Remembering Emily Nasrallah (1931-2018): In Her Words

“I repeated the last class for several years just to keep going to school — I desperately wanted something to read, and the only book around was the Arabic edition of the Bible whose stories were too complicated for children.”
Nasrallah, Snaije writes, convinced an uncle living in the US to fund her secondary education. It opens:

Read the rest in   Hikayat: Short Stories by Lebanese Women,   ed. Another short story by Nasrallah, “The Green Bird,” was translated by Thuraya Khalil-Khoury in   Hikayat: Short Stories by Lebanese Women,   ed. Today, we remember some of her words:
Childhood and youth
“I never thought I would get beyond the third elementary,” Nasrallah told writer and journalist Olivia Snaije. For more about Nasrallah from Magidow, visit her website, Khalaf. She also carried a passion, in which one could read if one wanted, that this wandering creature wanted to accomplish something she had yet to realize. Thus she remained open to the City, with a thrilling enthusiasm, seeing all its merits, fully expecting acceptance and opportunities…but where to begin? LikeLike

Reply ↓ In her eyes, she carried a radiance imparted by the bright mornings in the mountains of her village. by Roseanne Saad Khalaf. Earlier this month, Lebanese feminist writer Emily Nasrallah died at 86. She was determined, despite the challenge, or even the futility, of the experience. Later, “My family put so much pressure on me that I really had to fight and then fight again to go to university. She hoped to knock on the closed doors she faced. She could not yet distinguish between the world’s goodness, and its evils. Advertisements

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March 24, 2018 • 4:30 pm

Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News. It was unheard of for a girl to leave the village.”
On the Lebanese Civil War
“[T]he war changed the social situation of women who were homemakers when from one day to the next, their husbands left or lost their jobs and overnight women became responsible for everything… There were even women who fought, and this was part of the new freedom.”
A short translation by Melanie Magidow
The City and the Dream
Everything in her world was unknown, the gates to the city closed…a country girl moving to the city, asking among the people she knew, looking to get her foot in the door, looking for a place to lay her head. Deep down, she held the ignorance of early buds beginning to blossom. She was, as I remember, holding to her chest a big heavy box filled with the keys to her hopes and dreams. Translated by Melanie Magidow from Emily Nasrallah, Fi l-bal / In Mind (Beirut: Novel, 2000): 7-8.