Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

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

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: Speed Sisters

Electronic Intifada, 23rd March 2016 Marah, with whom Betty maintains a sometimes bitter rivalry, comes from Jenin refugee camp but, contrary to the camp’s conservative image, is backed by her … Continue reading

March 25, 2016 · 1 Comment

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

New article: ‘I Exist’ photo exhibition reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 19th June 2013 In a very different set of images, Jerusalem-based photographer Tanya Habjouqa documents the 2009 Arab Bodybuilding Championships in Amman, Jordan: dubbed the “Gaza Martyrs Tournament” … Continue reading

June 20, 2013 · Leave a comment

New article: ‘When I Saw You’ reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 3rd June 2013 Jacir’s portrayal of daily life is full of precise details which make it a joy to watch. Copies of Mao’s Little Red Book sit in … Continue reading

June 3, 2013 · Leave a comment

Translation: 'Feero', by Shafeeq Taha al-Nobany

A second piece of co-translation with Yousef Hamdan, again published in The Arab Review, 25th August 2012 I knew that Samir was a troublemaker by nature, but I never expected … Continue reading

August 25, 2012 · Leave a comment

Translation: 'the deposit', by Shafeeq Taha Al-Nobany

The Arab Review, 27th July 2012, translated by Yousef Hamdan and Sarah Irving Shining ice was spread across the streets without a pattern or shape. The bus was creaking, like … Continue reading

July 27, 2012 · 2 Comments

Figs

I ate what are probably, possibly, definitely the last two apricots from the tree here in Eden today – so warm and ripe they tasted more like mango. On the … Continue reading

July 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

Knowledge, bitter and sweet

What I know about ceramics could be written on the back of a small exhibition label. But I do know that there is something about the solidity and heft and … Continue reading

July 25, 2012 · Leave a comment

New article: exhibition review – Darat al-Funun

Electronic Intifada, 9th July 2012 In the picturesque surroundings of the Darat al Funun gallery in downtown Amman, Jordan, artist Jumana Abboud stands squeezing lemon after lemon by hand, using … Continue reading

July 10, 2012 · Leave a comment

New article: Rebuilding Jordan's desert castles

The Arab Review, 27th June 2012 With reconstruction work in full swing, the setting inside the palace is as strange as the view from outside. The elegant green marble pillars … Continue reading

June 27, 2012 · Leave a comment

UK Immigration vs art, sanity (again)

Disappointed to receive this message this morning, from the wonderful ‘ud player Khyam Allami: Due to some very unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, we’ve had to start the Double Duo … Continue reading

April 13, 2012 · 1 Comment

Conserving the Ain Ghazal statues

From the Visit Madaba twitter feed, this is an intriguing (if you have archaeology geek tendencies) video on the conservation of the Ain Ghazal statues from Jordan. These wonderful, spooky, … Continue reading

January 12, 2012 · Leave a comment