Tag Archives: Sinan Antoon

Vomena 1.29.14 – Erdem Yörük on the corruption scandal in Turkey and Sinan Antoon on his new novel, “The Corpse Washer”

Cover image from Sinan Antoon's new novel, "The Corpse Washer"

Cover image from Sinan Antoon’s new novel, “The Corpse Washer”

On this week’s program, we will be talking about the latest corruption scandal engulfing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Shahram Aghamir fills in for Kahlil Bendib to speak with Erdem Yörük, an assistant professor of sociology at Koç University in Turkey about the political graft in that country and how it all unfolded.

Last summer it was the Gezi park anti-government that rattled the Turkish government. Today, Turkish Prime Minster Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party AKP are facing another crisis brought about by a corruption scandal and a power struggle between the self-exiled influential US based religious leader Fethullah Gülen and  Prime Minister Erdogan.

For more background reading about Turkey’s latest political crisis, visit Jadaliyya.com.

In the second part of the program, Malihe will speak with acclaimed Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon about the inspiration for his new novel. News from Iraq has been reduced to daily reports of bombings and carnage. Seeking to explore the emotions of those still alive, Sinan Antoon writes about the accumulated tragedy of loss in his novel, “The Corpse Washer”. The protagonist Jawod is pressured by his father, a corpse washer, to take over the family job. But Jawod has different plans for his life – he wants to become an artist, a sculptor. But growing up during the Iran-Iraq war of the 80’s and witnessing the invasion of Kuwait in the 90’s, he is exhausted by death, and wishes to shape his future in other ways. But his future does not pan out as he plans.

Sinan Antoon is an Iraqi poet, novelist, scholar, and an associate professor at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study, New York University. “The Corpse Washer” is his second novel.

New : Our Archives on Youtube !

Voices of the Middle East and North Africa has received a tremendous amount of listeners messages requesting for the past show. We are proud to announce that we put a part of our work on Youtube. And we will continue to feed the website with the latest programs.

Vomena Team.

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Iraq’s Political Climate; Iraqi Film “Son of Babylon” (Part II of Interview)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

This week on Voices of the Middle East & North Africa, we have a conversation with Professor Sinan Antoon of New York University about the current political situation in Iraq as the stalemate in forming a government continues.

Son of Babylon

Son of Babylon

Later in the program, we’ll bring you the second part of our conversation with Iraqi film maker Mohamed Al-Daradji, about his award winning feature film Ibne Babel, or Son of Babylon, a story about a grandmother and grandson in occupied Iraq. The film has been selected as Iraq’s official entry for the foreign language Oscar at the 2011 Academy Awards. Al-Daradji also speaks with us about the unsteady state of the film industry in Iraq.

This Week: The Politics of Water in the Middle East

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This week on Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, we begin a series of programs on the politics of water in the Middle East, with a two-part interview with Rutgers University Assistant Professor of history Tobi Jones on his recent article titled, “Saudi Alchemy: Water Into Oil, Oil Into Water.”

Later in the program, we update you on the ongoing uc student senate battle to divest from US corporations profiting from Israeli war crimes.

And last but not least, on the occasion of national poetry month, NYU professor Sinan Antoon will read from the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish‘s last book of prose “In the Absence of Presence.”

Voices of the Middle East and North Africa – April 14, 2010 at 7:00pm

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This Week: Iraq Elections

The Hurt Locker

This week on  Voices of the Middle East and North Africa,  Professor Sinan Antoon on elections in Iraq and Omid Arabian on Hurt Locker.

Broadcasts 94.1. FM in San Francisco at 7PM PST.

The divine sponge


Sargon Boulus

Sargon Boulus



The Divine Sponge

The Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus was a rare bird: a formal innovator immersed in tradition, a politically engaged artist who resisted political classification. Sinan Antoon looks back on his life and work.

“What words can do / these days / Is almost nothing” wrote the Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus in The Secret of Words, published just weeks after he died in a Berlin hospital on October 21, 2007. 

Boulus always modestly undersold the power his work had in Iraqi and Arab cultural circles. One wishes he could have seen the elegies and testimonials that quickly flowed in from Iraq, from Morocco, from across the Arab diaspora. In As Safir, the Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef bemoaned the loss of “the only Iraqi poet”. 

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