Selma Dabbagh is a British-Palestinian writer and the editor of the 2021 anthology “We Wrote in Symbols: Love and Lust by Arab Women Writers.” Through poetry and short stories, novel excerpts and letters, the collection pulls from more than 1,000 years of Arab women’s writing — from pre-Islamic poetry to contemporary fiction.
“There seemed to be something so modern and pithy and frank and refreshing about their voices.”
“There seemed to be something so modern and pithy and frank and refreshing about their voices,” Dabbagh tells New Lines’ Lydia Wilson in the first episode of the magazine’s new podcast, “The Lede.” “My interest was really in looking at how these voices had changed over time.”
They talk about the difficulty of writing about love and intimacy, Orientalism and the male gaze, as well as why Arab women writers are expected to be “political.”
Produced by Joshua Martin & Christin El Kholy