‘Celebrating Syria’ in Manchester: A Festival of Arts, Literature, Film, Music, and Food

Novelist Khaled Khalifa (who will be speaking from Damascus, via Skype) and short-story writer Rasha Abbas are among the Syrian authors set to speak at the “Celebrating Syria” events in Manchester, which are being staged at venues around the city between 10th and 23rd of July:

On the 11th, translator, academic, and ArabLit contributor Alessandro Columbu will chair a panel that features Syrian writers Rasha Abbas and Zaher Omareen, and Syria Speaks co-editor Malu Halasa.

Among the things Columbu means to address at the event, he said, were the historical conditions that produced a volume like Syria Speaks, and to explore the “tight link between the Syrian revolution and the artistic forms that have emerged since 2011.”

He also wanted the authors to speak about cultural production pre-2011, “to bring their own personal point of view on this issue to explain how the revolution has exposed such a situation and allowed for original forms of art to emerge and flourish.”

On July 23, the final day of the festival, acclaimed novelist Khaled Khalifa — whose Naguib Mahfouz Medal-winning No Knives in the Kitchens of this City, trans. Leri Price, was recently longlisted for the National Translation Award — will appear via Skype. The novelist, who is in Damascus, is scheduled to talk about “his experience of writing under oppression, his perspective on the Syrian Revolution and his projections for the future of Syria.”

The talks are a few pounds each, or free for refugees and asylum seekers.