The Poet of Jerusalem is coming to SOAS. Tamim Al-Barghouti, one of the most important and popular Arab poets of his generation, is launching the first English translation of his poetry on. The poemsin In Jerusalem and Other Poems, lovingly translated by his late mother, Radwa Ashour, the prominent Egyptian academic and novelist, and Ahdaf Soueif, the Booker nominated author of The Map of Love, were written in Cairo, Ramallah, Amman, Washington, DC and Berlin between 1996 and 2016. In 2007, Al-Barghouti’s long poem “In Jerusalem,” which describes an aborted journey to the city, became something of a street poem. It is heartbreakingly beautiful. It speaks to the story of millions of homeless Palestinians who have been forced to live in exile since 1948. His father, the famous writer Mourid Barghouti, was expelled from Egypt, where Tamim was born, when he was only five months old. Tamim lived with his mother in Cairo, and for 18 years only saw his father in Budapest during winter and summer vacations. But his poetry is more than the sum total of the Palestinian experience. It is also the barometer of the political fortunes in the Arab world, from the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Arab Spring spreading like fire from Tunisia in 2010, and the 26 January 2011 Revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak and transformed an entire generation. Above all, it is testament to a resilient Arabic poetic tradition that, at the hands of a young talent, can continue to thrive, generate new energy and move hearts and souls.
Tamim returns to SOAS on Tuesday, 27 June 2017, to take part in the Chase-funded Arabic Poetry and Stories Translation Workshop (SOAS, S118, 2:30 to 5:30PM) and public event (SOAS, KLT, 6:30-8:00 PM), convened by Marina Warner (Birckbeck) and Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS), as part of ‘It was and it was not…’: Translation in Action Programme.
Tamim Al-Barghouti is an acclaimed Palestinian poet, columnist and political scientist. His poetry readings are attended by thousands, sometimes packing stadiums and amphitheaters. Born in Cairo in 1977, Al-Barghouti published six poetry collections in both colloquial and classical Arabic including Meejana (Ramallah 1999), Al-Manzar “The Scene” (Cairo 2000), Maqam Iraq (Cairo: 2005) and Fil Quds “In Jersualem” (2008), and two academic books on Arab politics and history: Benign Nationalism (Cairo: 2007) and The Umma and The Dawla: The Nation State and the Arab Middle East (London: 2008). He is also the author of “War, Peace, Civil War: a Pattern?” in Palestine and the Palestinians in the 21st century (Bloomington: 2013) and “Cracking Cauldrons” in Shifting Sands: the Unraveling of the Old Order in the Middle East (London: 2015). He received his PhD in political science in 2004, and has since taught at Georgetown University, the Free University in Berlin, and the American University in Cairo. He was also a fellow at the Berlin Institute for Advanced studies 2007-2008. A columnist since 2003, writing in Egyptian and dailies, Al-Barghouti has been associated with the 2011 uprisings, where recordings of his poetry were broadcast on makeshift screens in Egypt’s Tahrir Square during the 18 days of demonstrations that ousted Hosny Mubarak.