‘Mona Lisa of Mosul’: If You Read This Poetry Book Backwards You’ll Find Meaning!

'Mona Lisa of Mosul': If You Read This Poetry Book Backwards You'll Find Meaning!

War, love and loneliness has inspired a new collection by young Iranian poet Garus Abdolmalekian.


Poems in “The Middle East Trilogy: War, Love, Loneliness” have been composed between 2014 to 2018, publisher Cheshmeh announced in a press release on Wednesday.

The front cover of the book bears a picture by Iraqi photographer Ali Fahdawi, depicting a girl from Mosul who was fleeing along with her family from ISIS forces. The publishing house has bought the copyright to the picture, which was later titled “Mona Lisa of Mosul”.

“Poems in the collection are both independent and connected,” the 38-year-old Abdolmalekian wrote in a preface to his book.

“Readers can start reading the book from the middle and if they start from the beginning they will find a hidden story, which gives a different atmosphere to the collection,” he added.

Cheshmeh has previously published Abdolmalekian’s collections “The Holes” and “Nothing Is as New as Death”; the latter also contains pictures by renowned Iranian photographers, including Abbas Kiarostami, Seifollah Samadi and Bahman Jalali.

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