• RSS
Shortlist Announced for International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2018Amir Tag Elsir, Aziz Mohammed, Ibrahim Nasrallah, Shahad Al Rawi, Walid Shurafa and Dima Wannous have today (Wednesday 21 February), been announced as the six authors shortlisted for the 11th International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). The books were revealed by the 2018 chair of judges, Ibrahim Al Saafin, during a press conference held at the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation in Amman, Jordan
Alaa al-Deeb : Excerpts from his novel Lemon BlossomWhen he had come to Suez four years earlier to work in the cultural centre, he had had a vague dream that he would find himself in this isolation and that he would sort out the chaos into which his life had descended. He hadn’t dreamed of any major change or great deeds, but he had said that cutting off his ties to Cairo would help him see things differently and that he would at least be able to adapt to the new reality and, most importantly, he would be able to put in order his relationship with the past.
Habib Abdulrab Sarori : The Discarded ComputerBecause of the extraordinary state of emergency declared in America and Europe immediately after the terrorist incidents, I head directly from the coffeehouse to my Paris home. I am welcomed rather anxiously by my beloved house robot, Bahlul. His artificial intelligence programs system, which is linked to the internet, learned that danger threatens the entire inhabited world. The moment I arrive his eye’s cameras direct their electronic sensors
Nine poems by Saudi poet Ahmed al-MullaIn the kitchen thirst fell down.
His dreams trembled.
The window was torn open, stabbed by lightning scattering in the hallways.
His hands settled down and his soul reclined but there was nothing to lean on. They dived into clouds, drowning caught them and salt followed suit.
Water flowed, sobbing until the walls were dry. The pictures flaked off the walls and glass leapt out of the wooden frames.
The estrangement of his bed subdued, it makes him a nightcap.
Khaled Khalifa: The Refugee - Living in a VoidMy sister, whom I haven’t seen for more than two years, told me she was going to cross the sea in a rubber dinghy. She hung up and didn’t want to hear what I thought. She just said something profound and sentimental and entrusted her three children to my care in the event that she drowns. A few minutes later I tried to call the unfamiliar Turkish number but the phone had been turned off
Jonathan Wright wins 2016 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Bamboo StalkJonathan Wright’s seamless English rendering does full justice to the original, exhibiting a sureness of touch that fully captures the spirit of the Arabic version. Although the particular cultural context of the work will be unfamiliar to many English-speaking readers, Wright’s ‘page-turner’ translation has a universal appeal, and it is difficult not to be moved by the predicament of the narrator, with his dual identity of Isa and José, as he comes to terms with the reality of life in Kuwait.
Film about Syrian Poet and translator Mamdouh Adwanwas born in Hama in Syria. He was a prolific writer, poet, playwright and critic, publishing his first collection of poetry, al-Dhul al-Akhdhar [The Green Shadow] in 1967 and since then 17 further collections. He also published two novels, twenty-four plays, translated twenty-three books from English, including the Iliad, the Odyssey and a biography of George Orwell, and wrote a number of television series.
One Sky A short story by Palestinian writer Liana BadrI named him Robin, based on the assurances of our bird-loving neighbour. When I expressed my doubt about the name due to the incomplete red ruff on his neck feathers, he told me: “This is a young bird. The full red has not yet appeared on his feathers.”
Playing with the Clouds by Iraqi writer Ali BaderSoon after finishing the pizza, he turned on the TV to a porn channel to kill time. The only thing available in this country was porn channels, and there was a store just around the corner that would give you access to any channel for a little bit of money. Most of the owner’s customers were among the Islamists who had issued a fatwa that looking at non-Muslim women was OK
Eleven Poems by Syrian poet Hussein Bin HamzaBEFORE I SLEEP
Although I/ no longer care about anything,/ and squander most of my time out of the house –/ for days / I haven’t changed the water of the flowers,/ and the books/ and cups/ and cigarette ends/ are content with a layer of dust – yet,/ I find time/ to feed the wolves of your absence/ before I sleep.
Adonis: Banipal is a unique cultural projectBanipal has been realizing a unique and twofold project within the sphere of cultural productions of the Arab world. For, on the one hand, it provides a space in which Arabic literary texts are set in motion, in a direct dialogue with literary texts in the English language, in terms of both content and form. And, on the other hand, it offers an historic opportunity that allows for the language of the self to be reflected in the language of the Other, through a continuous, diverse and profuse flux.
Hussain al-Mozany: Mother, Mother Tongue, and FatherlandIf I think back to my childhood and boyhood, I do not remember anything which demonstrated that my mother was primarily responsible for teaching me the principles of the Arabic language. Over time I have realised that we did not speak much in our house because silence and gesture were the prevalent languages then. My memory offers me only scattered fragments of the tales my grandmother offered ingeniously once she discovered her voice after her husband
A FATEFUL MEAL by Eyad BarghuthyTheir fathers had had a special friendship. They had both fled the village of Samaria for Acre after the ’48 Nakba. Mufid’s father had got himself one of the shops offered to refugees and had opened a grocery, while Saber’s father had worked as a building labourer on the new Jewish settlements.
Adel Khozam: House of the Wise ManDoing turns around the same spot in the same place will never lead to anything. Every day you need what’s new and extraordinary. Set off then: run through impossible pathways so you touch limits, so you’re the first to make a discovery and reach the truth
The Day the Olive Harvest was stopped by Mohammad KhashanWe harvested half or, sometimes most of the olives, but did not grind them. They remained in a heap on the platform in front of the house. That was in October 1948 and [political] conditions were becoming worse; yet people continued to act as though nothing had happened
Paul Starkey wins the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for 2015The 2015 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation is awarded to Paul Starkey for his translation of the novel The Book of the Sultan’s Seal by Youssef Rakha, published by Interlink Books, USA. And the judges commended Jonathan Wright for his translation of the novel Land of No Rain by Amjad Nasser, published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing
The Monk’s Hell by Shakir NooriFather Sharbel had paid a visit to Iraq, returning with painful memories which found their way out at the slightest opportunity. Those close to him said that he had tired of life in the monastery and wished to return to Assyria; that the spirit of the place had taken possession of him

