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Photograph by Tania Traboulsi Words without Music The only belonging I actually lost on August 4 was my lyrics notebook. Although our little apartment suffered heavy damage, nothing was completely lost. Doors and windows had flown out of their frames, a table's legs broke, plants fell out of pots, our newly bought TV split in half, a bookshelf shattered into millions of pieces. Some things could be fixed, others had to be thrown out. But nothing disappeared. Nothing except my lyrics notebook.  I left our Mar Mikhael apartment that night and asked my friends who went back the next day to look for

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Still from "In Mansoura You Left Us" A film review of In Mansourah, You Separated Us An old man is standing. Behind him, large rocks are followed by a horizon with mountains covered in brown, ochre, and dark green. He wears a gray hat and a jacket that seems too large for his nervous body. On the jacket, we see military insignia, green and golden. He's standing straight almost as if he were taking an official shot. The camera does not move. Suddenly, we hear the director's voice, as she asks in French, "How come he survived and seventy-three others died?"

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"Absence" by Omid Shekari When I think of Humphrey Davies, I think of Uncle Humph. I call him uncle not out of a juvenile sense of biological attachment, but as belonging to that branch of the lineage of translators which I endeavor to be a part of. I write of Uncle Humph's passing and find myself unwilling to acknowledge it. Unwilling and resentful. How could he suddenly up and leave us like this with no warning, when we needed him so much? When I agreed to Rana Issa's offer to co-translate Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq's travelogue three years ago,

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* كُتبَ هذا المقال بعد أشهرٍ من انفجار مرفأ بيروت في 4 آب 2020، قبل الانهيار الكبير.   تمّوز 2019، على ما أعتقد. كانت تلك المرّة الأولى التي اتّفقنا فيها، صديقتي وأنا، أن نخرج سويّاً بصيغة "المُواعدة". بطبيعة الحال، قصدنا الحمرا، فُقاعتنا. احتسينا كؤوساً قليلةً، ترامَينا أحاديثَ كثيرة، ثم قرّرنا، قبل انتصاف الليل بقليل، أن نتمشّى في الشارع الرئيسيّ. أذكر أنّنا مشينا بسرعة، وضحكنا بسرعة، ثمّ تسلّلنا شطرَ زاروبةٍ فيها واجهة زجاجيةٍ تلمع. شارعٌ مظلمٌ وضوءٌ مسلّطٌ عليها، وفي داخلها مجسّمات لطيورٍ صغيرة معلّقة بحبالٍ شفّافة. "هول عصافير سمعان"، وتبادلنا قبلتنا الأولى، صديقتي وأنا، وعصافير سمعان تحدّق بنا.     هو سمعان خوّام، فنّان تشكيلي

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Rusty metal tubing sprouts up, out of the rubble, above the waste haphazardly pushed into piles along the sidewalk, and into a radial array of welded steel members. Where roots should dig into soil, metal frames are anchored into asphalt. Branches of synthetic, evergreen fibers twist their way up towards tree toppers - stars, a pair of doves, a fallen firefighter's helmet. Bells and baubles still decorate the trees this Christmas, but so too are the names and notes nestled gently into the ribbon and tinsel. Furiously lettered scraps of paper are pushed into the branches in apology - victims not

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قبوٌ في رأسياجلس أنا في رأسي، الظلمة حالكة. وحدي. لا أحد سواي. يتكشّفُ قبوٌ مظلم أم أفتحه أنا. لا أدري. يخرج الكثير من الذبابُ اللزجُ من داخلي، مني، أنا الكلب الميت. تلتصق بوجهي الذبابات فأهشُّها. أهشُّ الواحدة تلو الأخرى. أقول للذباب: اليوم لن تلتهميني. اليوم لن تلتهميني. يزعجني ملمس الذباب الزلق على وجهي. ويزعجني أنني لا استطيع أن أرى الذباب جيداً في الظلمة. تلتصق إحداها بوجهي دون أن أشعر… تغمرني الريبة، دون أن أعرف السبب. وبعد ساعات، بلا قصد، أحرّك عضلة ما بوجهي، فتطير الذبابة. أصيح بها: أما آن لك أن تختاري جيفة بدلاً مني؟     الأنبوبة والغرقأراهُ كلّ يوم من نافذتي.

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The Birth of Paper: An interactive online theater experience between Beirut and Pittsburgh Last showing is tonight, June 29 at 1 p.m. Pittsburgh / 8 p.m. Beirut "And here we are, together. In a space that's imaginary and real at the same time. How is that possible? Who knows. Science. Magic. Both." This is how "Molly," played by Milia Ayache, welcomes a Zoom room full of strangers, some of whom might also be friends or family. Or frenemies. Or even "stramily" or "striends." Connections are found as the audience is asked to ponder what kind of weather might move us from one category into the

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"Fishermen at the Corniche" by Vahan Luder Artinian Bombay Sapphire and scotch-tape.If you were a comic, you mightdo a bit about how one's to drownthe pain, the other's to keep its damnmouth straight. Faltering laments from a mosque, and in my mind,the dizzying acceptance that allour breaths were created equal-stifled, alive. Hind's telling meabout her grandfather, then her father. About dissent, then around4 or so, bequest. We're wasted ondry gin and the confluence of ourethnic poetries. She's telling mehow, if you're Palestinian, you get used to the idea of hyphenation.Her tears glisten like minefieldsof yesterday, and between

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"Tabriz Cemetery" by Sajed Haqshenas Last night I heard an owlIn the closed port of a night,my skin crawling andon fire,was its sorrowful songa few lilting stanzas and it was gone.And is it a bad omen,you think?And what of my enjoying it?And you,What's good?   Aws el Iskandarani of LA once old meour own legend of La Llorona,who roams the earth:a shapeshifter motherwho casts away the crown of motherhooda murderessand that in Egypt, the land before time,motherhood murderess wasan owl and awarningto never leave your clothes to dryin the eyes of the nightfor she'd shoot

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"Being, Oman 2015" by Ranya Hajjar knotthere is a place     in the outskirts of the neighborhoodan indian tailor    next to the fawwal-a black cat planted at his door     one abu khalidavoids walking by     reciting quranin fear of possessing him.     keep the money buriedin your palm so he doesn't     raise the priceask him about the jalabiya     & india     & home stitchhe says home     smells like the fawwallike the bread     & the orange peelstucked in the corners of the concrete

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