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"In Other Words: Expatriate Arab Literature"

Arab authors who have found a home in English and French discuss literature that manages to cover vast tracts of time and space and to address multiple audiences in various languages.

  • Sat., Mar. 7, 2009, 4:00 PM
  • Family Theater
  • 90 minutes
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About

Literary Panel Discussion

Increasingly, Arab authors who write in languages other than Arabic are gaining notice. Multilingual dual citizens, they have created a literature that manages to cover vast tracts of time and space and to address multiple audiences in various languages. This panel will include award-winning Arab authors who have found a home in English and French. They will discuss the ways in which they see their role as "world authors" and how their natural attachment to their countries of origin and their native language(s) factor into their creative process. Event Timing: 90 minutes
 
Panel Moderator
Laila Lalami (Morocco/USA) was born and raised in Morocco. She is the author of the novel Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits. Her work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, the Nation, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others. She was short-listed for the 2006 Caine Prize for African Writing. Lalami is currently Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California Riverside.
 
Panel Speakers
Ahdaf Soueif (Egypt/UK) is known for the bestselling novel The Map of Love, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1999 and subsequently translated into more than 20 languages. A political and cultural commentator with a special interest in Palestine, she writes for various newspapers in both the West and the Arab world. Her seminal article, "Under the Gun: A Palestinian Journey," was originally published in the Guardian and then printed in Soueif's 2004 collection of essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground. Soueif has also translated Mourid Barghouti's I Saw Ramallah from Arabic into English. English is the language of Soueif's fiction but bilingual readers say that when her Arab characters speak Arabic they can hear it ‘through' the English. Born in Egypt, Soueif was educated in Egypt and obtained a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the U.K. She is the recipient of three honorary DLitts from British universities. In 2008, she initiated the first Palestine International Festival of Literature which took place in Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Jerusalem.
 
Anouar Benmalek (Algeria), born in Casablanca, is a novelist, journalist, mathematician, poet, and author of the award-winning The Lovers of Algeria, recently published in the United States. Benmalek, who fled Algeria to France in 1992 to escape death threats, is co-founder of The Algerian Committee Against Torture.
 
Abdourahman Waberi (Djibouti) is a novelist, essayist, poet, and short story writer. Waberi is the author of numerous novels, essays, articles, and travel reports. He has been published in Le Monde diplomatique, Africultures, Le Monde, Libération, Le Nouvel Observateur, Jeune Afrique Economie, DU, Grand Street, and Lettre International. His first volume of stories, The Land without Shadows, won Belgium's Royal Academy of French Science, Literature, and Fine Arts Prize, and the Grand prix littéraire d'Afrique noire.

Part of ARABESQUE: Arts of the Arab World

FREE EVENT. Tickets are required, and can be ordered in person at the box office, or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. There is no service charge. There is a limit of 12 tickets per order.  At this time, these tickets are not available online; we apologize for any inconvenience.

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