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Othello in Oman

Aḥmad al-Izkī’s Fusion of Shakespeare and Classical Arab Epic

Katherine Hennessey

Abstract

A recent work of theatre from Oman, Aḥmad al-Izkī’s al-Layla al-Ḥālika (The Dark Night, 2010), weaves together themes and characters from Shakespeare’s Othello and the pre-Islamic epic ‘Antara Ibn Shaddād, imagining a series of encounters which ultimately allow the protagonists to escape the tragic ending of Shakespeare’s play. This article argues that this juxtaposition performs a clever and well-placed intervention in ongoing socio-political debates on the Arabian Peninsula surrounding issues of identity, citizenship and political participation, and that the play argues for inclusivity and tolerance in the face of deep-seated racism and rising sectarianism. Furthermore, while al-Izkī’s script provides a happy ending, the 2010 production directed by ‘Abd al-Ghafūr al-Balūshī suggested a darker warning against the continuing threat of political, ethnic and sectarian divisions across the Gulf, a warning that subsequent events have borne out.

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The Taming of the Tigress

Faṭima Rushdī and the First Performance of Shrew in Arabic

David C. Moberly

Arabize Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew . … [We] say to the Arabizer of the play: Shame on you! 44 On the other side of the debate were critics who argued that Wākīm had succeeded in taking the essential idea of the play and Egyptianizing it

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Graham Holderness

This is the second issue of Critical Survey dedicated to Arab Shakespeare. When I invited Margaret Litvin to edit the first, which appeared in 2007, the field hardly existed. 1 Ten years ago in 2006 the World Shakespeare Congress in Brisbane

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Katherine Hennessey and Margaret Litvin

When the first Critical Survey special issue on Arab Shakespeares (19, no. 3, Winter 2007) came out nearly a decade ago, the topic was a curiosity. There existed no up-to-date monograph in English on Arab theatre, let alone on Arab Shakespeare

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Adam Hansen

consequences - of ‘terror’. And yet Muslims, notably Al Bassam, are more than willing and able to use Shakespeare to explore how extremism comes into being. In other words, Arab Shakespeares are the place to look if we want to see the opportunities for critical

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Nahrain al-Mousawi

have not fully absorbed the lessons that translation studies can teach, Hanna’s study seeks both to complicate those lessons and to demonstrate their relevance for analysing modern Arab (or indeed any) inter/cultural production. Arab Shakespeare

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Edited by Bryan Loughrey and Graham Holderness

profile of Critical Survey . It is now read in virtually all regions where the English language is relevant. Thematic issues have dealt with challenging extraterritorial topics such as ‘Arab Shakespeares’. And contributors now submit essays and poems

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‘Shakespeare Had the Passion of an Arab’

The Appropriation of Shakespeare in Fadia Faqir’s Willow Trees Don’t Weep

Hussein A. Alhawamdeh

’s Willow Trees Don’t Weep (2014)’, Open Cultural Studies 1, no. 1 (January 2017), 155-160. 3 Graham Holderness, ‘Arab Shakespeare: Sulayman Al-Bassam’s The Al-Hamlet Summit’, Culture, Language and Representation IV (2007), 142. 4 Ibid., 141. 5 Mahmoud

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Bringing Lebanon’s Civil War Home to Anglophone Literature

Alameddine’s Appropriation of Shakespeare’s Tragedies

Yousef Awad

, and Memory in Diasporic Anglophone Lebanese Fiction’, Journal of Postcolonial Writing 47, no. 3 (2011): 332. 9 Graham Holderness, ‘Introduction’, in Sulayman Al Bassam, The Arab Shakespeare Trilogy (London and New York: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama