“One gets very impressed by the forms in Iranian architecture. One of the greatest messages is the sequence of volumes: how an outdoor space, say, can give you an impression of enclosure, and then you come to a smaller space, or a lower or higher space, the interrelations of different volumes and proportions — the time it takes to walk through, the amount of light you experience as you pass…”
The Reign of Winter
When the sheets are all sewn together, the work will represent an unlikely, if not maudlin, take on this exploding piñata of privilege.
Tongues: Glossolalia going viral
Amid the rising, falling tide of gobbledygook the preacher would suddenly start to shout in Somali.
The Imaginary Elsewhere: How not to think about diasporic art
The political import of these works has less to do with representation than with the pleasures and perils of storytelling, the effort to recast the everyday into mythical structures that speak to universal desires.
Aliens: The Arabs of Bosnia and the War on Terror
Banners like Non-Alignment and Islam can be taken down and rolled up as circumstances dictate, but people often get left behind.
Gulfiwood: Culture and society in South Asian Arabia
There is a body of cinema about life in the Gulf, that is consumed by the majority of the population of the Gulf, that requires no special pleading or state subsidy to exist — the popular culture of the Arab working class, most of whom happen to be Indian.
Model UNESCO: A Roundtable: With Sarah Rifky, Nadia Ayari, Annabel Daou, Ranya Husami, and Mahmoud Khaled
American participation in the International Cairo Biennale has been wrongheadedly PC, expensive, beautiful, boring, and/or outright controversial.
Imprisoned Airs: A conversation with Salar Abdoh
In life, Reza Abdoh inspired all manner of fantastical tales.
Haj to Utopia
They were drawn from a seemingly incoherent mix of -isms: pan-Islamism, Irish republicanism and Bolshevism.
In 2006, I was asked to address an audience in Tehran on the novels of Orhan Pamuk.
Christopher de Bellaigue
Notes on a Century
Alongside these formidable accomplishments, there is a Bernard Lewis who is reviled by leftish academia and who is surrounded by dubious sycophants.
Issandr El Amrani
Jumana Manna: The apparatus of the game
Here, the touch of her swim coach’s hand can stand in for all the sexual slippage of a woman coming of age in water.
A Very Still Life: Jack Kevorkian and the muse of genocide
Quite at home in the museum, the severed head of a young woman dangles by her hair a few feet from the reception desk.
Anna Della Subin
Aleph Null: Shridhar Bapat’s undergrounds
People remember Shridhar with regret because that’s how they remember themselves — their disillusionments and disappointments, their selling out or failing to sell, their settling down and surviving.
“We went on hajj soon after we arrived in Saudi, and I was groped beside the Kaaba, as I was kissing the black stone — the heavenly white stone that was tainted black by the sins of humanity.”
Yasmine El Rashidi
Monocle #49: SOFT POWER IN ITS OWN 555 WORDS
The world’s only superpower is public opinion.
Lawrence Abu Hamdan: Uneasy listening
In December of 1985, James Vance and Raymond Belknap, age twenty and eighteen, respectively, shot themselves in the face after many hours of beer drinking and dope smoking in a church parking lot in the town of Sparks, Nevada.
Franziska Pierwoss: Car talk
The funny thing about Franziska Pierwoss is that despite spending much of the past six months immersed in the intricacies of Beiruti car culture — from body kits and butterfly doors to the ups and downs of drifting — she doesn’t actually know how to drive.
The Angry, Angry Arab
As’ad AbuKhalil is a serious-minded political scientist and an erudite commentator on Middle Eastern politics.
Babak Radboy, E.P. Licursi
The Marble Lawn
I was seven when my father left for Saudi Arabia.
Yasmine El Rashidi