Written by Tom Little
Here on Sugar Street we like to think that we’ve got our finger on the pulse of the best new writing coming out of the Arab world, but we are prepared to accept that there are other sites that are well worth your time.
From interviews with authors to news on the most important new writing from all over the region, we recommend you check out the following five pages for news on Arabic, Turkish and Iranian writing. Only after you’ve finished reading Sugar Street Review, of course…
Arabic literature (In English)
M. Lynx Qualey’s blog has been going for some time now and features insightful reviews of the latest literary releases in Arabic, translation news, and great interviews with authors from the Arab world. Also comes with a wonderful set of resources for readers, teachers, writers and translators. What more could you ask for?
Started as a magazine to promote new writing from the Middle East, Banipal has been doing a sterling job ever since 1998 and its website is well worth a look-in too. The print edition is also widely available in bookshops and is invaluable for anyone with even a passing interest in writing from the region.
Brian Whitaker, veteran correspondent and editor at the Guardian, is without doubt one of the finest Middle East journalists in the west. It is equally certain that he is one of the very few to actually speak Arabic and take a real interest in the culture of the countries he reports on, as is evident in his blog on the region, Al-Bab.com. Al-Bab covers all aspects of the cultures and societies of the Arab world, but Whitaker regularly posts about writing from the region, so it is definitely worth a read.
The Arab-Israeli Book Review
Great blog publishing reviews and new writing from Israel and the Arab world. The Review looks beyond tired, depressing headlines about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, showing the region’s rich literary scene. They also run a book club in London in order to try and bring about a peaceful dialectic based on a shared interest and passion for good literature.
Not just about literature, Mashallah is nevertheless a personal favourite of SSR. Mashallah (Arabic for “what God wills”) describes itself as a “journalists’, bloggers’ and graphic designers’ collective” focused on the Middle East, and publishes great articles on the latest developments in art, social media, literature, architecture, film (and just about everything else in between) in the region. Stylishly designed and beautifully written, Mashallah News publishes some brilliant stories – we loved the piece they did on Valentine’s Day in Saudi Arabia and we’re sure you’ll enjoy it too.
What do you reckon? Get in touch and let us know which ones you think we’ve missed out, why you like the ones we have included, or just to say hi!