25+ Arab Authors Who Tweet

There are some wonderful, amazing writers who have twitter accounts (Libyan-American poet and translator Khaled Mattawa, Egyptian children’s book author Walid Taher, award-winning novelist Miral al-Tahawy), but don’t use them. I don’t list those authors below.

Also, there are authors who — quite reasonably — mostly use their Twitter feeds to promote their work. Fair enough. I don’t list them, either.

I have tried to focus not on important authors who’ve registered a Twitter handle, but on those who make interesting use of the medium. In no particular order…

Libyan

Hisham Matar (Mostly English) @hishamjmatar

Matar (1970) was raised in New York City, Tripoli, and Cairo; his first novel, In the Contry of Men, was shortlisted for the 2006 Man Booker. His second novel, The Anatomy of a Disappearance, appeared in 2011. (Both will be out soon in Arabic.) Tweets regularly, but not daily. About literature, observations, his own appearances.

Ghazi Gheblawi (English & Arabic) @Gheblawi

Gheblawi is a poet, short-story writer, translator, and “obssesive Libyan.” You can find his work in Banipal and on his blog, Imtidad. Tweets daily about all sorts of things: literature, translation, science, Libya, trousers.

Palestinian

Susan Abulhawa (English) @sjabulhawa

Abulhawa’s first novel, Mornings in Jenin, was (re-)released by Bloomsbury in 2010 in English. An Arabic translation was just published by Bloomsbury-Qatar. Tweets regularly about Palestine and literature.

Mourid Barghouti (Arabic & English) @MouridBarghouti

Barghouti is an award-winning poet and memoirist (I Saw Ramallah and I Was Born There, I Was Born Here). He tweets daily — gently and generously — about poetry, Palestine, and other things.

Tamim al-Barghouti (Arabic) @TamimBarghouti

Poet and political scientist al-Barghouti (son of Mourid and Radwa Ashour) tweets regularly, generally about politics.

Mischa Hiller (English) @mischahi

The author of Sabra Zoo, Hiller tweets about writing, politics, and Jonathan Franzen.

Remi Kanazi (English) @remroum

As Omar notes below, Kanazi tweets about his own work and Palestine, and his Twitter feed is something of a poetic performance.

Palestinian Literary Festivals & Book Groups

Palestine Festival of Literature (Mostly English) @PalFest

Palestine’s premeire literary festival. This year in Gaza. Tweets more as the festival (held in May) approaches.

Palestine Writing Workshop (Mostly English) @PalWorkshop

Tweets regularly about the activities of its members and authors.

Egyptian

Radwa Ashour (Arabic) @radwa46

Novelist Radwa Ashour (Specters, Granada, Farag, Tantoureya) doesn’t tweet nearly as much as her husband and son, but she does come on now and again to share a chant or political RT.

Alaa al-Aswany (Arabic) @alaaaswany

Author of The Yacoubian Building and Do We Deserve Democracy, among other titles, al-Aswany tweets about Egypt, his weekly cultural salon, and his upcoming events.

Ezzedine Choukri Fishere (Arabic & English) @EzzedineCF

Fishere’s Embrace at Brooklyn Bridge is shortlisted for this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction. It’s his fifth novel. He tweets regularly, generally about politics although occasionally on lighter topics. His website is http://www.ezzedinechoukri.com/

Khaled al-Berry (Arabic) @khaldalberry

Shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2011 for his Oriental Dance, also author of the memoir Life is More Beautiful Than Paradise, trans. Humphrey Davies. Also a columnist for Tahrir. Tweets regularly about politics and social commentary.

Youssef Rakha (Arabic & English) @yrakha

Novelist, poet, and journalist Youssef Rakha tweets about whatever he feels like tweeting about. Usually in Arabic, although occasionally you get something like “Neither merciful nor interesting.” (In response to what? I don’t know.) He also blogs at http://yrakha.wordpress.com

Yahia Lababidi (English) @YahiaLababidi

Lababidi is a poet, essayist, and aphorist. His most recent book is Fever Dreams, and — as he’s an aphorist — he often tweets aphorisms.

Belal Fadl (Arabic) @belalfadl

A satiric novelist and journalist, Fadl tweets mostly about Egypt.

Rehab Bassem (English & Arabic) @hadouta

Blogger, novelist, and publisher Rehab Bassem tweets about all sorts of delightful things: books she’s reading, movies, publishing, Egypt, motherhood, and more. Tweets daily.

Ibrahim Farghali (Arabic & English) @IbrahimFarghali

Farghli is author of The Smiles of Saints and Sons of Gabalawi. Politics, observations about writing, and chatter. He also blogs at http://www.ifarghali.blogspot.com/

Egyptian Bookstores

Diwan (@DiwanBookstores), Alef (@alefbookstore), Al Kotob Khan  (@Kotobkhan), Al Balsam (@AlBalsam) and Shorouk (@ShoroukBStores) all tweet regularly in Arabic and English about events, promotions, contests, and more.

Translators

Nariman Youssef (Arabic & English) @nariology

Translator Nariman Youssef (trans. An American Granddaughter) tweets about politics, fiction, and scholarship.

