Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

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

“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

Leila Khaled biog: Arabic edition

Yesterday I got sent a cover scan of the Arabic edition of my biography of Leila Khaled. It’s published by Al Muassasah Al Arabiya lil Dirasat wal Nashr in Beirut, … Continue reading

August 19, 2013 · 3 Comments

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

‘Head over Heels in Saudi Arabia’ at Edinburgh Fringe

Head Over Heels in Saudi Arabia is a one-woman show by Maisah Sobahi, in her day-job a lecturer at a university in Jeddah and now the first ever Saudi performer … Continue reading

August 13, 2013 · 1 Comment

The Sea (the film, that is…)

Went to see The Sea this evening, screening as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival. It turned out to be the World Premiere of the movie, which meant a … Continue reading

June 23, 2013 · 1 Comment

Rant warning: on capitalism, the Western media and different types of explosions

It is a commonplace which has, in a few days, spread from the leftist Twittersphere to the liberal media (hell, even Owen Jones is doing articles on it now) to … Continue reading

April 22, 2013 · 4 Comments

He, she and it

When I was writing my biography of Leila Khaled for Pluto Press, my fabulous editor, David Castle, pointed something very valuable out to me. This is the fact that writers … Continue reading

April 8, 2013 · 2 Comments

Elizabeth Jennings/The Unknown Child

This poem is an old favourite, one I have kept coming back to over the years, both for its meaning and its wonderfully calm and un-ostentatious mastery of language. The … Continue reading

April 7, 2013 · Leave a comment

Academic privilege

From Wedded to the Land: Gender, Boundaries and Nationalism in Crisis, by Mary Layoun (Duke University Press, 2001), page 7, talking about the author’s relationships with Greek and Lebanese refugee … Continue reading

April 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

International Women’s Day

Here, to celebrate International Women’s Day, is a PFLP poster from around 1984 depicting women fighters from the Palestinian and international resistance to imperialism. According to the Palestine Poster Project, … Continue reading

March 8, 2013 · 1 Comment

New article: ‘Poets of Protest’ reviewed

Electronic Intifada, 28th February 2013 “All revolutions begin as poetry. Poetry and protest are inseparable twins,” says Yehia Jaber. He should know. A former fighter whose memories include patrolling the … Continue reading

February 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

Exciting things to go and see at the Whitworth

There are two fascinating/lovely exhibitions (see applicability below!) on at the Whitworth Art Gallery at the moment. Both are on until January 27th, so plenty of time to go and … Continue reading

January 4, 2013 · Leave a comment

I'll be post-feminist in post-patriarchy

This, sadly, is a real 13th birthday card, sold under the Arnold Barton brand which appears to be part of Hallmark. As the Pinkstinks campaign, who took this picture, put … Continue reading

December 7, 2012 · 2 Comments