If you are anywhere near Beirut on May 8, 9, and 10, you should do your best to get to this year’s Hay Festival:
A host of internationally celebrated authors and artists will be there, including Hanan al-Shaykh, Karl Ove Knausgård, Mohammed Hanif, Hanif Kureishi, Hyam Yared, Iman Humaydan, Joe Sacco, and Mazen Kerbaj, as well as three of the young shortlistees for the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction: Mohammed Hassan Alwan, Jana Elhassan, and Saud Alsanousi.
There are also great-sounding topics, such as “Writing in a Sectarian Society,” “Food and the City,” and “Women’s Battles and the Post-authoritarian Arab Order.”
If none of that appeals, there is — on May 8 — an event for all: Hanan al-Shaykh and Nidal Al Ashkar will read from al-Shaykh’s adaptation of One Thousand and One Nights at the Masrah al Madina-Sarroulla Building on Hamra Street. Tickets are 15.000 Lebanese pounds.
You can also book in advance online at www.hayfestival.org/beirut.
You can download the full festival program here.