Amira Nowaira (Arabic & English) @amiranowaira

Nowaira is also an author, but if I put her here (as the translator of Ali Badr’s The Tobacco Keeper, among other things, she doesn’t count against my total. Tweets about Egypt, mostly.

IRAQI

Sinan Antoon (English & Arabic) @sinanantoon

Novelist (I’jaam and The Pomegranate Alone), poet, and translator Sinan Antoon tweets about Iraq, poetry, translation issues, literary history, and more. 

Jordanian

Ma’n Abu Taleb (English & Arabic) @ManAbuTaleb

Short-story author Abu Taleb tweets about literature, politics, and his weird dreams that involve Bibi Netanyahu.

Taghreed Najjar (Arabic & English) @TaghreedNajjar

Najjar, a publisher and children’s-book author, tweets about the world of children and children’s literature.

Jordanian Book Groups

Inkitab (Arabic) @Inkitab

SyriaN

Samar Yazbek (Arabic, occasionally English) @SamarYazbek

Yazbek’s memoir, In the Crosshairs, is coming out in English from Haus Publishing in July. Her novel, Cinnamon, should be released by Haus in November. Tweets mostly about Syria.

MoroccAN

Abdelkader Benali (Dutch) @abdelkabenali

Novelist, Beirut39. These are probably interesting. He uses exclamation points.

Laila Lalami (English) @lailalalami

Novelist and short-story writer, author of The Secret Son. 

EmiratI

Noura Al Noman (Arabic & English) @NouraNoman

Al Noman’s sci-fi YA novel is coming soon. Meantime, you can read her tweets about humor, children’s literature, and cheetah robots.

Qais Sedki (English & Arabic) @qsedki

Sedki, the SZBA-winning author of Gold Ring, an MG graphic novel drawn in manga style, tweets about children’s books, his own kids, and literary events in the UAE. He’s also quite a good public speaker.

Fatima Noon (Arabic & English) @fatimanoon

Short-story author Noon tweets about books, inspirational quotes, Emirati literary events. You can read one of her stories, “When I Saw Shammah,” on the site Arabic Story, trans. Noura Noman.

Emirati Book Fairs and Festivals

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (English & Arabic) @ADIBF

Sharjah International Book Fair (English & Arabic) @ShjIntlBookFair

Emirates LitFest (English) @EmiratesLitFest

KUWAITI

Saadia Mufarreh (Arabic) @saadiahmufarreh

Arab Americans

Randa Jarrar (English) @randajarrar

Jarrar, author of A Map from Home, tweets about being an Arab-American author, politics, literary craft, and Jonathan Franzen.

Diana Abu Jaber (English) @dabujaber

Award-winning novelist Abu Jaber (Birds of Paradise, Arabian Jazz) tweets amusingly about food, spouses, eating food with spouses, and other things.

Mohja Kahf (English) @ProfKahf

Poet Mohja Kahf tweets mostly about Syria.

Editor’s note: This list is obviously not comprehensive. Please add on. Also, this was @Zuberino’s idea. So if you want someone to blame, it’s Z.



Categories: lists

17 replies

  1. Lol, blame me, sure :-P

    MLQ, do you think this could go up in the “For Readers” section as a permanent link? It’s a good resource, and also when new ppl see it, they might come up with new IDs they know of.

    • Sure, sure. I’m putting it up now.

      Just so you know, I had originally meant to do “50” but got too lazy. So perhaps at some point we can shift it to that.

  2. Very original! Great post, M.

    • I have no Lebanese authors here! I thought of including Fatima, but she doesn’t often tweet. And Joumana Haddad is out there, but it’s all self-promotion. I’m pretty sure Elias Khoury & Hanan al-Shaykh aren’t tweeting…but who is? Rabee Jaber doesn’t seem to be…Jabbour Douaihy? No…

      Do you tweet, M?

  3. Abd-Elhamid Taha wrote on Twitter…
    @arablit That’s a good list! There’s also @alfagih (novelist, columnist) and @saadiahmufarreh (poet, columnist) – pleasure to follow.

    I put them here so I won’t forget to add.

  4. Remi Kanazi (@remroum) tweets regularly about both his own work and Palestine.

  5. There is also @AlBalsam, which is a very cool bookstore.

  6. nice! refreshing to include people that often don’t even get a mention in the major mags and networks.
    As a journalist and author of a young adult para-nomal novel, @Arabianmau i can tell you, people never know what to do with “less boxable” people…cause I am also a mix, Canadian Arab (leb/syrian), an often ignored group as well. hahahaaha.

  7. @SaqiBooks for the Arab publisher
    @themosaicrooms – cultural venue in London who host regular Arab literary events
    @BQFP – Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation

    • OK, perhaps a section for publishers… But then… Hm, AUCP doesn’t tweet, do they. Archipelago does, but I guess they only do Darwish & Khoury. Hm, hm.

  8. @jadaliyya – stretching the remit of the post a little, but all relevant i’m sure

  9. Many thanks, for this, Marcia! Well, I am half Lebanese (1/3 now that I’m also American:) Here’s an appreciation of the Fatherland: http://www.levantinecenter.org/levantine-review/articles/dancing-graves-beirut-last-war Cheers, Yahia

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