Football and Arabic literature haven’t always had an easy relationship. Football has inspired famous authors like Mahmoud Darwish, and anonymous fans who have composed powerful stadium chants. But the sport is sometimes looked down on by writers. We celebrate the sport and its chroniclers, featured in the FOOTBALL-themed fall 2021 issue of ArabLit Quarterly.
Today, we talk our way through the Fall 2021 issue of ArabLit Quarterly, which is all about literature and football. We open with a chant from the Casablanca team RAJA, “Fi bladi delmouni,” or “I Was Wronged in My Own Country,” in the original and then translated by Hicham Rafik.
For more background, read Aida Alami’s “The Soccer Politics of Morocco,” in The New York Review of Books.
We go out on the Ultras Ahlawy chant “Hekayetna,” or “Our Story,” translated by Mina Ibrahim.
We also talk about Mina Ibrahim’s moving essay “Egyptian Football’s Missing Archives.”
Mid-way, we read from Syrian author Luqman Derky’s “Knocking on Blue Freedom’s Door,” translated by Daniel Behar.
You can find the issue at arablit.org/store