Summer (Arabic) Literary Events in Cairo and the U.K.


I think tonight, June 11, I’m going to the signing of Khaled al-Berry’s new novel (I have strongly recommended his memoir, Life is More Beautiful Than Paradise). I don’t see anything about it on Kotob Khan’s website—where the signing is supposed to be?—but if there’s no signing, I guess I’ll just browse the stacks. My understanding is the signing begins at 7:00.

On June 13, you can definitely go to Alef bookstore (I think the one in Zamalek?) at 7:30 to see Al Taher Sharqawy discuss his short-story collection, Old people Sitting on Benches.

On June 14, you can go back to Alef for a book-club discussion of Alaa el-Aswany’s Chicago.

On June 21, Alef is having an evening of poetry, and on the 23rd, stand-up comedy, and on the 24th, the great Ibrahim Abdel Meguid(!) On the 29th, Khaled al-Khamissi (author of Taxi, and Noah’s Ark) will visit Alef. More Alef events here. Cheers to Alef for being utterly undaunted by World Cup mania!

Also back on June 25, Al Sawy Culture Wheel is sponsoring a poetry reading by Dr. Ahmed Taymour at Word Hall 1.

On Wednesday, June 30, there will be a book signing by Reem Bassiouny for her book
الدكتورة هناء at the Diwan in Zamalek, starting (ISA) at 7 p.m.


On Sunday, June 13, from 2-7 p.m., head to the Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank, London, SE1 9PP. (I don’t know what all that means, but Londoners should?) BBC Radio 3’s World Routes Academy will host an afternoon’s events dedicated to Iraqi culture – live music, spoken word, workshops and discussions.

On Saturday, July 10, from 8-10:30 p.m., the Ledbury Poetry Festival will feature Emirati poets. Khalid al-Budoor, Khulood al-Mu’alla and Nujoom al-Ghanem, three successful modern Emirati poets, are scheduled to read their works.

On Sunday, July 11, still at the Ledbury Poetry Festival—but now from 2:30-3:30 p.m.—you can hear Iraqi poets (and novelists) Fadhil al-Azzawi and Sinan Antoon. Not to be missed!

On Wednesday, July 14, at 7:45 in the Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London, more Emirati poets. Khalid Albudoor, Khulood al-Mu’alla and Nujoom al-Ghanem, three successful modern Emirati poets, have their first London reading with specially commissioned English translations of their works.

And on Thursday, July 15, at 8 p.m., during the Frome Festival, there will be an ‘Arab Evening’ of readings, music, and food at Trinity Hall. Syrian author Ghalia Kabbani will be in attendance, and, from Iraq, playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak and oud player Khyam Allami.