May 2014: Global Arabic Literary Events Calendar

Events will be added as they are scheduled and discovered. Please add your own by posting in the comments or emailing, although note the events focus on Arabic literature in translation:

sweet_landMay 1

Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

The fair continues through May 5. A full schedule of events here.

“Oh My Sweet Land” – play (London, England)

An hour-long play, written and directed by the Palestinian theatre-maker Amir Nizar Zuabi and performed by Corinne Jaber. Review and details in The Guardian. Through May 3.

May 2

Ceremony for Al Majidi Ibn Dhaher Blue Metropolis Arab Prize (Montreal, Canada)

The prize will be presented on Friday, May 2 at 7:30 pm in salle Jardin. More here.

May 3

“Translating on the Edge” with Robyn Creswell (New York City, USA)

This event promises to “bring together translators who have worked with texts considered blasphemous, obscene, or otherwise dangerous to offer their views on the place where art meets politics.” Robyn Creswell, the translator of Sonallah Ibrahim and Abdelfattah Kilito, among others, will be one of the panelists. A part of PEN World Voices, it begins at 1 p.m. in Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, The Cooper Union 41 Cooper Square (Third Avenue at 6th Street), New York, NY. More on the event.

” Creativity and Craft in Asylum” with Osama Alomar (New York City, USA)

The Syrian author talks along with Israel Centeno, Vanessa Manko, Kenan Trebincevic, Sue Shapiro, and Henry Reese. Also as part of PEN World Voices. More on the event here.

May 4

“The Book Alley” meets to discuss Bahaa Abdelmeguid’s St. Teresa and Sleeping with Strangers (Cairo, Egypt)

6 p.m. at the AUC Tahrir campus. More on the event here.

Commemoration of Mahmoud Darwish (Lanciano, Italy)

From 5 – 7 p.m. More on the event here.

May 5

In Conversation: Osama Alomar and Lydia Davis with Sjon (New York City, USA)

You can find Lydia Davis’s introduction to Alomar’s short-story collection on The New Yorker. Also as part of PEN World Voices. More on the event here.

May 6

Lecture publique en arabe et en néerlandais (Marrakesh, Morocco)

At 6:30 at the  Beit Rukh – Ksar Saad, in the Kasbah de Marrakech, Amina Abed, Hisham Hamad, Abdelmajid Essadiki, Sarah Michiel and Chaalan Charif will five excerpts from their literary translations developed between Amsterdam and Marrakech.

May 7

Opening of EURAMAL’s: “New geographies and genres in modern Arabic Literature” (Madrid, Spain)

EURAMAL will convene its 11th conference in Madrid 7-10 May 2014, at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. More on the conference here. 

May 9

A talk by Tunisian novelist Habib Selmi (Turin, Italy)

The author of The Scent of Marie-Claire and The Women’s Orchards. More on the event.

Absolute last day to help kickstart A Bird is Not a Stone project (Anywhere)

More about the project. More about the kickstarter. How to donate.

May 13

Nine Parts of Desire: Translating Arab-American Theatre into Arabic (Cairo, Egypt)

Dalia Basiouny talks and, afterwards, there will be a rehearsal reading by students. 6 p.m., Oriental Hall, AUC’s downtown campus.

May 19

Keep Your Eye on the Wall: Palestinian Landscapes (Ramallah, Palestine)

The art book “Keep Your Eye on the Wall” published by Saqi books (London) brings together seven award-winning artist-photographers and four essayists, all responding to the Wall in images or words. This book launch, at 6 p.m. at the French-German Cultural Center in Ramallah, will be followed by a reception and a book signing with the artists and the editors. More here.

May 26

Mohamed Salmawy speaks, and the Egyptian actress Yousra to read from his novel, Butterfly Wings (Cairo, Egypt)

At 6 p.m., Tahrir campus, Oriental Hall.

May 27

Hisham Bustani reading and discussing the context of his work at the Norwegian Writer’s Center (Tromso, Norway)

Discussions and readings will be in English. More here.

May 28

Dunya Mikhail reading from her new collection The Iraqi Nights (Oak Park, Michigan, USA)

A book group will meet to discuss the collection at 6 p.m. at Book Beat (26010 Greenfield Rd. Oak Park, MI 48237). At 7pm, there will be a special open-to-the-public reading and discussion with Dunya. More here.

May 29

Al-Saddiq Al Raddi at the Petrie Museum (London, England)

Acclaimed Sudanese poet al-Saddiq al-Raddi will read new poems at the Petrie Museum of Archaeology, UCL, London. The event is free but booking is required. More on the event here.

Translating Syrian news (London, England)

Although this isn’t strictly literature, the literary translations are happening in the same cultural space. So: English PEN & Free Word have organized a panel of journalists to discuss how events in Syria are reported and consider how to mediate the contrast between what is presented to Syrian and international audiences. Thursday 29 May | 7.00pm. More at