It was on a day, much like today (Saturday, June 30), the day of the Gay Pride Parade in Paris, that I met my friend, the writer Ilfat Idilbi, for lunch at Les Deux Magots a few years ago. I had not realized that the Gay Pride Parade would be taking place when I’d first proposed that date for our meeting – I dreaded crowds and noise, both things that did not bother Ilfat Idilbi in the least. As soon as we settled on the terrace, the parade floats began turning down Boulevard St. Germain.
Literary prizes in the Arab world are hardly occasions for celebration. With the exception of the Sultan Bin al-Owais Award, a good number of literary awards have been greeted with cynicism and skepticism. Many of the prizes are tainted by Gulf or state money and sponsorship, as well as by scandals. Criticism has been directed towards the criteria for selecting candidates, the qualifications of the administrators of the prizes,
The novels of Albert Cossery are refreshingly scathing in their criticism of vanity, political corruption, and poverty of thought and imagination. They are also a tribute to the power of humor to free people from the vapid absurdities of modern existence.
In Washington, D.C., a memorial garden dedicated to the great Lebanese poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) sits nestled between the offices of world diplomats. A gift to the United States from the Kahlil Gibran Centennial Foundation, the garden park can be found on Massachusetts Avenue’s Embassy Row.
As happens in the West, Arab culture often celebrates authors at the expense of publishers. Also like their Western counterparts, Arab publishers tend toward commercialism and self-interest, jeopardizing the public’s best interest.
Founder of Al Adab 'moved the waters' of Arab Literature
The highest honors in modern Arab literature rightly fall on icons like Taha Hussein and Naguib Mahfouz, both authors of irrefutable genius. But while these figures deserve their place in Arab letters, the publishers behind them – who,
While some immediately think of the violent crisis in Darfur at the mention of Sudan, others will remember Tayeb Salih, the legendary Sudanese writer who passed away in London at the age of 80. His monumental novel, “Season of Migration to the North,” first published in English in 1969