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RAIN IS a blessing and a curse, a source of sustenance and danger, beauty and annoyance. In this issue we honor the many faces of the rain -- and of its attraction and repulsion of its rhythms and power for poets, short-story writers, and anonymous supplicators.
Salma Harland illustrates its importance for the latter in “Making It Rain: Rain Deities in Pre-Islamic Arabia," while a wide range of poets address the driving power of the rain: Moroccan-Dutch poet Nisrine Mbarki, Palestinian-French poet Olivia Elias, Saudi poets Ashjan Hendi and Muhammad Al-Turki, and Bahraini poet Wael Almahdi, who writes back to one of the most well-known poems about the rain, Badr Shakir al-Sayyab's unforgettable "Rain Song." They are translated by Michele Hutchison, Salma Harland, Jérémy Robert, and Moneera Al-Ghadeer.
We have short stories by the award-winning Egyptian writers Naguib Mahfouz (his wild "Under the Bus Shelter"), translated by Simon Leese, and Mohammed Makhzangi (his beautiful magical-realist "Water Cords"), translated by Enas El-Torky -- in addition to the stories shortlisted for (and the winner of!) the 2022 ArabLit Story Prize.
We also have two gorgeous works of art -- illustrated poetry by the Kuwaiti artist Zahra Marwan -- and a short graphic novel illustrating children's rhymes collected by Bahraini poet Muhammad Ali Al-Nasiri.
Let it rain, but let it not wash us away!
NOTE: Those who buy the print edition will also get the PDF / ebook.