Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Farewell to a Painting

It was a genuine wrench to walk away from True Belief Belongs to the Realm of Real Knowledge, a huge, sublime wall-painting by Idris Khan. The Whitworth Gallery exhibition of … Continue reading

March 12, 2017 · Leave a comment

Reviewed: Palestine Youth Orchestra in Glasgow

The Electronic Intifada, 29th July 2016 The first half of the performance closed with “Metal,” a short piece by contemporary composer Graham Fitkin, a celebratory work inspired by modern British … Continue reading

October 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Font imperialism

Anyone who can read Arabic but lives in the Anglophone world rapidly becomes used to seeing Arabic text turned into gibberish by Western word processing and layout software. For some … Continue reading

April 1, 2016 · 8 Comments

New review: Love, Theft and Other Entanglements…

Electronic Intifada, 20th July 2015 Mousa, played by Sami Metwasi, is a thief whose latest job is a vehicle which contains a gagged and bound Israeli soldier, something he finds … Continue reading

July 20, 2015 · Leave a comment

Translation as Solidarity: The Book of Gaza

Originally posted on The Comma Press Blog:
GUEST BLOG – Sarah Irving, translator for The Book of Gaza,  has written a post on translation, the current situation in Gaza and her…

June 8, 2015 · Leave a comment

The Seaside

A while ago, I wrote this short story – my first in years, if not decades. And then a few months ago, I sent it in to a writing website’s … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · 2 Comments

New review: ‘Garden State’ at the Mosaic Rooms

Electronic Intifada, 28 May 2015 But the images also have a larger narrative; the Carmel forest — insofar as any landscape in an inhabited region is “natural” — is not … Continue reading

June 2, 2015 · Leave a comment

Gulf War One and the BBC’s banned songs

As the result of a Twitter conversation with SOAS’ David Wearing which started with the 39 Steps and worked its way through the works of John Buchan, Greenmantle, BBC Radio … Continue reading

January 1, 2015 · 1 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: 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

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

“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

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