Monday, 5 January 2015

On Ashraf Fayadh

Palestinian poet, curator, writer and artist Ashraf Fayadh has been jailed in Saudi for the past year without trail over blasphemy charges in his latest collection of poems "Instructions Within" and for having "long hair". It seems someone submitted a complaint in 2013 to the Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice which detained him over a year ago. He has yet to face trial.

I translate a part of his poem "Asylum" from his book "Instructions Within":

Asylum: To stand at the end of a queue..

To be given a morsel of bread.

To stand!: Something your grandfather used to do.. Without knowing the reason why.

The Morsel?: You.

The homeland: A card to put in your wallet.

Money: Papers that carry images of Leaders.

The Photo: Your substitution pending your Return.

And the Return: A mythological creature ... from your grandmother's tales.

End of First Lesson

اللجوء: أن تقف في آخر الصف..

كي تحصل على كسرة وطن.

الوقوف: شيء كان يفعله جدك.. دون معرفة السبب!

والكسرة: أنت.

الوطن: بطاقة توضع في محفظة النقود.

النقود: أوراق ترسم عليها صور الزعماء.

الصورة: تنوب عنك ريثما تعود.

والعودة: كائن أسطوري.. ورد في حكايات الجدة.

انتهى الدرس الأول.

1- Arabic report from London based Al Arab: Text

2- Interview with his father for France 24: Video

3- Interview with Ashraf Fayadh on curating Jeddah art show Video

4- Global Voices report on detention (English) Text

5- Catalogue of exhibition Ashraf Fayyadh co-curated as "first official Saudi collateral event" at the 55th Venice biennale in 2013 English PDF

6- In February 2014 100 Arab intellectuals signed a petition for his release

7- Arabic poem "Frida Kahlo's Moustache"

8- Report in VICE: The Saudi Arabian Artist in Jail For Having Long Hair

9- Op Ed on his arrest in Al Ittihad (UAE)

ht Mona Kareem

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