Kajal Ahmad

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Kajal Ahmad or Kejal Ehmed (born 1967 Kirkuk, Iraq) is a contemporary Kurdish poet, writer and journalist.

About[edit]

Ahmad was born in Kirkuk in 1967 of Kurdish ancestry.[1] She began writing poetry in 1986, and publishing it at the age of 21.[2] Her poems, are known for being "fierce" and "sensual",[3] and have gained a reputation for "brave, poignant and challenging work throughout the Kurdish-speaking world."[4] They have been translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Norwegian and English.[4] The English-language Handful of Salt, a translated collection, was released in 2016 by Word Works.[5]

Kajal's lifestyle attracted criticism in conservative Kirkuk. She refused to wear the veil and wrote about a conservative culture that restricted womens's life choices and the contradictions inherent in her homeland's cultural norms. Although men were attracted to her, they did not offer commitment, and women avoided her to the point where she felt isolated and lonely.[6]

In addition to writing poetry, she also works as a journalist where she is able to write social commentary and analysis, particularly women's issues and politics.[7] Ahmad was Editor-in-Chief of Kurdistan-i-Nwe, the daily newspaper of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan for more than ten years[when?].[1] She has also hosted programs[which?] on Kurdsat.[1] Her writings demonstrate her commitment to preserving Kurdish culture, the liberation of Kurdistan and to gender equality.[8]

Along with a handful of female Kurdish poets and writers, including Najiba Ahmad (b. 1954) and Mahabad Qadragi (b. 1966), she is regarded as contributing to the development of Kurdish literature.[9]

She lives and works in Sulaimaniya, Iraq.

Works[edit]

Her poetry is embedded in Kurdish traditions, and her subject matter deals with themes of exile, isolation, homeland and conflicting emotions. [10] She has published seven books of poetry, and her work is also included in anthologies of important Iraqi poets.[11]Benderî Bermoda, 1999.

Wutekanî Wutin, 1999.

Qaweyek le gel ev da, 2001.

Awênem şikand, 2004.

Min Dibêt Xom Bismîl Bikem, 2014

Erobringer, (2005) Kajal Ahmad booklet,translated to Norwegian by Hawdem Salih jaf, Inger Østenstad. Publisher: Cappelen, Oslo

Kajal Ahmad Poems, translated to English by Mimi Khalvati and Choman Hardi (Enitharmon Press/Poetry Translation Centre, 2008).

Handful of Salt, translated in to English by Alana Marie Levinson-LaBrosse, Mewan Nahro Said, Darya Abdul-Karim Ali Najm, Barbara Goldberg (The Word Works, 2016)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Levinson-Labrosse, Alana Marie. "Four poems by Kajal Ahmad, translated from the Kurdish - Poetry Society of America". www.poetrysociety.org. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  2. ^ Mikhail, M.,Poets in the World: 15 Iraqi Poets [Poets in the World Series], New Directions, 2014
  3. ^ Levinson-Labrosse, Alana Marie. "Kurdistan: Where Poets Are More Than Poets - Fair Observer". www.fairobserver.com. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Kajal Ahmad". Poetry Translation Centre. Retrieved December 20, 2015.
  5. ^ Homa, Ava (2016-08-30). "Personal is political in Kajal Ahmad's Handful of Salt". Kurdistan24. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
  6. ^ Homa, A., "The peronsal is Political", Kurdistan News, [Los Angeles], 30 August, 2016, Online:
  7. ^ Mikhail, M.,Poets in the World: 15 Iraqi Poets [Poets in the World Series], New Directions, 2014
  8. ^ Boochani, B., No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison, Picador Australia, 2018, [E-book edition], n.p.
  9. ^ Maisel, S. (ed), The Kurds: An Encyclopedia of Life, Culture, and Society, ABC-CLIO, 2018, p. 171
  10. ^ Boochani, B., No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison, Picador Australia, 2018, [E-book edition], n.p.
  11. ^ Mikhail, M.,Poets in the World: 15 Iraqi Poets [Poets in the World Series], New Directions, 2014

External Links[edit]