"Something Strange, Like Hunger" by Malika Moustadraf
Feminist and literary activist
The Moroccan author Malika Moustadraf (1969 - 2006) wrote about sexuality, patriarchy and women's rights in her texts. When she died from chronic kidney disease aged just 37, she left behind an exciting, little-known literary legacy. By Melanie Christina Mohr
Let's talk about sex, habibi!
Love and desire from Cairo to Casablanca
Berlin journalist Mohamed Amjahid writes humorously and very intimately about how people experience love and desire across North Africa. Melanie Christina Mohr read the book
Navid Kermani‘s "Questions about God"
How do we believe?
In his latest book, Navid Kermani poses questions about God. It feels like no one could have done it better. His writing elicits smiles, doubt and wonder. By Melanie Christina Mohr
Protecting children from anti-Muslim racism
Stand up to the hate
Anti-Muslim racism is a macrosocial problem; protecting children is a macrosocial duty. Melanie Christina Mohr puts the issue in context
Non-fiction: Kubra Gumusay's "Sprache und Sein"
Beyond the linguistic pigeonhole
In "Sprache und Sein" (Language and Being) the activist Kubra Gumusay critically examines the function of language – the narratives that reflect and determine the realities of human coexistence, which classify and empower individuals while also curtailing their rights. It is all about privilege, stereotypes and exclusion. By Melanie Christina Mohr
Writer, nomad and feminist
Rather than perpetuate the romanticised image of the Orient commonplace in 19th century literature, writer and nomad Isabelle Eberhardt traversed and explored the Maghreb with a critical eye. She not only condemned French colonialism, but also the established gender roles of her era. By Melanie Christina Mohr
Book review: Joseph Croitoru's "Die Deutschen und der Orient"
Between contempt and fascination
In his new book, Joseph Croitoru shows how German politics, academia and literature all grappled with the Orient in the eighteenth century. By successfully weaving together these different threads, he provides an overview of attitudes towards the East in Germany during the Age of Enlightenment. By Melanie Christina Mohr
Treasures of the ancient Middle East
Deciphering the first written language
Some time around 3200 BC, humans living in the ancient Middle East developed the first written language. George Smith presented fragments of the Flood narrative from the ancient Middle Eastern story of Gilgamesh at a conference in London in 1872 – and mankind’s first epic was rediscovered. By Melanie Christina Mohr
Interview with Joobin Bekhrad, publisher of "Reorient"
Love-letter to Tehran
Joobin Bekhrad is the founder and editor of "Reorient", a well-known magazine for Middle Eastern arts and culture. Melanie Christina Mohr spoke to the author about art in Iran, rock ʹnʹ roll and his first novella
Goethe and Zoroastrianism
The eternal battle between good and evil
All his life Johann Wolfgang von Goethe felt a strong connection with Persia. Not only did he feel a spiritual affinity with the poet Hafez, he was also inspired and fascinated by the teachings and practices of Zarathustra, who lived in the first millennium before Christ. Melanie Christina Mohr reports
Johann Gottfried Herder and the Orient
Faith as silent spirituality
All his life, the German philosopher and poet Johann Gottfried Herder grappled with issues of the Orient and Islam, preaching his vision of a society shaped by humanity, tolerance and the individual, spiritual practice of faith. By Melanie Christina Mohr
Homoerotic poetry in Islam
Reeling with desire
What role did homoeroticism play in Islamic poetry written between the 13th and 15th centuries? We need look no further than Rumi and Babur. By Melanie Christina Mohr