Graphic by Joaquín Kunkel Edited by Koh Terai/The Gazelle

The Weekly Graze: Summer Reading

Here at The Gazelle, we work hard to bring you interesting, informative content that you can enjoy and engage with. But as we head off into the summer ...

Graphic by Joaquín Kunkel Edited by Koh Terai/The Gazelle
Here at The Gazelle, we work hard to bring you interesting, informative content that you can enjoy and engage with. But as we head off into the summer and are freed from our responsibilities, we plan to catch up on things to read apart from The Gazelle articles. Here are some of them in hopes that they might interest you too.

Muhammad Usman

Features Editor
, Sir Muhammad Iqbal (poetry)
Every time I look at my collection of books, both at home and at this university, I notice the lack of Urdu books and realize how ignorant I am of Urdu literature. Growing up, I was never encouraged to read in Urdu by my family or by my school and I never bothered to read much myself. Since coming to NYU Abu Dhabi, the feeling that I’m actively ignoring my culture has grown stronger and so I’ve slowly gravitated towards the greats of Urdu and Punjabi poetry, which include Ghalib and Bulleh Shah.
One poet I have actively avoided is Allama Iqbal. Iqbal is one of the most formidable voices from South Asia, famous not only in the subcontinent but also in Iran, the U.K. and among certain intellectual circles in the U.S. The reason I have avoided him for so long is because Iqbal was a staunch nationalist, one who imagined Muslims as a separate community in the Subcontinent. This idea doesn’t appeal to me.
Yet, I think the time has come for me to acknowledge that Iqbal is a legend, and one that deserves my attention. I have decided to read Bāⁿṅg-ē-Darā, a collection of poems by Iqbal, because I am already familiar with some poems in it like Shikwa, one of the most famous Islamic poems. But perhaps more importantly, Bāⁿṅg-ē-Darā features poetry from different periods of Iqbal’s life: before going to Europe, during his time in Europe and after his return to the Subcontinent. I’m hoping that as someone who has also made a journey abroad for education, I can find something to relate to in poetry written by a man whose ideas I find difficult to believe.

Sebastian Rojas Cabal

Managing Editor
Ilustrado, Miguel Syjuco (book)
I've been trying to read this book for a while. Syjuco will be teaching Creative Writing at NYUAD in fall 2016 and it'd be great to get an idea of how he is as a writer. Beyond that, I've been trying to learn more about the Philippines for some time. Its troubled relationship with both Spain and the U.S. make it incredibly appealing book for a Latin American reader.

Sam Ball

Staff Writer
The Cairo Trilogy, Naguib Mahfouz
I’m 200 pages into the Cairo Trilogy, by Naguib Mafouz translated from the Arabic. So far it’s a pretty great book. It is full of rich descriptions and a protagonist-antagonist that makes you shudder at how much you hate him for being a womanizer, a horrible father, husband and human. I don’t know if I can finish it. I hope I can read 50 pages per day and finish it in about three weeks, but we’ll see. It’s massive. I made the mistake of getting the edition with all three books in one, on really thin Bible paper. It scares me. It mocks my lack of progress. But this summer, I’ll wind my way through Cairo streets and generations of an Egyptian family via the masterful prose of Mafouz.

Warda Malik

News Editor
I was in Abbottabad the night Osama Bin Laden was captured on May 2, 2011. That day many things around me changed, but inside I felt a strong desire to question the stories and narratives that surrounded me. Limited knowledge, just like ignorance, creates more problems than it ever solves. When I saw such instances unfold in front of my eyes, I decided to educate myself on the manifestations of terrorism and understand the historical events militant organizations, such as al-Qaeda, draw their motivation from.
I’ve never considered myself a person who dabbles too much into politics, but in today’s world, or at least in my world, it is a choice you make to ensure that false narratives are not spread and you are not one of those people who contributes to it. Maybe that’s why I want to understand as many perspectives as I can on al-Qaeda and not restrict myself to only one.
This book compares militant movements to humanitarian groups, like non-governmental organizations; I’m very excited to read how the author makes this comparison and the kind of discussions it leads to. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to understand different perceptions on al-Qaeda and other groups.

Larayb Abrar

Deputy Features Editor
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (book)
I’ve been meaning to read Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment for some time now. I’m particularly interested in exploring and understanding how Dostoyevsky develops his themes of redemption, guilt and suffering. Also, I’ve never read any Russian literature before, and I’m excited to do so for the first time.
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