Written by William Dobson
Better late than never, here is a brief guide to what’s going on this week in London on the Middle Eastern cultural scene. With all the excitement of the MENA Film Festival, things have quietened down but, still, there a couple of great events that are not to be missed! The Nour Festival is also continuing and a full list of events can be found here
Wednesday 14th November
Insight with Jeremy Bowen: The Arab Uprisings – The Frontline Club, London
BBC Middle East correspondent from 1995 and Middle East editor since 2005, award-winning journalist Jeremy Bowen has spent much of the past two years documenting the game-changing moments in the history of the Middle East. He will be discussing this historic era, which he documents in his new book The Arab Uprisings: The People Want the Fall of the Regime.
Bowen will be reflecting on the extraordinary heady days of early 2011, talking about the thoughts and feelings of the people involved, and how different situations evolved in the varying countries touched by the uprisings. As well as describing the atmosphere on the ground he will give us an insight into the political context, history and the evolving landscape of the Middle East
For more information, see here
Norbert Hirschhorn: Monastery of the Moon – The Mosaic Rooms, London
Monastery of the Moon (Dar al Jadeed, Beirut 2012) engages the sweep of history in Hirschhorn’s lifetime, from Europe to the Middle East, as it imprinted itself on the psyche of the poet, from childhood to maturity. The poems are written in a language that is at once elegant, tactile and passionate.
Norbert Hirschhorn will be reading from Monastery of the Moon. He will be introduced by Margaret Obank, publisher of Banipal, Magazine of Modern Arab Literature. The reading will be followed by a Q&A and signing session.
For information, click here
Thursday 15th November
Banipal Book Club - Arab British Centre Library, London
The next Banipal Book Club will be discussingThe Tiller of Waters by Hoda Barakat, translated by Marilyn Booth (Arabia Books). Hoda Barakat is a Lebanese author whose novels include The Stone of Laughter (1990), The Disciples of Passion (1993) and The Tiller of Waters (1998), all set during the Lebanese civil war.
Anton Shammas, Banipal contributing editor and Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan, introduced the work of Hoda Barakat in Banipal 9 (Autumn 2000), describing her novelistic project as “an unflinchingly analytical look, reading and constantly unpacking what has become of her war-torn world, where nothing is permanent – boundaries, identities, sexualities and all.” He focuses also on “the captivating Arabic style of this tiller of souls.” Banipal 9 also featured selections from The Tiller of Waters (translated by Professor Issa J. Boullata), introducing her work to English audiences for the first time. Her novels have since been translated in full by Marilyn Booth.
To read more about Hoda Barakat, see her contributor’s entry on the Banipal website.
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