Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

New review: Jerusalem, Interrupted

Electronic Intifada, 11th January 2017 Whether Arabic or Aramaic has been the dominant tongue, or Islam, Judaism, Christianity or paganism the majority religion, the city has always been a patchwork; … Continue reading

January 11, 2017 · Leave a comment

Review: Ghassan Zaqtan’s ‘Describing the Past’

The Electronic Intifada, 3rd October 2016 The theme of the unstable balance between myth and memory recurs constantly throughout the novella. “Things evaporate and die if they don’t find someone … Continue reading

October 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

Gribetz, “Defining Neighbours”

A few fascinating and thought-provoking excerpts from Jonathan Gribetz’s excellent exploration of intellectual life and perceptions of faith in Late Ottoman and early inter-war Palestine (Defining Neighbors: Religion, Race, and … Continue reading

May 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

Review: The Freedom Theatre perform ‘The Siege’

Electronic Intifada, 2 June 2015 The setting for The Siege is the interior of the church itself, skilfully evoked with a specially-constructed set in which smoke, ornate hanging lamps, tiled … Continue reading

June 22, 2015 · 2 Comments

New review: Lital Levy’s ‘Poetic Trespass’

Electronic Intifada, 19 May 2015 Rather, Levy puts forward an analysis of the ways in which literature and language have operated in the dark corners of this power-ridden, unequal environment. … Continue reading

June 2, 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: ‘Nothing More to Lose’

Electronic Intifada, 27th May 2014 With this collection of Najwan Darwish’s poetry — beautifully translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid — The New York Review of Books has made available to … Continue reading

May 27, 2014 · 1 Comment

Taha Muhammad ‘Ali reading ‘Revenge’

I’ve lately been reading Adina Hoffman’s incredible biography of the Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad ‘Ali, entitled My Happiness Bears No Relation to Happiness. Here’s footage of the late, great poet … Continue reading

February 24, 2014 · Leave a comment

(Paid) research/curatorial internship, Alwaleed Centre, Edinburgh

This very exciting looking ad just came up from the Alwaleed Centre, based in the same department as me at Edinburgh University… Call for research internship applications 10-month part-time research … Continue reading

October 25, 2013 · Leave a comment

Poetry from Iraq and Scotland

Sabreen Kadhim, a young poet from Baghdad who very much dispels any myths linking poetry with dowdiness and cardigans, was supposed to appear at Reel Iraq earlier this year. However, … Continue reading

August 17, 2013 · 12 Comments

New article: Marilyn Booth interviewed

One of the most exciting things about being based at Edinburgh University’s Dept of Islamic & Middle Eastern Studies for the past two years has been people who make up … Continue reading

May 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

TWO paid postgrad internships in Arabic/English publishing

… both based in London (booo…) and both open to people with Masters level degrees from UK universities or enrolled on PhD programmes at UK universities. Both organised by the … Continue reading

May 2, 2013 · Leave a comment

New article: Palestinian-Scottish bilingual poetry collection

Electronic Intifada, 1st May 2013 In 2003, Iyad Hayatleh and Tessa Ransford met during a project to introduce Scottish and refugee poets to one another. Hayatleh is a Palestinian “double … Continue reading

May 1, 2013 · Leave a comment