Ahmed Matar & Obama

Ms. Tee over at B-side Beirut has a post about Ahmad Matar’s most recent poem, entitled “From Obama”, which has apparently been making the email rounds. The appearance of this poem may explain the strange incident I experienced yesterday. I was visiting my favorite bookshop in Hamra, and someone came in and asked K. — the bookseller — if  he had any copies of Ahmad Matar’s diwan. He replied, uncharacteristically, with a simple: “No.”

About fifteen minutes later, someone else walked in — a woman with a Gulfi accent wearing a niqab — and asked the same question. Again, K. simply shook his head. When she asked him where she could find it, he said he didn’t know. She asked him if it was only available on the Internet, and he replied that it was in print. Ten minutes later someone else came in and asked for the diwan and K. suggested that they go to al-Dahiyeh and find it there. When I asked K. about what was going on, he said that Ahmad Matar had a new collection out, but it was published against his wishes.

“Against his wishes? What do you mean?”

“I mean, they published it in a very bad way. He had no say over it.”

I asked K. to elaborate but he simply shook his head.

Has anyone seen a copy of the work?
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6 thoughts on “Ahmed Matar & Obama

  1. I have not seen a copy of the work, but since I posted the poem most of the searches leading to my blog have been something like:
    obama+احمد مطر

    Posted by Ms. Tee | November 28, 2008, 8:22 am
  2. Very interesting, Ms. Tee.

    A more cynical version of myself would take advantage of this little tidbit of information to generate more hits. You know, by saying something like:





    It’s a good thing I’m not so cynical. That would just be wrong.


    Posted by Qifa Nabki | November 28, 2008, 8:32 am
  3. You have such a limited imagination, man! Why not just go for broke and mention Paris Hilton, Haifa Wehbe and barely legal teens. Oh yeah, and sex.

    All in the context of Lebanese politics, of course!

    Posted by sean | November 29, 2008, 5:20 am
  4. Here is a copy from Arab Times. Mind the language.

    Posted by al-baghdadi | December 5, 2008, 1:40 am
  5. Here is a copy from Arab Times. Mind the language:


    Posted by al-baghdadi | December 5, 2008, 1:40 am


  1. Pingback: “The Worst Disaster Drives You To Laughter” – Ahmed Matar’s Black Humor | Arab Arts Blog - November 28, 2012

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