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"Nine Ancestors" by Mae Anne Chokr I didn't think the stories we would tell you about your childhood would be like mine. I thought yours would be about cobbled streets, afternoon teas, the books that your father and I took too long to write, all the extra days you stayed in and all the extra hours you took on your way out, three countries, four apartments, and one indefatigable little stroller.   The stories your teta and jeddo told me were different. They related how, when your uncle Mehdi was ready to be born, on the day of the Israeli invasion of Beirut

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"Absence" by Omid Shekari This particular metaphor will not be a worm in a shot glass of chemotherapy. It will be invisible to the human eye, soundless to the human ear, free of smell and taste, and untouchable. In this way it will connect historically to its struggle for autonomy along its long and winding road to androgyny. (Sounds like a Beatles song, but isn't.) The Big C was first discovered by Hippo-crates, the so-called "Father of Medicine," circa 400 B.C., on the island of Greece.  Hippocrates did not really discover the Big C. He simply named something carcinoma that had existed for all time-before

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"Can't Go" by Omid Shekari For months we'd been monitoring your news           as if you were a broadsheet, and I'd trace       the outline of your every response so I could recount it precisely. The light was always     on in the window, the mountains always                                                                   far away.         Then I went and missed

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"Solitude" by Rafik El Hariri The body splits breath in two, goes on bifurcating it in pressure chambers for keeping alive. The body regathers breath: expelling toxins gave birth to speech. So far  illness rubbed me gravely once. I sought cure by any means necessary as if illness is a labor union that science must squash. My union was with killers who until recently  (since our dawn of apes) we didn't know existed-  or if we did, couldn't treat-an occult clot that ceaselessly migrates and dissolves until it takes up residence, settles disaster. Illness rubbed me and I didn't care  for visitors. They loved me. I understood their concerns about their fears  for themselves, of themselves, their questions and eavesdropping.  Then it

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"Can't Go" by Omid Shekari أورسولا لي جوين المعروفة بأرسولة الجن | ترجمة بن كوربر   من الوارد أن الناس في هذا الكتاب سيكونون قد عاشوا في مستقبل بعيد، بل بعيد جدًّا، في شمال كاليفورنيا. ويتكوّن الجزء الأكبر من هذا الكتاب من أصواتهم وهم يتكلّمون بأنفسهم فيسردون السير ويعرضون التمثيليات ويقرضون الأشعار وينشدون الأغاني. بالنسبة لبعض المصطلحات غير المألوفة، فالرجاء أن يصبر القارئ حتى تتبيّن معانيها في الآخر. وبما أنني قد باشرت عملي هذا كروائية، فقد رأيت أن أضع معظم الشرح والإيضاحات في قسم سمّيته "مؤخّرة الكتاب"، بحيث يمكن للقارئ الراغب في المادة الروائية فحسب أن يتجاهلها، كما يمكن للقارئ الراغب

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"Blackhole" by Inas Fouad مع بداية تفشّي فيروس الكورونا في آذار الماضي، راجت في لبنان رسالةٌ نصّية حول عزل مصابين في مستشفى الأمراض العصبية في منطقة الحازمية، إحدى ضواحي بيروت المسيحية:  مستشفى المجانين بالحازمية (…) مهجور من زمان، كنا نفوت عليه أيام المدرسة… عم ينقلوا عليها مصابين الكورونا الإيرانيين والأهالي قايمة قيامتهم. عندما قرأت الرسالة تذكّرتُ شائعة حول جائحة أخرى انتشرت عندما كنت مراهقة في أوائل التسعينيّات. في تلك الفترة، أطلقت وزارة الصحّة اللبنانية سلسلة من برامج التوعية حول متلازمة نقص المناعة المكتسبة أو ما عُرِف بفيروس الإيدز أو السيدا. سعت الحملة آنذاك إلى تعريف الناس بفيروس الإيدز من خلال برامج إرشاديّة تجمع

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"Yom el Zift - Fish Rain" by Eleonora Gatto & Nader Tabri   أمُدُّ يدًا ترْتجف. أمْسِكُ بكِ  ولكنّك تلاشيتِ في التقلّب.   الحياةُ   ولا يَبْقَى لي إلّا العوْم العوْم في هذا التقلّب. شفافيّةُ الأجساد الدّاءُ أَنتِ، والحَيَاةُ الدواءُ أَنتِ، والحَيَاةُ أمْسِكُ بكِ ولكنّك  اِختفَيتِ. سُمٌّ حلوُهُ عَسْلٌ علاجٌ مرُّهُ روندٌ أعومُ في التقلّب.   الحياةُ   تُعطيكِ الدواءَ  وتَحقِنه بالسُمّ أعومُ في هذا التقلّب. داءٌ حلوٌ دواءٌ مُرٌّ خليطُ أذواق. الحياةُ     أنظرُ إلى المرآة أبتسمْ عينان ميتتان خدّان واطئان  بسمة

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"Absence" by Omid Shekari "Heart is good,"I texted my husband. "Baby looks good,"I could see her. Active. As always.  (At twelve weeks, I could feel her. I imagined emperor butterflies dancing to her pulse.) "I already feel silly," I told him. "Don't leave work. I'm just going to make sure everything is okay." But three words seized the air, and snuffed out all sparks of hope"three centimeters dilated."I was in labor. Twenty-two weeks pregnant. Heart is good, heart is good? The doctor asks: "What happened?"No answers, only questions. "What happened?" "If you deliver today, your baby is

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"Withdrawal" by Inas Fouad Between 1420 and 1434, Sheikh Nefzawi, a writer from what is now considered south of Tunis, drafted a short sex manual entitled “Enlightened Performance in the Secrets of Coitus.” Upon the discovery of this work, the Chief Minister to Sultan Abdel Aziz Hafsi of Tunis,  Muhammad ibn ‘Awaba Zawawi, comissioned Nefzawi to expand on the details of his manual, as he found it lacking of remedies and practical tips that people can apply to resolve any personal sexual issues. The manual was first translated to French in 1850 by a staff officer of the French army in

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"Pool" by Hala Auji When the live decarceration teach-in freezes as RuthWilson Gilmore repeated the words, Organize, Organize,Organize, the chat erupted in solidarity: youtube is on to us; this is the message we were not supposed to hear. And just like that,across bladed borders and unnamed sorrows, we were allholding our breath in the same room, watching the intimacy  of collapse from a safe distance. By now, we must be aficionadosat wafting the smolder of news-filtered grief. By grief,I mean responsibility. By that, I mean I take after my mother,  who confuses compassion for a theory of return.

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