Short Arabic Plays
American Journal of Islam and Society
Like most of the other anthologies edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi, ShortArabic Plays is a collection of translated Arabic literary works focusedaround one particular genre. This anthology, part of Jayyusi's Project forthe Translation of Arabic (PROTA), will bring attention to a dynamic, butunderstudied, genre of Arabic literature. This diverse collection consists of20 short plays by 15 playwrights, demonstrating the breadth of the genreand its interest not only to scholars and specialists, but
... lso to those concernedwith literature more generally.One problem with this particular anthology, however, is that Jayyusi'sseven-page editor's introduction barely manages to explain the impetusbehind the project, make her acknowledgments and outline the majorthemes in short plays in general – let alone contextualize the plays includedin this volume. Although it includes short biographies of the editor, contributors,and translators (after a brief glossary of Arabic words), there are nointroductions to the individual works or even such bibliographic indicationsas their original titles and dates of publication. In contrast, other anthologiesby Jayyusi – for example, Modern Arabic Poetry: An Anthology (ColumbiaUniversity Press: 1987) and Anthology of Modern Palestinian Literature(Columbia University Press: 1992) – are accompanied by useful and lengthyintroductions written by Jayyusi herself, as well as brief introductions toeach individual contribution.Likewise, the anthology most closely related to this one, ModernArabic Drama: An Anthology, coedited with Roger Allen ...