Haus Publishing is putting together a “Christmas Drinks” event both to honor visiting Syrian novelist Fadi Azzam and to raise funds for SCHAMS, an organization founded by novelist Rafik Schami in order to aid Syrian children:

sarmada_bothAzzam, whose debut novel Sarmada (trans. Adam Talib) was longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2011, recently found his novel banned in Kuwait and the UAE after two years of selling without incident. The novel, which has a number of sex scenes, has raised some eyebrows. However, as Azzam noted on Facebook, it’s still selling in Saudi.

In any case, you can honor Azzam — and share a drink with him, perhaps — on Monday, Dec. 16 at the bookHaus, 70 Cadogan Place, London SW1X 9AH.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m., and a portion of sales will go towards SCHAMS (شمس), a non-partisan charity founded by acclaimed Syrian-German novelist Rafik Schami. According to the paper Neue Zürcher Zeitung, in recent months Schami has visited 30 cities and collected money through readings, recitals, and other fund-raising events. 

Syrian-British novelist Robin Yassin-Kassab offers other suggestions on where to donate, including an organization run by Syrian novelist Samar Yazbek.

Those interested in attending should RSVP to publicity@hauspublishing.com.

You can see Azzam read from his novel (in Arabic) and speak a little about it  (in English):

And see a performance inspired by the novel (English):