Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New review: Open Bethlehem

Electronic Intifada, 11th December 2014 As a set of street interviews which accompany the closing credits of Open Bethlehem show, plenty of people in the modern West have no idea … Continue reading

December 17, 2014 · Leave a comment

Neoliberalism and higher education: a wee example from Edinburgh

As Isabel Lachenauer, one of the first – and possibly the last – graduates of the University of Edinburgh’s Advanced Arabic masters programme writes: I strongly urge the Head of … Continue reading

November 30, 2014 · Leave a comment

New review: Jean-Pierre Filiu’s history of Gaza

Electronic Intifada, 28th October 2014 Gaza was a key strategic point, the last source of water before the Sinai, from the perspective of armies and merchants heading from the Levant … Continue reading

November 10, 2014 · Leave a comment

New review: Ruth Padel’s ‘Learning to make an Oud in Nazareth’

Electronic Intifada, 24th September 2014 The Holocaust and the extermination of Europe’s Jews usually appear in juxtaposition to the issue of Palestine either in clumsy attempts to equate the two, … Continue reading

September 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

“Thinkin’ ’bout burning the Walmart down”

Finding out what musicians actually think on political and social issues can sometimes be a risky business; they’re not usually as downright dim as sportspeople often seem to be, but … Continue reading

September 17, 2014 · 1 Comment

New review: The Honourable Woman

Electronic Intifada, 12th September 2014 The title, like much of the series, seems deliberately multi-faceted. Does it refer to the ennoblement of central character Nessa Stein (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal), … Continue reading

September 13, 2014 · Leave a comment

On suicide, depression and euthanasia

When the actor Robin Williams died recently – more specifically, killed himself – there was the usual outpouring of comments about suicide and the wider issue of depression. As ever, … Continue reading

September 6, 2014 · 2 Comments

“For 9 months she fought in the Turkish army, up Beersheba way”

Came across this magificent snippet in an edited volume of the letters of Helen Bentwich, from her time in Palestine at the end of World War One and during the … Continue reading

August 25, 2014 · 1 Comment

New review: Radwa Ashour’s ‘The Woman from Tantoura’

Electronic Intifada, 8th July 2014 Ruqayya’s story — told partly by her in old age — is the tale of one young girl, her loves, family, marriage, work, children and … Continue reading

July 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

Al-Akhbar’s list of the Gaza dead

Al-Akhbar (Lebanese newspaper) list of those killed so far in the latest Israeli attack on Gaza. The original, which they will keep updating, is here: Updated 5:52 pm: The Gaza … Continue reading

July 9, 2014 · 1 Comment

New review: Khaled Mattawa on Mahmoud Darwish

Electronic Intifada, 1st July 2014 This isn’t a biography. Although one would be fascinating, Darwish always insisted that his poetry should represent his life story. So this book doesn’t feature … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · Leave a comment

Glasgow: action against glorification of WW1

Received by email today. There’s a news report on the action here: Dear friends and comrades, Please circulate throughout your networks. To sign on email: whitefeatherclubglasgow [at] gmail.com We the … Continue reading

June 28, 2014 · 1 Comment

Nothing more violent than silence

A couple of years ago I had the honour of being invited to speak at Manchester’s beautiful John Rylands Library (the beautiful Victorian original on Deansgate, not the concrete monstrosity … Continue reading

June 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

John Glenday, Don Paterson and Isabel Rogers on editing poetry

Over on Isabel Rogers’ blog there is a lovely conversation between the wonderful poet John Glenday and poet-editor Don Paterson. (Disclaimer: I was a fan of Glenday’s writing before he … Continue reading

June 16, 2014 · 1 Comment
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