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A Bit of Air

A Bit of Air
Translated by Anita Husen

Presenting a unique blend of poetry, visual art, and architecture, this bilingual English-Arabic volume introduces the English-speaking world to an award-winning Egyptian author who is in the vanguard of a new Arab literature.

Series: CMES Emerging Voices from the Middle East

Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Sales restrictions: For sale in the United States only
November 2012
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146 pages | 5.5 x 8.5 |

Award-winning Egyptian children’s author and illustrator Walid Taher targets a wider audience with A Bit of Air. Inspired by the long tradition of Egyptian colloquial poetry and its relation to social and political movements in Egypt, Taher creates a unique blend of visual art, poetry, and architecture. These darkly humorous poems and their accompanying images are snapshots of a state of mind and a space of fantasy that convey the absurd, the comical, the profound, and the idiosyncratic.

This illustrated, bilingual edition comes at a time of political and literary upheaval. An unprecedented number of Arab authors are producing new and noteworthy works by appropriating the language of blogs, poetry, comic strips, and film, to name a few. This mixing of media gives shape to new experiences emerging from and redefining a rapidly changing social and political reality. A new generation is ushering in a new language, a new literature, and a new Arab world.


Walid Taher has a thriving reputation in the Middle East as a political cartoonist and a children’s author and illustrator. This is his first collection for adults, and his first work to appear in English translation.

Anita Husen holds an MA in Arabic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and teaches Arabic at the university level.