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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Friday, 7 November 2008

More on Islam Samhan - exclusive to Kafez

November 7, 2008

by Suzan Abrams

This afternoon, I received a free copy of Jordanian poet, Islam Samhan's, now banned poetry book, Grace Like A Shadow. On the subject proper, you only have to scroll down to read one of my many entries. It was sent to me as a gift with no strings attached by Islam Samhan, himself, courtesy of his boss at the newspaper where he once worked as a journalist; the indomitable Hada Sarhan. Of course, I never expect things like this. When I write my stories, it is from a diligence and love for the written word and simply to stay ahead of the game.

Hada Sarhan is a popular, veteran journalist who has also been a stout supporter and loyal friend for Samhan.

The book is beautifully printed and even the back design is artistic enough to command a second longer look. I'll scan it tomorrow so readers can have a look in.

I held the book in my hands very carefully, scanning over the pages for glimpses of the banned Arabic poems. Another copy had been sent to me earlier, together with an Arabic newspaper, also for my collection, but this never reached me.

For the record, Islam Samhan's case has been postponed to the week after next as the judges are presently away. Samhan has been questioned by the Jordanian judiciary over the telephone in a lengthy enquiry where once more, he has had to proclaim his innocence. As Jordan is not allowed to report on any news while a trial is in process, what you're reading here is exclusive information....news you're unlikely to pick up elsewhere.

Once the trial starts, I expect interest in the poetry book to hot up worldwide.

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By the way, I will most probably be in the Middle-East during the time of the trial or otherwise, I may just have missed it but will still be in Amman in the next few weeks. This by coincidence. I will definitely have easy access to exclusive stories and photographs during this time if I want. I have been invited by Hada Sarhan - who is truly a jewel and also the family of Islam Samhan to stay with them and to be looked after in Jordan by them and I thank them for their very warm hospitality and kindness. Soon, we will all meet for the first time.

This generosity came about as a token of appreciation from all the earlier stories. I guess that's what even an insignificant blog like mine can achieve at the end of the day, through nothing but dedication.

I am definitely going to revisit Petra, the Dead Sea and the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aqaba). My memories of these romantic places have always been splendid.

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