Human Rights Radio

Episode 21: Rasha Abbas with Alice Guthrie

*This episode originally aired Robin Hood Radio on Friday, October 27, 2017*

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In this episode, Associate Director of Human Rights Radio, Danielle Riou, and Professor of Arabic Literature, Dina Ramadan, interview Rasha Abbas and Alice Guthrie on the collaboration process of translation. Interwoven with the interview are Arabic and English readings by Rasha and Alice of Rasha’s short stories.

Rasha Abbas was born and raised in Lattakia, Syria, and worked as a television journalist in Damascus. She started writing short stories in the mid 2000s, and published her first collection, titled Adam Hates the Television, in 2008, for which she was awarded a prize for young writers at the Damascus Capital of Arab Culture festival.

Her story, titled A Plate of salmon is never fully cleansed of blood, and which Rasha will read in this program, first appeared in English in the 2014 Anthology Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, and gained international attention.

Since her visit to Bard, she’s held a number of fellowships and residencies both in Europe and in North America, and settled in Berlin, where she continues to write prolifically. Her second collection of stories, titled How German Grammar was Invented, was published in 2016.

Related Interviews with Rasha Abbas:

Interview with Rasha Abbas, “Comedy is the Best Way”; Goethe-Institut China, August 2016

‘We Can’t Compete in Writing’ with Rasha Abbas; Schloss Post, November 27, 2015

Rasha Abbas, the ‘King of Cups’, and How Literature Lags Behind Music; Arabic Literature, August 9, 2017

Related Interviews with Alice Guthrie:

Meet the Translator: Alice Guthrie; Free Word, March 18, 2014

‘Blazing, Haunting, Defiant’-A Word From the Translator with Alice Guthrie; English Pen, November 25, 2014

Additional Live Reading :

Rasha Abbas and Alice Guthrie reading ‘The Gist of It’; The Massachusetts Review, November 17, 2015

Alice Guthrie reading Zaher Omareen’s ‘Milk’; The Massachusetts Review, September 14, 2015

Rasha Abbas and Alice Guthrie reading Zaher Omareen’s ‘The Birthmark’; The Massachusetts Review, December 5, 2015

Outro music:

Media Bketzob by Assasi ft. DJ Lethal Skillz

More from Assasi:

The Blue Giant

The Clinic




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