ANHRI Releases List of Books Banned or Seized at Omani Fair

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) announced earlier this week that it had gotten hold of a list of books banned from distribution at the March 2010 Muscat International Book Fair.

Among the titles banned or seized from the fairgrounds, according to the ANHRI, were:

Hadd Al Shouf, (The Extent of Vision), stories by by Salim AlTowaih

– Abaad min Zanzibar (Further than Zanzibar) a poetry collection by Mohammed Al Harthy

AlWakhz, (The Prick), a novel by Hussein AlAbry

– Christianization Campaigns in Oman and the Contemporary Relationship Between Christianity and Islam, by Suleiman al-Husseini.

– Mofakarat Al Gawari wa AlGhelman (Boasting Maidens and Boys) by AlGahiz

Tribes on the Eve of English Coup in Salalah, by Ahmed Al-Zubaidi

Poetry of Abu Muslim Albahlani, a study by Mohammed Al Harthy.

When Kazina Shook Dust off her Nightgown and White Birds, Black Birds, two novels by Mohamed AlYahyai

The Proof of Honey, a novel by Salwa AlNaimi.

The Farce of the Human Mind, by Ali AlWardi.

Mohamed – the Character, a study by Maarouf AlRusafi.

The ANHRI also said three writers continue to be blacklisted and disallowed media appearances:

1 – Mohamed AlYahyai , author and journalist.
2 – Mohamed A Harthy, writer and poet.
3 – Abdullah AlRiyami, a poet and human rights activist.

The ANHRI said of these confiscations:

The Omani government should be aware that this type of control will no longer  work out. A book seeker is bound to find it , especially in the time of  information revolution. This continued monitoring , the dominating  approach and adopting confiscation would only result in describing the Omani government by being hostile to freedom of expression, which  we hope can be avoided by allowing the circulation of books and ideas, whether pro or against.

One of the writers—Salwa Al Naimi—enjoys worldwide popularity. According to Raya Agency, The Proof of Honey has sold up to 80,000 copies in Italy alone. The blogger “The Mad Wordsmith” talks about Al Naimi’s book, and translates an interview with Al Naimi, here. The Complete Review wasn’t a big fan of it in English.