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Theme: After the "Arab Spring"


What happened to “the Arab Spring”?

These days, “the Arab Spring” is an expression that has almost an emetic effect on many of those who were most heavily...

Text: Ola Larsmo September 10 2014

The transformations of the Syrian revolution

The Syrian uprising against the al-Assad regime is now entering its fourth year with seemingly no end in sight. In fact, the conflict is now spreading to neighbouring countries such as Iraq. Writer...

Text: Faraj Bayrakdar September 10 2014

Yemen at ground zero

“Since the uprising, Yemen has become a place where you cannot live if you want to be free. This is particularly true for women but also for all who have dreams of another life.” The picture that...

Text: Bushra al-Maqtari September 10 2014

Diary of the silent

Syrian poet, Housam Al-Mosilli, was forced to flee Syria in 2012 after he was imprisoned three times and repeatedly tortured. Today, he lives in exile in Turkey. In the poem, “Diary of the silent,” he...

Text: Housam Al-Mosilli September 10 2014

What happens to your mother is not your concern!

The cruelties and abuses taking place today in Syria defy all comprehension. Perhaps not even literature, or the language itself, is sufficient to be able to depict what is happening. But how then can...

Text: Omar Kaddour September 10 2014

“The Facebook revolution”

What is known as the “Arab Spring” was allegedly the result of social media and its power to organise and mobilise demonstrations in 2011. But, how accurate is this picture? Poet and blogger Evronia...

Text: Evronia Azer September 10 2014

140 characters make you a terrorist

Saudi Arabia remains one of the countries untouched by the wave of democratic uproar which swept through many other Arab-speaking countries. The reason is the monopoly the ruling royal family holds...

Text: Hana Al-Khamri September 10 2014

The spring of blood and ashes

“Blood and ash from the stolen Arabian spring / have penetrated the mornings, evenings and nights,” writes Syrian poet Bandar Abdulhamid in his collection of poems. The brutal reality of Syria is...

Text: Bandar Abdulhamid September 10 2014

I’m not an egg

What does “democratisation” actually mean? How long does it take for the new values in legislation and public debates to sink into the general public's consciousness? An anonymous Tunisian writer...

Text: Anonymous September 10 2014

The damned revolution

The thin line between the life of an individual and what is happening at large. Words juxtaposed with one person’s point of view have been the theme of some of the literature world's strongest...

Text: Razan Naim al-Maghrabi September 10 2014

Can you tell me more about your expectations for your country?

During the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011, we followed the uprisings, demonstrations and optimism through the anti-government blogs of Afrah Nasser (Yemen) and Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisia). Three years...

Text: Afrah Nasser, Lina Ben Mhenni September 10 2014

“The Arab Spring”—a timeline

Coined the “Arab Spring,” early 2011 was a challenging time of transition, anti-government movement, and political...

Text: PEN/Opp September 10 2014

While we are waiting

Syrian poet Amira Abul Husn is one of those who have chosen to remain in the war-torn country, using her pen to bear witness to all that is going on around her. In her poetry, she depicts fragments of...

Text: Amira Abul Husn September 10 2014