FIRST EVER UK TOUR OF ARAB AUTHORS
A national tour of 4 Arab authors - Hoda Barakat, Mourid Barghouti, Samuel Shimon and Saadi Youssef, read at Newcastle upon Tyne's Live Theatre
As part of Writing on the Wall Samuel and Hoda also read their work at Arbeia Roman Fort and at Carvoran Roman Fort
The venues have been chosen because of their historic links with modern Iraq and Lebanon. The former through the Tigris Ferrymen, who were based at Arbeia, and the latter through the Syrian Archers.
Hoda Barakat was born in 1952 and brought up in Bsharre, Lebanon, the birthplace of Kahlil Gibran. After graduating from the Lebanese University in Beirut with a degree in French literature in 1975, Barakat worked as a teacher and journalist until almost the end of the civil war. She moved to Paris in 1989, where she now works as a radio broadcaster.
Her acclaimed debut novel The Stone of Laughter was a landmark for Arab woman writers, and her third novel The Tiller of Waters won the 2001 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature. This was published in English by AUC Press in 2002 and in February that year she was honoured as Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.
Samuel Shimon has worked as a journalist and cultural editor and since 2001 has developed and edited online Arabic newspapers including his own literary web site, www.kikah.com.
Born into an Assyrian family in Al-Habbaniyah, Iraq in 1956, he left his country in 1979 and has since lived in Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Nicosia, Aden, Cairo, Tunis and Paris: finally residing in London. He began writing autobiographical short stories in 1979 and poetry in 1985, publishing in Arab newspapers and magazines. Since 1998 he has been the assistant editor of Banipal magazine, which he co-founded with its editor Margaret Obank. In 2000, he and Obank edited A Crack in the Wall, poems by sixty Arab poets from the last twenty years of the twentieth century.
Banipal is an independent literary magazine publishing contemporary authors and poets from all over the Arab world in English translation. The three issues a year present established and new Arab authors and poets in English for the first time through poems, short stories or excerpts from novels. They also include author interviews, profiles and book reviews, each illustrated with author photographs, and with colour covers featuring Arab artists. 2004 is Banipal's seventh year of publication. Over the course of 20 issues Banipal has published more than 275 different Arab authors. As well as general issues, there have been special features on a particular poet or author, and on Literature from Algeria, Morocco, Jordan. Palestine, Iraq, and the novel in Saudi Arabia.
For more information and Subscriptions to Banipal Magazine:
PO Box 22300, London, W13 8ZQ