Book review: Amjad Nasser's "Land of No Rain"
A milestone of modern Arabic literature
Jordanian author Amjad Nasser, who died in 2019, presents an impressive tale of homelands, life in exile and the hardships of returning home. His profound eloquence and use of experimental literary forms make “Land of No Rain” a landmark publication in modern Arabic literature, writes Martina Sabra in her review for Qantara
Book review: Daniel Speck's "Piccola Sicilia"
Little Sicily in North Africa
With "Piccola Sicilia", Daniel Speck proves himself to be a great storyteller and intercultural bridge builder. This family saga also spotlights a little-known chapter of Tunisian history: the German occupation of the country in 1942/1943 and the fate of Tunisia's Jews. By Martina Sabra
Rana Sweisʹ "Voices of Jordan"
A realistic snapshot of Jordanian society
Journalist Rana Sweis spent a period of nearly two years interviewing people of different backgrounds in Jordan. "Voices of Jordan" is a fascinating compilation of the portraits she penned during this time. By Martina Sabra
Legendary oud player and singer Sheikh Imam
Egypt's musical rebel
2 July 2018 marked the centenary of the birth of Egyptian protest singer Sheikh Imam. Martina Sabra visited the legendary artist several times in the 1990s and has observed that many years after his death, Sheikh Imam's music is still very much alive on the streets of Egypt
Interview with Lutheran pastor Mitri Raheb
″Till we have a fair peace″
Mitri Raheb is a Lutheran pastor and Arab Christian and the founder of the International Center of Bethlehem. Martina Sabra talks to him about Luther's influence in the Middle East, the chances of an Islamic Reformation and accusations of anti-Semitism
Moroccan migration expert Hicham Aroud
″Cologne 2015 was a watershed″
Measures introduced since the 2015 New Year's Eve sex attacks in the German city of Cologne have led to greater repression, higher walls and tighter controls. The only ones to benefit are the people traffickers, says Hicham Aroud, an expert for migration and asylum policy based in the Moroccan city of Rabat. Interview by Martina Sabra
Climate conference in Marrakesh
A golden opportunity?
With this year's UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Marrakesh, more media attention is being paid to environmental activists and green issues in Morocco than ever before. But will this have a lasting impact on the collective awareness of environmental issues, environmental protection and climate change policy in this north African country? Martina Sabra reports
Marital traditions in the Islamic world
Marriage first, love later?
The number of arranged marriages in the Middle East and North Africa is decreasing. Matrimony between cousins is still widespread, but matches of this kind now account for at most a quarter of all weddings. A growing number of young people find their partners without mediation; marriage for love is their ideal. By Martina Sabra
Reform in Morocco
Plagued by inertia
The former Secretary-General of Transparency Maroc Azzedine Akesbi was in Germany in June for a research project he is conducting as a fellow at the German Development Institute (DIE). With a view to the upcoming parliamentary elections in Morocco on 7 October 2016, Martina Sabra spoke with the economist and education expert on political reforms and the fight against corruption in the country
Book review: ″Auf der Flucht″ by Karim El Gawhary and Mathilde Schwabeneder
Born in the wrong place
″Auf der Flucht″ by Karim El Gawhary and Mathilde Schwabeneder tells stirring and disturbing real-life tales of people who have lost everything. Martina Sabra read the book
Morocco's abortion ban
There are plans afoot to liberalise Morocco's abortion laws. While an initial draft reform presented by the Ministers for Justice, Religious Affairs and Human Rights in mid-May has been sharply criticised by some women's rights organisations, doctors are expressing cautious optimism. By Martina Sabra
Israeli economist Shir Hever
An economy of disparities
In his book "The Political Economy of Israel's Occupation", the Israeli economist Shir Hever analyses the relationship between the economy and Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories and its global impact. Martina Sabra read the book and spoke with the author