Props

The Review is the cultural supplement of the Abu Dhabi daily The National. They're only about two months old (maybe three, time flies) and I've been writing for them this summer. I still haven't formed an opinion on the daily paper; I simply haven't been reading it often enough. But I read The Review online yesterday and was impressed--I feel like it's really coming together.

Youssef Rakha, formerly of Al Ahram Weekly, reviews Sonallah Ibrahim's new novel. Rakha emphasizes the importance and originality of Ibrahim's debut autobiographical novel تلك الرائحة (translated as "The Smell of It") and gives what strikes me as perhaps too short shrift to later works such as "Zaat" and "Sharaf," but he has his arguments, and he's very enthusiastic about Ibrahim's latest, a historical novel set during the French invasion of Egypt and entitled "The Turban and the Hat." 

Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, who used to write for the Daily Star and whose work I've been impressed with for years, writes about Palestinian conceptual artist Emily Jacir, whose latest work re-constructs and explores the assassination of Palestinian intellectual Wael Zuaiter in Rome in 1972; the work opens a discussion about the assassinations of many Palestinian artists, writers and intellectuals in that period. Wilson-Goldie also discusses previous works by Jacir, all of which show how relevant and thoughtful conceptual art can be.

Finally there's a very nicely written piece by Suleiman Din about the homesick musical gatherings of Pakistani construction workers in Abu Dhabi.