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Paths and Passageways
Ruba Abughaida


The word for ‘path’ in Arabic means so much more than can be translated into English. It signifies a familiar or even intimate neighbourhood with connotations of home and safety. The Arabic word for ‘passageway’ can mean a maze within a city, often an ancient walled city within whose twists and turns are the resting points of its street architecture, its trees and natural history, its terrain, neighbours and general street life. The doorway in a traditional Arabic home – very much like the one depicted on the front cover painting – is both a path and passageway. It serves as a gateway, linking a courtyard with to the world without…

C format paperback (216mm x135mm), 46pp
artwork by Nada Hawari
cover design by Alexandra Andries
ISBN 978 1 9999481 8 4

Arabic edition


Ruba Abughaida is a Palestinian-Lebanese poet and writer.  She was born in London where she spent part of her childhood before her parents returned to Kuwait where she grew up.  They eventually settled in Canada and she made her way back to the UK for postgraduate studies.  She is currently based in the Middle East but considers London and Montreal home as well.

She received an Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing from Oxford University, where she was encouraged to pursue her love of poetry by her teacher and mentor, Oxford based poet Jenny Lewis.  She went on to complete an Mst in Creative Writing from Cambridge University.  She has subsequently collaborated with Jenny Lewis and Iraqi poet Adnan Al Sayegh on several poetry translation projects.  Her passion for Arabic literature and poetry has led her to the doors of SOAS in London and an upcoming graduate degree in Arabic Medieval Thought.

Her short story ‘The Sirocco Winds’ won first prize in the Writer and Artists’ Yearbook Historical Fiction competition in 2014.  She has been published in Inkapture Magazine, On the Premises, Noah Magazine, Wales Art Review, In Travel Magazine, The Rusty Nail, Squalorly, Sukoon Magazine and The Laurel Review.

Here is an interview with Ruba on

Ruba Abughaida’s website




If this were Tripoli of another time
I would have followed you to
The heart of the Daftirdar quarter
Where pens dangled from collars
Necklaces of ink and feather

Now I glance into tight passageways
Of Hamra, the strain of
Time marked on stones, its stories
Forgotten between the thresholds of doors
Those seated outside speaking of what remains