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BULAQ | بولاق

Arts & Culture Podcasts

BULAQ is a book-centric podcast co-hosted by Ursula Lindsey (in Amman, Jordan) and M Lynx Qualey (in Rabat, Morocco). It focuses on Arabic literature in translation and is named after the first printing press established in Egypt in 1820. Produced by Sowt.

BULAQ is a book-centric podcast co-hosted by Ursula Lindsey (in Amman, Jordan) and M Lynx Qualey (in Rabat, Morocco). It focuses on Arabic literature in translation and is named after the first printing press established in Egypt in 1820. Produced by Sowt.

Location:

Jordan

Description:

BULAQ is a book-centric podcast co-hosted by Ursula Lindsey (in Amman, Jordan) and M Lynx Qualey (in Rabat, Morocco). It focuses on Arabic literature in translation and is named after the first printing press established in Egypt in 1820. Produced by Sowt.

Twitter:

@bulaqbooks

Language:

English

Contact:

00962798554826


Episodes

The Book of Travels

7/21/2022
We talk to scholar Elias Muhanna about translating a magical, delightful eighteenth-century travelogue. In 1707 Hanna Diyab journeyed from his native Aleppo as translator to a rapacious and sometimes ridiculous Frenchman. He survived a shipwreck and a pirate attack, met King Louis XIV, and gave The Thousand and One Nights translator Antoine Galland a dozen new stories. Cheated out of a promised job in Paris, he eventually returned to Syria, where he wrote it all up in his old age. Show...

Duration:01:02:51

Stories Just Sprout Inside You

6/30/2022
An Interview with Maria Dadouch, who won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Children’s Literature this year. Dadouch’s book The Mystery of the Glass ball features two children becoming friends, fighting villains and protecting nature on a train ride in the near future. We talked about the need for more Arabic YA books; contemporary sci-fi; literary prizes; digital publishing and why writing for teenagers is the hardest thing to do. This episode is produced in collaboration with the Sheikh...

Duration:00:43:53

Poems from Palestine

6/19/2022
We read from the work of Palestinian poets Maya Abu Al Hayyat, Fady Joudah, Asmaa Azaizeh and Najwan Darwish, who writes: “Death has liberated me/ from the shackles of our small jailers,/ just as poetry has liberated us/ from the greatest jailer–time.” Show Notes Maya Abu Al-Hayyat’s You Can Be The Last Leaf, Trans. Fady Joudah, is out from Milkweed Editions Najwan Darwish’s Collection Exhausted On the Cross, Trans. Kareem James Abu-Zeid, is out from New York Review Books. Fady Joudah...

Duration:00:58:41

87+ Bonus: Book Quiz

6/9/2022
Another of our short book-quiz episodes. Send your best guesses to bulaq@sowt.com. The first listener to respond with the right answer will get a book in the mail!

Duration:00:03:13

‘Kids Take Over!’: On Sonia Nimr’s Thunderbird

6/2/2022
Guest hosts Rafael (age 11) and Milo (almost 10) take over this episode of Bulaq to talk about the evil aunts, time-traveling djinn, and scary checkpoints in the first book of Palestinian novelist Sonia Nimr’s fast-paced fantasy trilogy: Thunderbird. Show Notes The first Thunderbird novel is available from University of Texas Press. The second is forthcoming this fall. Educators interested in joining a launch event on Zoom with author and translator can sign up at the University of Texas...

Duration:00:29:52

86+ Bonus: Book Quiz

5/25/2022
Another of our short book-quiz episodes. One of our astute listeners has given the answer to last week’s question: What Koranic and Biblical story is a reference for Abdulrazak Gurnah’s “Paradise”? The answer to this week’s question is within the Moroccan novel “Hot Maroc” — and our last episode about it. Send your best guesses to bulaq@sowt.com. The first listener to respond with the right answer will get a book in the mail!

Duration:00:02:10

‘Hot Maroc’: An Internet Troll Novel

5/19/2022
Translator Alexander E. Elinson joins us to discuss Yassin Adnan’s Hot Maroc, a sprawling satire of contemporary Morocco. The novel, set in Marrakesh and online, follows the story of Rahhal Laouina, aka “The Squirrel,” who finds his voice as an anonymous internet troll – and then has it co-opted by the country’s security apparatus. While it paints a bleak picture of the possibilities of political dialogue, journalism, and self-expression, the novel itself is testament to literature’s ability...

Duration:00:58:21

85+ Bonuz: Book Quiz

5/11/2022
Another of our short book-quiz episodes. Here we give the answer to a question about an island that was part of a Sultanate spanning Oman and East Africa, and that features in our last two episodes. And we ask about a Koranic and Biblical story that is a reference for Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise. Send your best guesses to bulaq@sowt.com. The first listener to respond with the right answer will get a book in the mail!

Duration:00:01:58

Of Human Bondage: Abdulrazak Gurnah’s ‘Paradise’

4/27/2022
Paradise, by 2021 Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah, is the coming-of-age story of Yusuf, a Tanzanian boy sent into debt servitude when his father can’t pay back an Arab merchant. Yusuf travels into the interior with “Uncle Aziz” and other vivid characters, to trade with the “savages” there. The story takes place on the cusp of World War I, set in the wake of mass enslavement and the advent of European colonialism and interwoven with Yusuf’s story from the Quran. Gurnah himself belonged...

