If you’re in Cairo, there are a number of events on an around the seventh anniversary of the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street. If you’re not, a number of them will be videoed and made available online.
International Writing Program (IWP)’s “On the Map” series recently released an interview with Egyptian novelist Muhammad Abdelnaby, who talked about the best and worst things about being a writer in Egypt,
Kotobi.Com, a major new Arabic ebookstore, launched at the end of this year’s Cairo International Book Fair. Managing Director Ashraf Maklad discussed the project’s challenges and opportunities, and what hurdles still need to be cleared.
Last month, the AUC Press “Book Alley” discussed “Black Magic” and “Secret Pleasures” with author Hamdy al-Gazzar and translator Humphrey Davies. A video of the event was recently posted on YouTube; al-Gazzar discusses his writing process and personal “red line,” and Davies talks about what sort of books interest him, and what sort of challenges translating presents.
It hasn’t been a good few weeks for Arabic-writing poets. In Iran, poet Hashem Shaabani, who published both in Persian and in Arabic, was executed for being an enemy of God and the state, according to rights groups. In Egypt, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) declared that “writing poetry became a more serious crimt than murder” afer two police officers were suspended for their poetry.
As it closed last Wednesday, the Cairo International Book Fair handed out its award. Unfortunately for this year’s winners, this year’s prize has become not for its winning books, but for its secrecy and strange decisions.
Abdul-Rahman al-Abnudi, born in the southern city of Qena in 1938, is one of the most important contemporary Egyptian colloquial poets. His work often returns to the joys and sorrows of the marginalized, and he has also written poetry for those struggling for positive change, including for imprisoned Alaa Abdelfattah (“The Prisoners’ Laughter”).
Detained Journalists, Launch of Kotobi.Com, and Other Scenes from the 2014 Cairo International Book Fair
There have been highlights (the launch of the new e-book store Kotobi.Com) and lowlights (detained journalists Fras Shamsan and Firas Mohamed) at this year’s Cairo International Book Fair.
This month, Words Without Borders launched its International Graphic Novels: Volume VIIII, which features an excerpt from Donia Maher, Ganzeer, and Ahmad Nady’s “The Apartment in Bab El Louk,” trans. brilliantly by Elisabeth Jaquette. The collaborative project is a gorgeous look at life in Bab El-Louk. Ganzeer answered a few questions about how it came about, and what he plans to do next.
Translator Jonathan Wright Settles with Random House over Work Done on Alaa al-Aswany’s ‘Automobile Club’
In a public facebook post, Banipal-prize-winning translator Jonathan Wright announced that he had settled his dispute with Random House over work done on Alaa al-Aswany’s “Automobile Club.”
ArabLit and 7iber are jointly covering this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF) – in English and Arabic — beginning with reviews of the novels and interviews with longlisted novelists. We continue with Ibrahim Abdelmeguid’s ‘Alexandria in a Cloud,’ a book that Abdelmeguids says follows the time when “President Sadat formed a coalition with the backward Islamist movement, and bigoted Wahhabi and Salafi thought infiltrated the city.”
Mohga Hassib interviewed celebrated Egyptian novelist Ibrahim Abdelmeguid about his International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF)-longlisted novel, Clouds Over Alexandria, his philosophy on writing, and how he sees contemporary Alexandria.