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Dark chocolate thoughts

Youssef Rakha
Youssef Rakha
I know it hasn’t been very long but there is plenty to report. Besides, considering what the world is coming to, who knows where any of us will be even two months from now. I also know that, whether because of weather conditions or sudden quarantines, the majority of you must be housebound, so. First, back in pre-Covid 19 times, the incredibly generous Noor Naga made The CrocodilesGranta’s best book of 2013, a bright moment for which I am eternally grateful. Then, two English short stories were published one after the other online: the very short "A Father’s Counsel“ in BULL; and, in Litro, the somewhat longer, more satisfyingly Bolañoesque ”The End Night“ (trigger warning: child torture!) In addition, three Arabic poems in Robin Moger’s always brilliant translation also appeared in the poetry issue of KGB Bar Lit journal. I was lucky to be invited to the Hay Festival Abu Dhabi, an occasion for this non-fiction piece in GQ Middle East – ah yes! – which was happily well-received on Twitter. The very promising KALIMAFIESTA in Brussels, on the other hand, has sadly had to be cancelled. I don’t know if the same fate must befall my upcoming workshop at Darb 1718, but I am trying not to embrace the hysteria too eagerly. As for тнє ѕυℓтαη’ѕ ѕєαℓ, I know things have been slower than usual, but that’s mainly because Carol and I have many more submissions to process and too much on our respective plates outside the cosmopolitan hotel. Recent highlights include Luciana Erregue on museum narcissism and selfie theory, and this beautiful little piece by the amazing Nubian-Sudanese-Turkish-Greek, Granada-based poet K. Eltinaé. You’ve probably heard by now that Corona is Egypt’s biggest homegrown chocolate brand. My favorite product used to be their Rocket chocolate (pictured below), featuring a glass-hard caramel filling and a weight-lifting baby on the wrapper. These days they make totally passable dark chocolate too. 
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Youssef Rakha
Youssef Rakha @Sultans_Seal

In 1963, when he came to Alexandria, David Hockney used Cecil Hotel stationary to make a beautiful sketch…

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