Friday Links: Saudi Poetess Defies Men and Law, Nobel Relief, Jobs & Opportunities

We’ve got good news, and we’ve got bad news. (Thankfully, most of it has nothing to do with the Nobel Prize for Literature, awarded to the worthy although non-Arab Mario Vargas Llosa.)

Saudi Poetess Won’t Take Her Seat: Well-known Saudi poetess Badeia Kashgari (pictured) mounted the platform at this year’s Souk Okaz poetry festival. Doesn’t sound so ground-breaking, but Kashgari apparently delivered her poems in a hall packed with men in defiance of tradition and protests by male organizers, according to Sahafaonline and Emirates 24/7.

According to Sahafaonline:

The organising committee asked her to respect tradition and deliver her poems while seated…but she refused their request and mounted the podium to recite her poetry in the hall that was packed by men.

Algerian poetess Zainab Alawaj had apparently tried to do so earlier in the festival, but was intimidated back into her seat. Read some poetry by Kashgari, in translation.

Also: According to Arab News, Governor seeks proposals to better Okaz fair.” I’m sure Badeia Kashgari has at least one…

Mourning the Loss of Jonathan Shainin: Over at the NYObserver, John Koblin says adieu to Shainin, who’s left (Abu Dhabi-based) The National’s weekly magazine, The Review.

The Angry Arab Can Breathe Easier, Now: Another year, and Adonis didn’t win the Nobel. (He’s been “in the running” since 1987, you know.) Gerard Russell had a somewhat odd piece in The Guardian that (I think) indicates he believes a prize for Adonis would do something for “Muslim outreach.”

Yes, Adonis is thought of very highly by many Arab writers and scholars. But useful for Muslim outreach? Not if the Angry Arab could help it, of course.

Jobs and Opportunities: NYU Press is looking for a Managing Editor for The Library of Arabic Literature , their new partnership with NYU Abu Dhabi. “The Library plans to publish over five years 35 new, parallel Arabic/English facing page translations of the classics of Arabic literature.”

You can apply online at

Meanwhile, if you’ve got a manuscript in hand, “Garnet is actively looking for brilliant authors who are from the Middle East or writ about the Middle East.” (More about Garnet and Ithaca Press here.)

If you have not yet written your brilliant manuscript, then it’s time to gear up for NaNoWriMo, which is next month already. I believe they do have an Egypt-based coordinator, if you want advice or support.

Huge Week for Arabic Children’s Literature. If you don’t follow us over at Read Kutub Kids, then you might not know that the longlist is out for the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature and that the Anna Lindh Foundation has announced its “honor list” of the year’s best Arabic children’s books.

Two titles have made both lists: بيت للأرنب الصغير by Taghreed al Najjar and العمة زيون و شجرة الزيتون by Fatima Sharafeddine. Congratulations Taghreed, Fatima, and to all!

Over in the Emirates, Sharjah to host 3rd training course for Emirati Publishers and more efforts to develop Emirati writers. (Also, a whole lot about the failures of the Emirati education system; perhaps more on that later.)

And, If You’re in London This November: Don’t miss Mourid and Tamim Barghouti with Ahdaf Soueif at the Southbank Centre. For goodness sakes!