Fayadh, Ashraf: التعليمات بالداخل / Instructions Within
التعليمات بالداخل / Instructions Within by Ashraf Fayadh Translated from the Arabic by Mona Kareem, with Mona Zaki & Jonathan Wright (The Operating System, paperback)
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Publisher Marketing: Poetry. Middle Eastern Studies. Art. Translated from the Arabic by Mona Kareem, with Mona Zaki, and Jonathan Wright; and with Ammiel Alcalay, Pierre Joris and Lynne DeSilva-Johnson assisting/editing. Longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award for poetry.
The Operating System is honored to publish the first Arabic-English full translation of Ashraf Fayadh's singular volume of poetry, INSTRUCTIONS WITHIN, which was published by the Beirut-based Dar al-Farabi in 2008 and later banned from distribution in Saudi Arabia. This special edition includes two paintings by Ashraf Fayadh on its front and back covers, and is right bound, asking the reader to consider their estrangement from Arabic language, literature, and life, inviting a new relationship to begin to form. The Operating System will donate proceeds from sales of this book to support Fayadh's ongoing case for his release from imprisonment for apostasy as a response to these very verses in Saudi Arabia.
"Why do you need to read this book in America today? Because a US journalist asked if it really was worth it to write poems that might get you killed. Because Ashraf Fayadh, as poet, artist and human being, is being jailed and tortured for doing his job, that is for daring to expose & deride the two-headed Moloch governing the country he lives in (Saudi Arabia) and ours (these States): Fundamentalist religion & oil-money. Because Ashraf Fayadh is inventing a needed poetics to break not only those taboos but also the shackles of standard Arab poetics, freeing the language—& a freed language is needed for free thinking. Because his own exile (he is of Palestinian extraction) is so absolute that it does not fit the traditional nostalgic poetics of exile & searches for a new way of saying a new & wilder dislocation. Because this exile is so close to all of our own dislocations, even as, smugly ensconced in our North American bunker, we don't see that the same future is awaiting us. Because he wrote: 'I am Hell's experiment on planet Earth.'"—Pierre Joris