Cover art: “Good Friday Shirt”
“Yahia Lababidi’s work is characterized by a contemplative tone in line with Rumi, whom he often quotes. Lababidi is a Muslim voice for peace, celebrating the wisdom in ancient traditions and pointing out the ridiculous in the rush and cynicism of contemporary life. Drawn to the mystic tradition, he often refers to the virtues and fruits of silence, and writes that his aphorisms “respect the wisdom of silence by disturbing it, briefly.” Perhaps an age as thoughtless and noisy as our own requires a whole book full of them.”
Yahia Lababidi’s latest aphorisms plumb the depths of the soul for hard-won truths to set against glib polemics and easy answers. In these troubled times, they point a path through despair to a better way of being together. “
—Ben Grant, author of The Aphorism and Other Short Forms
“As the world haltingly emerges from the pandemic, the prolific Yahia Lababidi offers us his latest hard-earned insights from a lifetime of contemplating about yearning as a form of devotion, the mystic’s orbit between world and God, and the necessity of art as form of self-care.
All these revelations are intensified and purified though the crucible of solitary thought that, as everyone knows, social distancing has forced upon us. In this latest collection, it is manifestly clear that Lababidi communes with his ancestors — a global congregation of poets, philosophers, and aphorists.”
—Andrew Hui, author of A Theory of the Aphorism from Confucius to Twitter
“Yahia Lababidi’s nacreous aphorisms give thinking a good name. Truth is beautiful thinking and beautiful thinking is truth in these lyrical, political and personal pensees. The economy of surprise is the stuff of inescapable poetic thought”.
—David Lazar, author of I’ll Be Your Mirror
Like every divine utterance, the only way to honor Lababidi’s work is to memorize it. I’m starting today. I am moved, touched and remade by his words, sincerity and truth beyond measure. This has not been an easy time for the world, these words heal.
– Robert Inchausti, author of The Way of Thomas Merton
About the Author
Yahia Lababidi, an Egyptian author of ten collections of poetry and prose, has been called “our greatest living aphorist”. His aphorisms and poems have gone viral, are used in classrooms, religious services, and feature at international film festivals.
Lababidi has also contributed to news, literary and cultural institutions throughout the USA, Europe and the Middle East, such as: Oxford University, Pearson, PBS NewsHour, NPR, HBO as well as beIN Sports.
His latest work includes Desert Songs (Rowayat, 2022), a bilingual, photographic account of mystical encounters in the desert, as well as Learning to Pray (Kelsay Books, 2021), a collection of his spiritual reflections.