A native of Iraq, Amal Al-Jubouri published her first poetry collection, Wine from Wounds, at 19. Fiercely independent, Amal’s poems critically reflect social and political life in the Arab world. This independence has won her numerous awards, including Library Journal’s Best Books of 2011 for Hagar Before the Occupation, Hagar After the Occupation. A firm believer in using art to drive change, Amal served as Yemen’s Cultural Consular (Berlin, 2000-2011) and founded Diwan, the German-Arab poetry magazine, in 2001. She is now the Director of the Arab Human Rights Academy and CEO of Soutuna.com, promoting human rights across the Arab world.
Ninth Annual Commemorative Reading
Saturday March 5, 6 - 8 pm
Smithsonian American Art Museum
800 G Street NW
Washington, DC 20001
Distinguished poets and translators, musicians and speakers will commemorate the 2007 bombing of Baghdad's historic book selling street, to celebrate the free exchange of ideas and knowledge and stand in solidarity with the people of Iraq and everywhere where freedom of expression is threatened. A reception and book signings will follow the reading. Featured poets and speakers include Amal Al-Jubouri, Beau Beausoleil, and Dunya Mikhail.
The Role of Artists in Iraq Today: A Public Conversation between Amal Al-Jubouri and Andy Shallal
Monday, March 7
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Busboys and Poets, Takoma
235 Carroll St NW
Washington, DC 20012
Artist-activists Amal Al-Jubouri and Andy Shallal reflect on their relationship to Iraq, their art and poetry, and the aftermath of the 2003 US invasion on Iraq. They will speak about Al-Mutanabbi Street, the booksellers’ street in Baghdad, and the history and contemporary life of art, poetry, and intellectual exchange in Iraq.
Andy Shallal is an Iraqi-American artist, activist and entrepreneur. He is the founder of Busboys and Poets, a community where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted and a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide to inspire social change and begin to transform communities and the world. Busboys and Poets is a sponsor of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016.
Forgive but Never Forget; Reconciliation in Almutanabi Street?
Tuesday, March 8, 6:30 pm
Brentwood Arts Exchange
3901 Rhode Island Ave
Brentwood, MD 20722
Forgive but never forget; reconciliation in Almutanabi Street is a documentary film that follows the story of Al-Mutanabbi street in Baghdad, a street famed in Iraq for its Friday book auction and commitment to literature. In 2007, the street was hit by a terror attack, destroying the Alshabander Cafe, one of the street’s central social points. The owner of the cafe, Muhammed Alkshali, lost five sons in the attack. Despite this, he rebuilt the cafe and it has become a focal point of reconciliation in Baghdad. The film shows the story of the street before and after the attack, along with illustrations of the lives of those who live and work in the street. By doing so, it showcases the street as a beacon of hope in this dark time in Iraq's history. Director and human rights activist Amal Al-Jubouri will speak about the film and life in Iraq after the screening.
DC for Baghdad: Local Poets in support of Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Readings organized by Casey Smith
Sunday, March 13, 6 pm
827 Upshur Street, NW
Washington, DC 20011
As an act of solidarity and friendship, poets Amal Al-Jubouri, Mousa Al-Nassiri, Carol Beane, Sarah Browning, Khadijah Wilson, and Frazier White will read poetry that stands against war and for freedom of expression everywhere. For more information, please visit the Facebook event page.
Saturday, March 19, 12-6 pm
Monroe Street ARTWALK
Poets Saida Agostini, Rasha Abdulhadi, Amal Al-Jubouri, Sarah Browning, Amal Kassir, Leeya Mehta, Yvette Neisser, and Joseph Ross will read poetry at this event. Book exchanges, poetry readings, hands-on activities of bookmaking, hand papermaking, calligraphy, music, food, and dance performances will take place.
Keeping Time with Blue Hyacinths: Poetry and Music with Sholeh Wolpé and Amal Al-Jubouri
Saturday, March 19, 7-9 pm
Busboys and Poets, Brookland
625 Monroe St NE
Washington, DC 20017
Iraqi poet and human rights activist Amal Al-Jubouri will read her poetry in Arabic and in English, followed by a sumptuous music and poetry journey performed by Sholeh Wolpe to music composed for this piece by Payam Yousefi. The poem which itself is in seven movements, utilizes the seven tokens Iranians put on their table in anticipation and final celebration of each new year, as a metaphor for her own journey away from her country, and the futility of searching for home. Sholeh will be accompanied by Payam Yousefi on the santoor, a traditional Middle Eastern musical instrument.
Listen to an interview with Amal Al-Jubouri on the Iraq Matters podcast here (available in both Arabic and in English).