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WWNO Arts Features
Mon April 26, 2010
Together in Poetry: Arabic and English
By Eve Abrams
New Orleans, Louisiana – Meena means "port of entry" in Arabic -- a fitting name for the journal of poetry, art, and literature produced in the ports of New Orleans, Louisiana and Alexandria, Egypt, whose purpose is to create an entryway into two languages and their cultures. The journal reads left to right, in English, but flip it over, and the same poems and stories appear right to left, in Arabic. The two texts meet in the middle, and the symbolism of this structure is clear. Meena's editors, New Orleanians Khaled Hegazzi and Andy Young, created the journal so that their respective languages could be heard in a context of creativity and art, rather than war and conflict.
In this story by Eve Abrams , Young and Hegazzi read two poems from Meena -- "Boat" by Emad Fouad and "New Orleans" by Saadi Youssef -- accompanied by oud player Stuart LeBlanc. For more information on Meena, visit Meena's website.