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

New Samih al-Qasim anthology review

The Electronic Intifada, 3rd January 2017 The only two significant bodies of al-Qasim’s poetry available in translation were, until now, Sadder than Water, a fine bilingual edition from Jerusalem-based Ibis … Continue reading

January 5, 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

Review: Salman Abu Sitta’s autobiography

The Electronic Intifada, 27th September 2016 Unlike Jawhariyyeh, al-Hout or Sayigh, Galilean hills, Lebanon and Jerusalem do not loom large in Abu Sitta’s account. Instead, his life story is rooted … Continue reading

October 4, 2016 · Leave a comment

New review: Sayed Kashua’s ‘Native’

Electronic Intifada, 7th July 2016 When novelist and columnist Sayed Kashua announced in 2014 that he and his family would be leaving Jerusalem for the US, the announcement was a … Continue reading

July 7, 2016 · 2 Comments

New review: Susan Muaddi Darraj’s ‘A Curious Land’

The Electronic Intifada, 13th June 2016 A Curious Land begins in 1916 with a group of Bedouin refugees fleeing the violence and famine which wreaked havoc across the Levant during … Continue reading

June 15, 2016 · 1 Comment

New review: Yusif Sayigh memoirs

The Electronic Intifada, 7th June 2016 Yusif Sayigh’s life story, narrated and edited by his wife Rosemary (herself an eminent anthropologist and activist), is a significant addition to this list. … Continue reading

June 15, 2016 · 4 Comments

Reviewed: Hisham Bustani, “The Perception of Meaning”

Electronic Intifada, 16th February 2016 This collection of Bustani’s stories has been translated into English by Palestinian-Canadian translator Thoraya El-Rayyes, giving English-language readers their first opportunity to encounter Bustani’s work. … Continue reading

March 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

Reviewed: Mohannad Sabry on Sinai

Electronic Intifada, 11th February 2016 Heavily militarized by Egypt and portrayed in the West as a stronghold of Islamist militant supporters of the Islamic State group and al-Qaida, how do … Continue reading

March 10, 2016 · Leave a comment

New review: ‘Men of Capital’

Electronic Intifada, 14th January 2016 Defying stereotypes of Mandate-period Palestinians as divided between a distant, dislocated upper class of “notables” and a majority of uneducated, rebellious peasants, Seikaly charts the … Continue reading

January 15, 2016 · Leave a comment

New review: ‘Erased from Space and Consciousness’

Electronic Intifada, 28th December 2015 The core of Kadman’s thesis is her study of Israeli documents, which examines the language and narratives employed to talk about depopulated Palestinian villages. Her … Continue reading

December 28, 2015 · Leave a comment

Reviewed: Steve Sabella – Photography 1997-2014

Electronic Intifada, 2nd November 2015 Some of the most viscerally disturbing pictures in the book are to be found in the 2006 sequence titled “Exit.” This is made up of … Continue reading

December 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

Reviewed: ‘The Naqab Bedouin and Colonialism’

Electronic Intifada, 21st October 2015 This edited volume… gives a broad, reasonably approachable — but also detailed — account of the 20th-century history, political situation and social, economic and cultural … Continue reading

December 24, 2015 · Leave a comment

Reviewed: ‘La Estrella Invisible’

Electronic Intifada, 17th September 2015 On one level, these are deeply personal poems — intimate, allusive, sometimes subtly erotic. On another, though, the subtitle of the collection betrays the larger … Continue reading

December 24, 2015 · Leave a comment