Duration:00:57:11

84+ Bonus: Book Quiz

4/20/2022
Another of our short book-quiz episodes. Here we give the answer to a question about an Arab poet who emigrated to the US and translated some of the Beat poets. And we ask a question about Oman, where Jokha Alharthi’s “Bitter Orange Tree,” discussed in our last episode, is set. Send your best guesses to bulaq@sowt.com. The first listener to respond with the right answer will get a book in the mail!

Duration:00:03:10

Reading Life Backwards: Omani Novelist Jokha Alharthi

4/13/2022
Jokha Alharthi burst to sudden international literary stardom in 2019, when her second novel, Sayyidat al-Qamr (tr. Marilyn Booth as Celestial Bodies), won the International Booker. The novel, touted as the “first by an Omani woman to be translated to English,” has since appeared in languages around the world. More novels by Omani women, including Bushra Khalfan’s The Garden, are forthcoming in English translation, and Alharthi’s Narinja (also tr. Booth, as Bitter Orange Tree) will appear in...

Duration:00:49:11

83+Bonus: Book Quiz

4/6/2022
All this season, we will be doing short book-quiz episodes with prizes donated by ten distinguished publishers. We give the answer to the question from Episode 82: “The Men Who Swallowed the Sun,” which features Bedouin migration from Egypt to Libya. In our last episode with guest Mona Kareem we talked about self-translation and “writing in Arabic in the US” and our next question is about a writer who did just this. Send your best guesses to bulaq@sowt.com. The first listener to respond with...

Duration:00:02:37

Mona Kareem on Translation as Kidnapping

3/30/2022
Mona Kareem’s essay “Western Poets Kidnap Your Poems and Call Them Translations” lit up debates among translators and poets. In this episode Kareem talks about poetry, the power dynamics of translation, and the relationship of both to migration, exile, self-censorship, and publication. She also reads from her poetry, both in her own translation and in translation by poet @SaraFarag. Essays by Mona Kareem Western Poets Kidnap Your Poems and Call Them Translations Bidoon: A Cause and Its...

Duration:01:07:12

82+Bonus: Book Quiz

3/23/2022
All this season, we will be doing short book-quiz episodes with prizes donated by ten distinguished publishers. We give the answer to the question from Episode 81, “Naguib Mahfouz’s Banned Book” and a new challenge for listeners, regarding one of the books we discussed in Episode 82: “The Men Who Swallowed the Sun,” which features Bedouin migration from Egypt to Libya. Send your best guesses to bulaq@sowt.com. The first listener to respond with the right answer will get a book in the mail!

Duration:00:02:57

Stealing, Drug-dealing, & the Epic of Egyptian Migration

3/16/2022
Two very different Egyptian novels – Hamdi Abu Golayyel’s The Men Who Swallowed the Sun and Mohamed Kheir’s Slipping – both circle around issues of migration in different ways. Abu Golayyel’s Men (originally The Rise and Fall of the Saad Shin), translated by Humphrey Davies, is an anti-epic epic told in a rough, powerful storyteller’s voice, following men as they move from Egypt to Libya and Italy. Mohamed Kheir’s Slipping, translated by Robin Moger, is a beautifully crafted sonic landscape...

Duration:00:59:10

81+ Bonus: Book Quiz

3/9/2022
All this season, we will be doing short book-quiz episodes with prizes donated by ten distinguished publishers. In this bonus episode, we give the answer to the question from Episode 80, “Just Different: Moroccan writer Malika Moustadraf” and a new challenge for listeners, regarding the subject of Episode 81, Nabuig Mahfouz. Send your best guesses to bulaq@sowt.com. The first listener to respond with the right answer will get a book in the mail!

Duration:00:04:36

Naguib Mahfouz's Banned Book

3/2/2022
What was so controversial about Children of the Alley, leading to it being banned for years in Egypt and to an attempt on the author's life? How and when was it published, criticized, understood? Mohamed Shoair delves into all of this in his literary investigation The Story of the Banned Book: Naguib Mahfouz's Children Of The Alley (trans. Humphrey Davies). It's a study of literary censorship and of the fight between artistic expression and religious and political authority in Egypt from...

Duration:01:02:36

80+ Bonus: Book Quiz

2/23/2022
All this season, we will be doing short book-quiz episodes with prizes donated by ten distinguished publishers. In this bonus episode, we give the answer to the question from Episode 79, "Not Yet Defeated," and a new challenge for listeners around our Episode 80 focus, Moroccan writer Malika Moustadraf. After you've listened, send your best guesses to bulaq@sowt.com. The first listener to respond with the right answer will get a book in the mail!

Duration:00:04:55

Just Different: Moroccan writer Malika Moustadraf

2/16/2022
She was an outsider, an experimenter, a “rebel realist” and a feminist. You may not have read the short stories of Malika Moustadraf (1969-2006), since her work fell out of print after her untimely death. But tales of Moustadraf’s fierce talent never stopped circulating, and now her work is back in print in Arabic and also set to appear in Alice Guthrie’s English translation. The US and UK editions of this collection have different titles. The US edition of Moustadraf’s stories, Blood...

Duration:00:54:52

Not Yet Defeated

2/2/2022
Egypt’s January 25 revolution was 11 years ago. Since then many of its young leaders have been persecuted and the history of what happened distorted or denied. We look at writing that remembers and resists. Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s You Have Not Yet Been Defeated was translated by a collective, and is out from Fizcarraldo Editions in the UK. A US edition is forthcoming in March 2022 from Seven Stories Press. There is also an Italian translation by Monica Ruocco. Ahmed Douma’s second poetry...

Duration:01:07:15