The Arabist

Bulaq Podcast

BULAQ is a podcast about contemporary writing from and about the Middle East and North Africa. It looks at the Arab region through the lens of literature and at literature through the lens of current events. BULAQ is co-hosted by Ursula Lindsey and M Lynx Qualey and produced by Issandr El Amrani. 

View of Bulaq quarter, Cairo. HAY, Robert, Esq. Illustrations of Cairo, London, Tilt and Bogue, 1840.

View of Bulaq quarter, Cairo. HAY, Robert, Esq. Illustrations of Cairo, London, Tilt and Bogue, 1840.

BULAQ: The Arab world in books

BULAQ is a podcast about contemporary writing from and about the Middle East and North Africa. It looks at the Arab region through the lens of literature and at literature through the lens of current events.

BULAQ is co-hosted by Ursula Lindsey and M Lynx Qualey and produced by Issandr El Amrani. 

BULAQ is named after a neighborhood of Cairo that hosted the first active printing press in the region. Established in 1820, the Bulaq Press put out its first publication, an Italian-Arabic dictionary, in 1822.  

MLQ is a book critic, editor, ghostwriter, and literary consultant with a focus on Arab and Arabic literatures, particularly as they intersect with translation. She runs the blog ArabLit.

Ursula is a journalist and book critic who writes about education, literature, and politics in the Arab world. She contributes to The Nation, the New York TimesThe Point and The Arabist blog.   

Both Ursula and MLQ spent many years living in Cairo and are now based in Rabat, Morocco. 

You can subscribe to this podcast using this RSS feed or on iTunes.


35: Trash Talk

In our last episode before half our team moves and we take a summer break, we discuss a brilliant essay on the downsides of being a professional translator; the Shubbak literary festival; and our plans for the future.

Show Notes

We read from Lina Mounzer’s ”Trash Talk: On Translating Garbage,” which recently appeared on the Paris Review and struck a nerve among translators, editors, and various other word-jobbers. You can also another essay of Mounzer’s on life as a translator: “War in Translation: Giving Voice to the Women of Syria.”

The literary strand of the Shubbak Festival took place at the end of last June in London; there was some discussion online of the first panel on feminism. You can also get panelist and graphic novelist Deena Mohamed’s Shubeik Lubeik online.

 

During our summer hiatus, please take share Bulaq with a friend. Also, if you are so inclined, share your feedback with us on our Twitter handle @bulaqbooks: What was your favorite episode? What would you like to hear more of? Are there particular topics, essays, or books that you think would make for an interesting discussion on Bulaq? What else, if anything, would you like to tell us?

EpisodesUrsula Lindsey