This st_age podcast explores the complex realm of Arabic poetry by women in the context of the contemporary regions of the Middle East and North Africa. This episode is a response to, and contemplation of, Listen to my words (2020) by Saudi Arabian-Palestinian artist Dana Awartani. It delves into themes of cultural destruction and revival through empowering women to find their voices, to harness the written word, and to speak. An overarching dialogue with the Alexandria-based poet, translator, and writer Salma Raafat, weaves in responses by five young poets to the question of what it means to be an Arabic female poet in the world today. The host is Nour Hassan, an Egyptian writer and creative director. The podcast structure mirrors Awartani’s artwork: voices complete one another and almost overlap, they are both diverse and unified, they traverse nuances and taboos to cultivate meaning, presence, and discourse for Arab women universally.
Salma Rafaat is an Egyptian writer, poetess, and performer. She started writing at the age of 11 and established Poetry Comes to Light, the first contemporary poetry club in Alexandria, in 2020. She “writes in the hope that one day people find their missing pieces in what I write, in the same way that I have become whole from what I have read.”
Other contributing poets in order of appearance:
Farida El Sayed
Produced by Nour Hassan.
Additional research by Nour Hassan.
Edited by Ana Esteve Reig.