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Kalimat was published quarterly between 2000 and 2006. It started with an English Issue followed by an Arabic one. However, in the last year it was only in English.
After 24 issues, we decided to cease publication due to time and financial constraints.
The following is part of my first editorial piece in Issue 1.
‘Kalimat’ is the Arabic for ‘words’. It is the plural of ‘kalima’. We believe in the power and the beauty of words. We believe that the word is the gate of cultural heritage, and that writing is the key to its permanence. Kalimat seeks to expose the beauty of words and explore their creative dimensions in poetry and prose, in any form or style. Kalimat will seek quality, without being too academic. Kalimat, an Australian-Arabic Literary Quarterly, is produced alternately in English and Arabic. It seeks creativity in both languages, and fosters access between English-speaking and Arabic-speaking individuals and the worlds and cultures they represent. In doing so Kalimat aims at providing direct enjoyment of the written word in either languages, or in both for those who are bilingual. Those who have one of the languages only, can have access to other ideas through translations and commentary. Kalimat’s mission is to provide a medium for cultural access and enhanced creative communications between writers from diverse communities, who are united by their quest to have their words read, heard and felt by everyone. Kalimat will focus on Australian-Arab access by being representative of the widest possible contemporary writings in each culture. It will also attempt to promote Australian and Arabic writings throughout the migrant communities around the World. We are very clear about what access means. A very dear friend of mine who comes from a different background, holds some contrasting views to mine. We both believe that ‘boundaries’ are inevitable, or at least necessary or healthy. We believe that we are such good and close friends because we recognise each other’s boundaries. We are also able to cross those boundaries, move freely, enjoy their essence and move out again without undermining the integrity of the core. This is the type of access Kalimat will establish. The uniqueness and particularity of each work, individual or culture must be preserved. There is more than one way of ‘bridge-building’. We see that our part is to provide this medium of access without implying or imposing some hollow grand scheme as happens when someone claims to speak for others or take on their cause under the pretext of ‘bridge-building’. We would like to see more spontaneous, creative and emerging talents knocking on our door. To this end, we say that Kalimat is your words. And my word! Without you and your contributions to this exercise, it becomes null and void.
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Eva Sallis (Hornung)
LIAISON AND GENERAL ADVICE
Akram Burgess Elmugawish
• Maen Abdullatif • Michel Alyas • Saad & Ruth Barazi
• Victor Ghannoum • Peter Indari • Tony Jammal
• Samih Karamy • Najat Nizam • Ayman Safkouni
• Ahmad Shboul • Ghassan Skybey
• Ali Bazzi • John Beshara • Wasfi Bounni
• Nabil & Hanan Harfoush • Hassan Issa • Laila Karamy
• Samir Khalil • Joe Khattar • Nada Khodr • John Maait
• Tony Maroun • Gad Ben Meir • Shawki Moslemani
• Rabih Nahas • Aza Nahhas • Jumana Nahhas
• Eva Sallis • Lyn Samara-Banna • Yahia Shehabi
• Qais Shasha • Adnan Wahbi