Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Libya"

Awaiting a Poem

They await you: The new poem They await your downpour through my soul My hands shaping your features I stand with my heart agape To observe this desolate world As it falls into ruin Blood covers everything Prayers no longer know Where to go I await you I listen for your cautious footfall Yes The world has become a graveyard But the sun rises The breeze caresses a girl’s cheek The sea does not forsake its blue The swallows tell me of my childhood Hidden beneath their wings And...

From the Translator: Alessandro Spina’s Libyan Epic

Benghazi,sometime in 1979. Muammar Qaddafi begins tightening his grip on Libyan society: on the one hand, redistributing land and expropriating slum lords—largely benefitting average Libyans—while on the other, executing dissidents and creating a brutal police state. He also starts to target “foreign” entrepreneurs, among them a certain Basili Khuzam. In his early fifties, Khuzam spends most of his days running his father's textile factory, which is situated next...

from “Etenesh”

Image description

When we get to Tripoli, you're on your own.

Homeless Rats: A Parable for Postrevolution Libya

Libyan writer and diplomat Ahmed Ibrahim Fagih’s Homeless Rats is a quasi-fantastic historical novel that offers considerable insight into Libyan culture and geography, in particular that of the Western Jebel Nafusa, which played a key role in Gaddafi’s ouster. The plot revolves around the efforts of members of a displaced tribe from the town of Mizda (Fagih’s birthplace) to cope with severe drought in the late 1940s, just before Libya’s Independence in 1951,...

Founding Fathers

Author’s note: The Iraq in the novel is an imaginary Iraq, and I tried to use it as a symbol for all the Arab countries. Most of the characteristics of the four dictators in the novel are derived from different Arab dictators. The one who wants to modify the axis of the earth and organizes a world conference for that is clearly related to Gadhafi. Each one of them represents a certain type of dictator. “That’s really them! Who would have believed it?” Adil...

O My Libya

We’ll go with you wherever you may go. Our palm trees blossom from your secret springs. Your face redeems us. When Nowhere’s left for you we’ll take your place. You will always be us when nowhere’s left to go. The flower cranes its neck upon your door. Arrogance avoids your path. Nights frolic, their stars bright as suns. The Pleiades usher in the dawn where young girls weave green fields        for that which is to...

July 2011

Italian

Arabic

An Interview with Hisham Matar

Concern. I think that was what I craved. A warm and steady and unchangeable concern. In a time of blood and tears, in a Libya full of bruise-checkered and urine-stained men, urgent with want and longing for relief, I was the ridiculous child craving for concern. And although I didn't think of it then in these terms, my self-pity had soured into self-loathing. —Hisham Matar, In the Country of Men Hisham Matar was born in New York City in 1970 to Libyan parents and spent his...

The Men over the Hill

I was five years old and had just started school when one of my teachers discovered that I could not make out what was on the blackboard. The boy with whom I shared a desk whispered in my ear, "Your eyes are broken." During those early years, before the discrepancy was adjusted with spectacles, the sky was without definition, a high pale canvas that by night fell darkly. The sea was a murmuring landscape of color: when loud, it turned gray; when silent, its green turquoises and azure...

Preface to the Libya Issue of Words Without Borders, July 2006

When it comes to countries that have been locked away—or locked out of—the Western world, Westerners tend to believe that little happens there during the time that they are not paying attention. Like trees that fall in the middle of the forest without someone to witness them, third world countries like Libya must undergo some kind of comatose existence when the West stops looking at them, or so Westerners believe. The reader of these selections from Libya will quickly become...

Melting Sun

"Things fall apart," Tide not turning. Melting away profoundly In darkness The sun. And I, Like every other day A global world-sized wreck Glaring white, A hollowed art Flattened pastures, Facing an abandoned cave Where a tear is The only water Spilled into Emptiness. And I Said to be a big star Whom night made sunset Believe in So what? A mere light gleam Where fate Grins its last laugh? And I What if I had not been, My...

The Sultan’s Flotilla

In ages of old, Jalu was a port city. People called it the "jewel of the seas." Its waters teemed with the ships of pirates and traders. Caravans arrived at Jalu laden with elephant tusk; its markets were replete with spices, slaves, sandal-even Chinese porcelain. All of the people of Jalu lived like Sultans, except the Sultan himself, who was condemned to endure a bizarre sort of apocalypse, a living nightmare so awful, he couldn't bear to rest his head on his pillow or close his...

Terracina

"No, we can't do it with a military airplane because the commander of the base says he doesn't want trouble, but I think I found a solution. It's risky, but so is your situation." "Explain it to me." It hadn't been difficult to enter the base; they had recognized him right away. The difficult part was figuring out how to get out. Since his arrival, Terracina had felt more calm. Like an animal hiding in its den, breathing more freely but never forgetting that the enemy...
Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.