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Michel Kilo and the weakening of nationalist sentiment
Michel Kilo and the weakening of nationalist sentiment | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanThe book, My exile in the prisons of Syrian Intelligence by Syrian poet Faraj Bayrakdar helps us imagine how Michel Kilo must spend his days and nights in the various jails and prisons that where Bayrakdar spent some 14 years of life.
Books from the Levant
Books from the Levant | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanIbis Editions is a small publishing house which translates poetry and other literary works from Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, French, German and other languages into English. Based in Jerusalem, Ibis draws together a group of writers and translators whom politics and market forces would normally keep far apart.
Human landscapes… a portrait of Sunay Akın
Human landscapes… a portrait of Sunay Akın | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanSunay Ak?n is a wonderful poet. Still like a child curious of everything, he is always ready to play with words, as well as with toys. He has thousands of them, and some are almost a hundred years old. Sunay Ak?n is the creator, director and main performer of one of the biggest toy museums. This is the only private museum in Turkey; it doesn’t belong to the State, to a foundation, nor to any big industrial group. The Toy Museum of Istanbul, “?stanbul Oyuncak Müzesi”, is set in a charming wooden house painted white. This typical cottage of the Asian shore, a Göztepe, facing the Princes’ Islands, is one of the rare survivors that escaped the cravings of real estate dealers.
New Women
New Women | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanMaltese literature has traditionally failed to “tell” the stories of “real” Maltese women. This is a serious lacuna because it is the vision of the writer which defamiliarizes habitualized sight and allows us to ‘know’ a community which is unable to know itself. Adrian Grima writes about how new Maltese prose is slowly but surely making amends.
Rakkmu, writing poetry to tell stories
Karsten Xuereb   

Rakkmu, writing poetry to tell stories | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanOn 1st March 2006 Adrian Grima launched his third collection of poetry, Rakkmu (embroidery), to an audience of readers, writers and friends at the St James Cavalier theatre-in-the-round in Valletta. Adrian finds that his poetry is too often seen in the light of his socially engaged commitments at the cost of not being read for the words and images and emotions it recalls and conjures up anew.

Gomorrah and Camorra
Gomorrah and Camorra | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanMuch has been written on the Camorra, and Roberto Saviano doesn’t make any especially groundbreaking revelations in his novel, so why its amazing success? Maybe because the young author always comes after the fact and knows how to negotiate subtly between the ebb and flow of the drama. It’s a thoughtful attitude that helps him develop concepts and ideas which offer a sophisticated critique of the ‘system.’ But most of all, by restoring the truth, he answers both a need for understanding that is born of the mass media’s constant urgency and a purely literary imperative: “we no longer need the words of journalists, but literary words, words that enter the injuries of reason. Reason is a wound; to enter it is a duty.”
Europe, a hopeless love? (2nd Part)
Europe, a hopeless love? (2nd Part) | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanHouse doors are always open in Istanbul. Journalists, comedians, writers, everyone welcomes you in their home, or waits for you in one of the innumerable cafes that uplift the city’s cultural life. Though most considerations are smeared by the bitterness of being left outside the door of Europe– this old lady who doesn’t want them, the hope to integrate the European space is not abandoned yet.
Publishing books I love
Publishing books I love | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanInterview with Sofiane Hadjaj, co-director of Barzakh Editions When Sofiane Hadjaj decided to launch his own publication house in Algeria, he was, "a little bit naive" as he puts it. How did he manage to publish the books he likes? How does he assess the cooperation with European institutions or Foundations? His answers are part of the larger framework of the “Mediterranean Reflection group” implemented by the ECF and co-published by Babelmed.
Naguib Mahfouz is the only difference
Naguib Mahfouz is the only difference | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanWhen, just a few days ago, I called my father to commiserate with him over the passing of Naguib Mahfouz, he said to me in a voice shot through with a tracery of hidden sadness: "For me, Naguib Mahfouz was the most sacred thing in the entire universe." A voice inside me couldn't help remarking that my father appeared more upset by Mahfouz's death than he was when his mother passed away.
Birds of Passage
Birds of Passage | babelmed | literature - poesy - books - mediterraneanBirds of Passage by Maltese-Australian author Lou Drofenik is a rare novel about Maltese migration to Australia, but it is also an equally rare account that celebrates, as the author puts it: “the resilience of Maltese and Gozitan women.”

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