The Saif Ghobash Banipal: Celebrate Translating Arabic Fiction Today
The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation
has pleasure in inviting you to
Celebrate Translating Arabic Fiction Today
Robin Moger, Jonathan Wright & Paul Starkey
– the winners of the last three years of the prize – in conversation with Wen-chin Ouyang
5.00pm, Saturday 3 March
Djam Lecture Theatre, SOAS Main Building, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG
Robin Moger’s winning translation is The Book of Safety by Yasser Abdel Hafez, Jonathan Wright won the 2016 prize for The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi, and Paul Starkey won the 2015 prize for The Book of the Sultan's Seal: Strange Incidents from History in the City of Mars by Youssef Rakha.
This is a free event but do reserve your place by emailing info@banipaltrust.org.uk
ALL WELCOME

Shortlist Announced for International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2018
Amir Tag Elsir, Aziz Mohammed, Ibrahim Nasrallah, Shahad Al Rawi, Walid Shurafa and Dima Wannous have today (Wednesday 21 February), been announced as the six authors shortlisted for the 11th International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF). The books were revealed by the 2018 chair of judges, Ibrahim Al Saafin, during a press conference held at the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation in Amman, Jordan
Alaa al-Deeb:The Defeated Leftist Intellectual article by Mansoura Ez-Eldin
This view is by no means exclusive to Aslan: in a cultural community characterised by its flattery and narrow interests, Alaa al-Deeb is widely regarded as a saint. Litterateurs of various generations view his writings on them as both an endorsement and a recognition of their talent. Indeed, what earned the late novelist his well-deserved stature was his objectivity and keenness to encourage the new voices in which he saw potential.
The Time Wanderer excerpts from a novel by Iraqi writer Fadhil al-Azzawi
But suddenly, something happened that saved my life. As a young writer, I had been publishing poems, short stories and articles for years, in the local newspapers and magazines, under the pseudonym “Shakespeare of Baghdad”. The name caught the attention of military commanders, who were looking for writers and journalists to work in their propaganda wing, and began looking into my whereabouts, until in the end they found me and pulled me out of the hole where I had been buried
No Knives in the Kitchens of This City’ Describes a Syrian Hell
Khaled Khalifa writes about his native city with sensuality and an almost feral intensity in his new novel, “No Knives in the Kitchens of This City.” The book focuses on just one family, and it stops several years short of the Syrian civil war. But it offers a glimpse into how terrified and empty of hope the people of a city must be to rise up in revolt. The future offers them nothing. It is a castle of closed doors.
Banipal 57 Editorial by Margaret Obank
Banipal’s core mission is to bring readers gems, in translation, from the wealth of creative writing being produced across the Arab world today. Banipal 57 – Syria in the Heart brings you twelve Syrian authors, and in addition, two from Palestine and Iraq. The focus on Arab literary modernism and its pioneers has been postponed on account of this most urgent subject of the future of Syria.
The 100 best nonfiction books: No 8 – Orientalism by Edward Said

