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Mizna – 2003

Because nothing ruins art like an admirable cause, I was initially wary of Mizna, “a forum promoting Arab American culture that values diversity in the Arab community. Because nothing ruins art like an admirable cause, I was initially wary of Mizna, “a forum promoting Arab American culture that values diversity in the Arab community.” To my delight, however, the journal succeeds at a literary level, with an unusual and exhilarating variety of tone – grave, plucky, analytical and sanguine. In one story, a midwife “sat on the edge of the bed and listened to the absence of shrill, dissatisfied cries…” An essayist writes, “I’ve come to the decision that I don’t much care to be an Arab anymore…” Also among the offerings: a piece on belly dancing and stereotypical representations of Arabic womanhood; an account of the locust invasion in Lebanon, 1914; a eulogy to an American woman killed by an Israeli bulldozer demolishing a Palestinian home. One audacious contemplation of 9/11 suggests that the twin towers (“whose lights alone illuminated the Manhattan sky and drowned out nature’s light”) were perhaps “meant to go.” Some readers will be offended – or at least made queasy. But then, litmags, bless ‘em, aren’t for those afraid of the dark. [Mizna, P.O. Box 14294, Minneapolis, MN 55414. E-mail: [email protected] Single issue $6. http://www.mizna.org]

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