At a glance
Mahmoud El-Wardani compiles a shorthand guide to recent publications
Al-Kotob: Wujhat Nazar, monthly review of books, issue #62, vol. #6, 2004, Cairo: Egyptian Company for Arab and International Publication
The latest issue of this increasingly politicised monthly opens with an editorial by Salama Ahmed Salama on the importance of Arab-Indian relations, followed by two extended articles dealing with the Sudan: Ghazi Salaheddin Al-Atabani on the political future of the country, and Aida El-Azab Moussa on the burdens of the past and pressures on the future of southern Sudan. Later in the issue, Fahmi Howeidi comments on the recent elections in Iran, while Galal Amin discusses the misconceptions and implications of the UNDP's recent Arab Human Development Report. Aside from several interesting translations, the issue also includes an article on the future of the Atlantic partnership following the recent, dramatic developments in the Middle East and an assessment of the reasons for the lack of economic integration among the Arabs by Hamdi Azzam and Hazem El-Biblawi, respectively. The issue therefore includes far more articles and studies than book reviews -- a tendency of the magazine that is now more pronounced than ever.
Ahwal Misriya, quarterly magazine, issue #23, winter 2004, Cairo: Al-Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies
Gihad Ouda's extensive study of "fundamentalists in Egypt" occupies 12 pages of the most recent issue of the Al-Ahram quarterly. The 40-page folio, edited by Sherif Abdel-Baqi and written by a host of respected writers and thinkers, concerns "Egypt and the community of knowledge", tackling national initiatives to form a "community of knowledge", including electronic government, the issue of information security and the effect of technology on crime and efforts to institute an information infrastructure, as well as other issues. The "Issues" section of the magazine deals with topics from faulty upbringing to hired labour, and from the policies of the transportation sector to population questions. A travel piece on Luxor, a portrait of the traditional figure of the sheikh al-hara (sheikh of the quartier ), a discussion of the work of NGOs in Egypt, an assessment of folk song and a review of the Alexandria Biennale make up the bulk of the remaining space, with additional pieces on the dome of the Al-Ghouri Mosque in Cairo, a commemorative piece on the anniversary of social reformer Qasem Amin's death, and a long conversation with an Egyptian farmer in the "Interview" section.
Al-Karmel, issue #78, Winter 2004, Ramallah: Al-Karmel Cultural Establishment
"Edward Said: the universalist and the Palestinian" is the title of the special folio included in the latest issue of the prestigious Palestinian quarterly Al-Karmel, edited by poet Mahmoud Darwish. This section includes valuable insights and studies on the late Palestinian thinker by prominent friends and students, as well as translations of some of his latest articles. Writers on Edward Said in Al-Karmil include the Lebanese novelist Elias Khouri, Palestinian critics Mohamed Shahin and Faisal Darraj, Syrian critic Sobhi Hadidi and Moroccan poet Mohamed Benis. The issue is otherwise remarkably rich and varied, with an editorial by Mahmoud Darwish on the late Palestinian poetess Fadwa Touqan and a long interview with Darwish conducted by Lebanese poet Abbas Baydoun on what poetry means to Darwish. Elsewhere in the magazine Faisal Darraj writes about the Palestinian professor of literature Ihsan Abbas, while Sobhi Hadidi writes about Palestinian poet Mohamed El-Qaisi. The creative writing section of the magazine includes poems by Selim Barakat and Youssef Abou Louz, and three short stories by Mahmoud Shoukier.
Al-Hilal, monthly magazine, issue #3, 2004, Cairo: Dar Al-Hilal
"Music and Song" is the title of the special folio included in this month's issue of the Cairo magazine Al-Hilal, and it includes contributions from Mahfouz Abdel-Rahman on the secret love between poet Ahmed Rami and singer Om Kulthoum, Abdel-Moniem El-Gemi'i on Sayed Darwish, Nabil Hanafi Mahmoud on poet El-Aqqad's hidden talents as a music critic and Nasir Shamma on the future of oud music. The issue is otherwise remarkably rich and varied, with a profile of politician Khaled Mohieddin and an autobiographical piece by Mustafa El-Husseini. Gamil Mattar compares the early 20th century British occupation of Iraq with the recent American invasion, Ahmed Youssef Ahmed previews the upcoming Arab summit, Galal Amin asks, once again, what happened to the Egyptians (the title of a book by him), this time relying on observations at the last Cairo Book Fair, both Bahaa Jahin and Abdou Gubair discuss poet Salah Jahin, and Safinaz Kazem reviews Sonallah Ibrahim's latest novel, Amrikanli
Sutour, monthly magazine, issue #88, 2004, Cairo: Sutour Publications
The central theme of this issue of Sutour is "Deformed Life", and the magazine opens with an article by Hazem Ahmed Hosni in which he criticizes attempts to identify a connection between the epistemology of sacred books and the empirical knowledge of modern science. Elsewhere, Anwar Mughith discusses the work of Swiss sociologist Jean Zigler, while Sayed Diefallah reassesses the concept of human rights. The magazine also publishes two articles, by John Gray and Anthony Eliot, respectively, on the future of humanity and love in the age of consumerism. Yehya Wagdi offers a fascinating exploration of lying in the contemporary world through a series of interviews with intellectuals. One interesting development in this magazine has been the abundance of literary texts and arts-related articles; in this issue there are reviews of the recent Cairo exhibitions of the work of Iraqi artist Jabr Ulwan and of that of Magdi Habash.
Fikrun wa Fann, biannual magazine, issue #78, year 41, April 2004, Cairo: Goethe Institute
In this, the latest issue of the Goethe Institute's biannual publication in Arabic, the topic of Afghanistan two years after the fall of the Taliban occupies a third of the pages, looking at attempts to follow up on the promises and hopes associated with the war on Afghanistan and to throw light on neglected aspects of Afghan history and culture. Items include features on the new Kabul, the opium trade, Afghan myths and Sufi orders in Afghanistan, as well as interviews with a young Afghan writer resident in France, Atik Ruhaimi, and the director of the Kabul branch of the Goethe Institute. They also include a survey of the cultural life of the Afghan diaspora, an Afghan short story and an article on second-generation Afghan immigrants to the West.