Raja Alem :Reading the infidels in Mecca
I continued to filch from his bag until I was shocked to find The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade, which I never admitted to stealing and didn’t even dare read at the time. But the true opening came with Maxim Gorky’s The Mother, which I found by accident in my maternal grandfather’s drawer. Gorky’s revolution roared through my mind, and forged my vision of the role I had to play as an agent of change in the world around me. Because my mother is of Russian origin

Arabic Words Illustrated Based On Their Literal Meaning

ROBIN MOGER wins 2017 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation
The 2017 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation is awarded to Robin Moger for his translation of the novel The Book of Safety by Yasser Abdel Hafez, published by Hoopoe Fiction. After four novels made the first shortlist of the prize, announced on 1 December 2017, the judges are unanimous in naming Robin Moger as the winner of the £3,000 prize, to be awarded by the Society of Authors on 1 March 2018.
Youssef Rakha: Rediscovering and reanimating the Arabic language
My models were great historians of Cairo: Jabarti and, before him, Ibn Iyas. It was very enjoyable finding and employing a unique language for the book, mainly because it was risky, a challenge, but also because it was an opportunity to think about words and their origins and how they fit together. It was a way of rediscovering and reanimating the Arabic language.
The Last Jew of Tamentit Excerpt from a novel by Algerian writer Amin Zaoui
Her last husband, who was the imam and muezzin of the mosque in Tidikelt, had drawn her attention thanks to his beautiful voice when it reminded the faithful to pray to their God five times a day. At first, the muezzin had been a little disconcerted when he’d heard his wife speak to her bees in Latin
Farewell Herbert Mason
We are very sad to report that our consulting editor Herbert Mason passed away suddenly on New Year's Day. The distinguished Professor Emeritus and the William Goodwin Aurelio Professor of History and Religious thought at Boston University, author and translator of Louis Massignon's 4-volume work on The Passon of Al-Hallaj will be much missed around the world. We will always remember him through his writings and translations. All our deepest condolences and sympathies to his family. A full obituary and tribute will appear in Banipal 58
Stefan Weidner: Ein Marschländer geht von uns
Die weitaus meisten Autoren, welche Sprachwechsler sind, nicht in ihrer Muttersprache schreiben und mehrere Herkünfte und Identitäten für sich reklamieren, entscheiden sich am Ende für eine der beiden Seiten. Dass Hussain al-Mozany sich nicht entscheiden konnte oder wollte, dürfte zwar dazu beigetragen haben, dass ihm größerer Ruhm versagt blieb. Es macht ihn auch unter den Autoren, die den Chamisso-Preis bekamen, zu einem Sonderfall
"Liars Get Everything" An excerpt from the novel by Iraqi writer Ali Bader
It was a rainy day in Brussels, and on that cold, wintry day the view of the city was gloomy, gray and wet from that apartment window in the Matonge neighborhood. Everything from that view was awash with water: Shops, streets, the passenger’s faces, cars, trees, dumpsters, and the barstools on the sidewalk. Women, wearing rainy coats and umbrellas, walked slowly towards the Porte de Namur metro station from Ixelles Avenue, while others were running, trying to find shelter beneath the cornices and umbrellas of Boniface shops.
A BOAT TO LESBOS A poem by Syrian poet Nouri al-Jarrah
Suffering Syrians, beautiful Syrians, Syrian brothers fleeing death. You won’t reach the shores on rafts but will be born on beaches with the foam.
Lost gold dust you are, melted gold dust, scattered, dulled.
From abyss to abyss in the hollow of the sea of the Rum, with the star fish and her brother, the roving squid, the waves convey you under the light of Ursa Major, the Daughters of Na’sh.

Fiery Curses A short story by Qatari writer Noura Mohammad Faraj
I entered the public library a few days ago to research an essay I am writing and asked the librarian for the room where the books I needed were shelved. He pointed me to a downstairs room accessed by a spiral staircase.
I could not believe my eyes, which opened wide. It was the very same staircase from my dream!

Salma Hayek: I Saved My Belly Dancer
New York-based Egyptian artist and photographer Youssef Nabil’s film is a poetic depiction of his fascination with belly dancers and his anxiety over the disappearance of this art form that is unique to the Middle East. This excerpt of a 12-minute video installation is visually inspired by the 1950s

error: Content is protected !!