Doctors are rightly cherished in our Covid-plagued world, but can they write poetry? A new translation of a 13th-century Syrian classic recalls a time when physicians were also rockstar musicians, celebrated authors, and public intellectuals.
To mark four years since the disappearance of the ‘Douma 4’ activists, Al-Jumhuriya publishes a poem dedicated to Samira al-Khalil by the award-winning poet Faraj Bayrakdar.
In 2013 in Ma’arrat al-Nu’man, a statue of the famous local-born 11th-century poet al-Ma’arri was decapitated by jihadists as a symbolic threat to their moderate rivals. Today civil society activists have restored the site as a fledgling cultural center, imperiled by the same jihadists now effectively besieging the city.
Hind Rifai reflects on the parallels between Samira al-Khalil’s diary under siege in Douma and the poems of Anna Akhmatova.