Ghoul's Greetings

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Youssef Rakha
Youssef Rakha
RAAAAUUUUGHHHHI am back, sweet victims. You too will soon be hobbling about looking for a fresh brain to devour, or swooping down majestically on a collarless neck, or else — what is it that reanimated mummies do to people?Anyway the Mummy, Shadi Abd El Salam’s Mummy in the form of Barra and Zaman is upon you — in The New York Review of Books (not a panegyric, but), in Middle East Eye and World Literature Today, in the Emirati National. It is soon to be on Mubi.com’s Notebook itself, ah yes. The living have been kind.Since the Rakha crawled back into its grave – when was it? – it has done a few things in the cool, moist bosom of the earth where it belongs, besides.It translated poems by Carol Sansour (“Jamila” is definitely worth your time).It participated in Barakunan’s Electronic Literature Day with a ten-year-old essay on Sargon Boulus.It went to Namibia with text and sound.And it bemoaned the increasingly capitalist state of things literary in Egypt. 
The real star of the Undead Show, however, has been Mutanabbi (my talented 10th-century buddy), whose verses inspired this poems-and-an-essay volume called Walakinna Qalbi (And Yet My Heart) with horse-themed illustrations by Walid Taher.Thanks to the ever intrepid Robin Moger, two of the poems appeared in English in Shenandoah this week, here and here. There’s an Instagram hashtag documenting events and responses (in Arabic), and a Soundcloud playlist with five recordings (also in Arabic).For those of you in Cairo, there is also an open-air event at 7 pm on Wednesday 14 July at Diwan Heliopolis (105 Abou Bakr El Seddiq St) where you can meet the zombie and have your copy of the book signed. I will not bite unless you ask me to (there may be an additional charge).Below is Murad (aka Mini Me) handing out copies of the slim beast during the May 29 launch at the Greek Club.
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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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