in exile7, before turning to Muḥsin al-Ramlī (1967), a novelist, dramatist, translator and academic living in Madrid. She focusses on his three novels, which cover the Iran-Iraq war, the invasion of Kuwait and its aftermath up to the US invasion of Iraq. They explore the destinies of members of different generations of families, some of whom support the dictator out of conviction or interest, while others seek freedom, living in exile but with their heart still in their country. One of al-Ramlī’s main aims is to warn his readers not to idealize Saddam’s Iraq, however violent and cruel its subsequent history has been.
al-Ramlī and intellectuals of Muslim origin like him, who have settled in Europe because they desire and support freedom of expression, have no place in the world of the novel discussed in Samuela Pagani’s brief article Sottomissione di Michel Houellebecq, o della resa degli universitari [pp. 407-410]. She argues that when Houellebecq depicts an Islamist take-over of France and the attraction of Islamist ideology for European intellectuals in his novel Soumission (2015), he is inviting the thoughtful reader to reconsider the use in the media of the opposition between “Islam” and “the West”. If the author had distanced himself from his main character, an aging, disillusioned, macho heavy drinker obsessed with sex, this might be true. But he has not. And the thoughtful reader will wonder at the author’s disconnect from social and political reality; over against Houellebecq’s fantasized prediction of an Islamist take-over stands the real suppression of signs of Islam in the public space, such as the Swiss bans on the construction of minarets (2009) and just recently on wearing the burqa.
A contrasting view of the Mediterranean as a space not of confrontation or political expansion but of encounter and dialogue is the subject of Francesca Maria Corrao’s La Méditerranée dans la poétique de Muḥammad Bannīs : un regard italien [pp. 121-130]. Corrao brings together texts by Bannīs (1948) in prose and poetry illustrating his vision of Mediterranean poetry as an expression of diversity and humanism, nourished by a rich history of exchanges between the two shores. At the same time, he criticizes the ethnocentrism which he sees as often prevailing on the northern shore, for he is a firm believer in dialogue with the Other.
In Testimonianza su un contributo giornalistico [pp. 347-351] Hussein Mahmoud presents a little-known contribution by the professoressa to communication across the Mediterranean. These are articles, published regularly in the Qatari “Maǧallat al-Dūḥah” from 2011 to 2016, in which she treats aspects of Italian affairs likely to interest Arab readers, Italian views of events in the Arab world and of course literature, Italian and Arabic. The phenomenon of migration from the Arab world and beyond to Italy, the gateway to Europe, is a prominent theme in them. Taken together, these contributions were a valuable transcultural instrument, expressing her profound commitment to dialogue and bridge-building.
This collection of articles bears witness to the qualities of Isabella Camera d’Afflitto as a researcher, teacher, committed citizen and human being. It is also evidence of the richness and variety of modern Arabic literature and culture, the study of which she has done so much to develop in Italy and more generally in Europe. Playing on her name, the editors chose Qamariyyāt as a title for this volume. An alternative vowelling gives Qumriyyāt, cooing of doves. It is with the image of a chorus of doves serenading Isabella that this review closes.

Hilary Kilpatrick

1 Not only the anonymous Naǧafī reviewer in “al-‘Irfān” (IV, May 1912) but also Anastās Mārī al-Karmalī/al-Kirmilī (his own spelling of the name) in “Luġat al-‘arab” (August 1913) pointed out Zaydān’s failure to mention the Šī‘ī contribution to Arabic literature and thought. It is no accident that they were both Iraqis.
2 A preliminary sketch of the political, cultural and literary situation just before the nahḍah is: Hilary Kilpatrick; Farouk Mardam-Bey, L’état des lieux dans le monde arabe à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, which forms the introductory chapter of Histoire de la littérature arabe moderne. Tome I 1800-1945, Sous la direction de Boutros Hallaq; Heidi Toelle, Actes Sud, Arles 2007, pp. 33-70.
3 Polish Arabists were probably the pioneers in widening geographical perspectives with their two-volume history of modern and contemporary Arabic literature in the Mašriq and the Maġrib: J. Bielawski; K. Skarżyńska-Bocheńska; J. Jasińska, Nowa i współczesna literatura arabska 19 i 20 w., Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warsaw 1978; J. Bielawski; J. Kozłowska; E. Machut-Mendecka; K. Skarżyńska Bocheńska, Nowa i współczesna literatura arabska 19 i 20 w.: literatura arabskiego Maghrebu, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warsaw 1989.
See e.g. In the Lands of the Christians: Arabic Travel Writing in the Seventeenth Century, Edited and translated by Nabil Matar, Routledge, New York-London 2003; Nabil Matar, Europe Through Arab Eyes, 15781727, Columbia University Press, New York 2008; N. Paradela, El otro laberinto español. Viajeros Árabes a España entre el siglo XVII y 1936, Siglo XXI de España Editores, S.A., Madrid 2005.
5  The term riḥlah covers a wider range of journeys in the pre-nahḍah period than is indicated here. For a survey of 18th-century travelogues see R. Elger, Arabic Travelogues from the Mashrek 1700-1834. A Preliminary Survey of the Genre’s Development, in Crossing and Passages in Genre and Culture, Hg. von Ch. Szyska; F. Pannewick, Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden 2003, pp. 27-40. Elger has published extensively on pre-nahḍah riḥlahs in German.
6 Some of the questions Viviani asks about Ṣabrī’s background and career may find answers in Marilyn Booth’s May Her Likes be Multiplied. Biography and Gender Politics in Egypt, University of California Press, Berkeley 2001.
7 Apart from Salīm Maṭar (for whom see Ada Barbaro’s contribution here), Rodaan al-Galidi (Raḍwān al-Ḫālidī), a prize-winning poet, novelist and essayist living in Holland and writing in Dutch, can be added to this list.

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Hilary Kilpatrick |