Note: the excerpts appear according to their order in the magazine

> Beauty Perfected in a Pair of Bare Feet
Ibrahim Farghali, Egypt

I remember that later, at the climax of our relationship, we were out strolling on a spring day which suddenly got much warmer. She was wearing nylon stockings under her light flat-soled shoes, and as the temperature rose she announced to me that she couldn’t stand wearing them anymore. We ended up far from any prying eyes, as she quickly took off her stockings. I can still remember the exact moment her feet were stripped naked, freed from their transparent black sheath, mobile and roaming...more

> Ruminations on Cannibalism
Hisham Fahmi, Morocco/Montreal
On 5th February 1952, a Moroccan workman was eating his lunch in a restaurant in Blankfort Street, in the modern part of Casablanca. Shocked by the disturbing taste of the food he was eating, he decided to go for a look around the kitchen. He found a pan full of human limbs in gravy, with finger and toe bones floating on the surface of the sauce. The Casablanca police investigation, which was launched immediately, found that the owner of the restaurant was indeed serving human limbs to his customers...more

> Vignettes of Private Gay Life, from Here and there
Maha Hassan, Syria/France
I met Janet at a dinner party at a friend’s house; I’d never seen her before. She charged noisily into the room. After she’d greeted us all she threw herself onto the sofa and lay back, exposing her thighs, without bothering to check whether her clothes were covering her properly. “Argh, I’m knackered,” she said. I stretched my hand out towards her and she took hold of it with an enigmatic tenderness. I immediately sensed that she was gay, and that this tenderness, as she touched my palm, and then played with my fingers, was a mixture of sexual desire...more

> The Sexual Life of Catherine M.
Catherine Millet, France
I really love sucking a man’s cock. It started turning me on around the same time that I was getting used to guiding the exposed head of the penis towards the other opening, towards that mysterious and hidden cavity. I started off believing, in my naivety, that sucking a penis was a depraved and shameful sexual act; I can still remember trying to explain this to one of my female friends, in a tone of voice laden with misgivings...more

> The Legend of the Body: from the Gelatinousness of the Eye to Vision’s Intuition Yusuf Limoud, Egypt/Switerland
Perhaps, as Henry Miller put it, filth only exists in the mind. If one of the ancient Indian sages had heard the concept of filth being linked with that of sexuality, his mouth would have gaped open in incomprehension. Ancient Indian spiritual philosophy saw all of existence’s aspects and instinctive actions as manifestations and expressions of the cosmic spirit. So according to their worldview sexuality was something innocent, as pure in its nature as animals are; sexuality was, essentially, an energy. Only...more

> The Body: Caught Between Autonomy and the Hegemony of Advertising
Faisal Darraj, Palestine
There is no clear boundary between the ‘singing body’ and advertising, as in advertising it’s the body that sings. What the voice announces is ‘sensuous advertising,’ which began as human raw material and ended up as a ‘star.’ What is clear is that the body’s truth is advertising’s truth, which has redesigned and remade the body more than once. And given that advertising, whether skillful or stupid, certainly doesn’t lack nonsense, it can do nothing when faced with the ‘raw voice,’ so...more

> Let’s Call Her Ikram, for Example
Abass Baydoun, Lebanon
We gripped each other tightly, our two bodies in total contact, each of them fitting the other like a mould; our clothes, seeming as soft as real skin, weren’t in our way. My penis began to fill while I tried to restrain it, feeling it getting hard and take on its real size; it groped around before sorting itself out a space in which to swell freely, finally settling itself down, with part of my being concentrated on it. My hands, interlinked on her back, filled with a softness emanating through the cloth, something stronger...more

> That Body
Paul Chaoul, Lebanon
That is the body, and one stone can rock it. It enslaves whatever the days have prepared for it, lengthily, mercilessly, with neither brotherhood not witnesses: a massacre of the senses: an obscure theatre performance of severed shadows, hats, and prostitutes, between alluding to former blood, and picking a cigarette back up whose smoke had carried the body far away, and maybe even clotted (or rusted). A clot between an anonymous reservoir and a widening orifice: maybe the aorta is the most heart-stopping thing of all. Maybe what...more

> Me and my Neighbour
Hajer Saleh, Palestine
My neighbour doesn’t know that I harbour bad intentions towards her. That’s how blond women are - in an oblivious trance. My neighbour has a bath, and then throws her towel onto a submissive chair. The argumentativeness of a coastal body, which doesn’t know how to hide itself behind a fig leaf. My neighbour tries on outfits while I’m in the corner of my balcony, wandering about in her nakedness. Her shoulders are covered as she puts on a minidress, only to strip it back off and throw it on top of the towel. My neighbour doesn’t know that, in the darkness of my balcony, I...more

> My Story with the Sexual Pioneers of the Screen
Hauvick Habechian, Lebanon
The film was from the days of long moustaches and hair draped over skinny bodies, but what shocked me the most was the sight of the woman’s bright pink pussy covered in all that black hair. Later, I read Mohamed Chukri talking about how he used to be afraid of vaginas, as he believed they had teeth inside and could chew up and gulp down his penis. The first thing that came to my mind when I read his words was that pink vagina in the film, almost swallowing the man’s tongue who was prancing about on it...more


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