A Crowdsourced List: 29 Arabic-majority Bookshops in Non-Arab-majority Countries

Following the launch of the Point Lagrange summer bookshop in Brussels, ArabLit launched a Twitter thread in an effort to assemble a list of Arabic-majority literary bookshops in non-Arab-majority countries:

A sale table at the Saqi Bookshop in London.

Some of these bookshops may have a significant collection of religious works, but none of them are religion-only. There are many Islamic bookshops around the world; this list is, instead, for bookshops that have a wide range of Arabic books in various literary genres.

I apologize in advance for all the sub-threads that have been missed; please post additional suggestions, recommendations, and criticisms in the comments.

BELGIUM

–>The Lagrange Points Arabic Summer Bookshop (Brussels)

CANADA

–>Librairie du Moyen Orient (Montreal)

ENGLAND

–>Dar al-Hikmah (London)

–>Fergiani (London)

–>Saqi (London)

LOCATION CLOSED: –>Rosetta Stone (London)

–>The Maghreb Bookshop (London)

Photo: Nadia Ghanem

FRANCE

–>Librairie de L’Orient (Paris)

–>The Institute du monde arabe (IMA) bookshop (Paris)

–>Librairie du monde arabe (Paris)

@Madcha_ reports that it’s in the middle of refurbishment work and that, “La librairie du monde arabe is tiny! Small section in Ar, mostly dedicated to religion/history, plus two bays for fiction. Old titles, classix names. Heaven for vintage cover hunters.”

–>Librairie de l’Orient (Paris)

@Madcha_: “La librairie de l’orient is a lovely place, great rec! tiny, dusty, with a good half of its collection in Arabic: lots of bays for non-fiction (front is religion), & a whole wall for fiction. Mostly older titles, vintage copies of classics. Top 🇩🇿 names were there anyway”

LOCATION CLOSED: –>Librairie Avicenne (Paris)

@MODEL_Livres: “Avicenne bookstore in Paris sadly closed in March, for good. We’re hoping to see new places pop-up though, in the wake of Lagrange”

–>Librairie Averroès (Paris)

GERMANY

Librairie du monde arabe. Photo: Nadia Ghanem

–>Ägyptischer Kulturladen Papyri (Berlin)

@Rasha_Kay: “My impression is majority religion/classic/old books. Not very literary (i.m. opinion). Very hard to get contemporary young arab writers. However, i was able to find ‘The Prophet’ easily.”

And while not a bookshop, there is also Baynatna, The Arabic Library in Berlin

ISRAEL

–>Yafa Cafe (مقهى يافا) (Jaffa)

–>مكتبة كل شيء (Haifa)

ITALY

–>Arabook (Venice)

–>Libreria GRIOT (Rome)

–>Tamu Libri (Naples)

@admalaone: “It is just a small section they will enlarge.”

NETHERLANDS

LOCATION CLOSED: –>Pages (Amsterdam)

@rania_tn: “I was in heaven because I’d never seen that much mashriqi lit in one place. They gave us free coffee & pastries. A very friendly place.”

@monakareem notes that Pages has been closed down and turned into an online bookstore.

Librairie de l’Orient. Photo: Nadia Ghanem

SPAIN

–>La casa del libro árabe (Barcelona)

–>Madrasa Editorial (Granada)

–>Librería Balquís (Madrid)

@carlaprado25: “Just visited in Madrid. Lovely selection of novels, dictionaries, social sciences and travel literature.”

–>Libreria Diwan (Madrid)

–>Libreria Almanara (Madrid)

SWEDEN

–> Fenix Förlag (Stockholm)

SWITZERLAND

–>Librairie arabe L Olivier (Geneva)

Rania Said at Pages.

TURKEY

مكتبة الشبكة العربية للأبحاث والنشر, (Istanbul)

@Michael_Arnold7: “Depending on what kind of books you’re looking for. Not the place to go to for classical texts (there are other places in Istanbul for that), but it has a good selection of contemporary literature, ranging from fiction, to history, politics and religion. Plus it has a cafe!”

US

–>Al-Hikma Bookstore (Falls Church, VA)

@MENALibAHS: “Al-Hikma is actually pretty great!”

–>Jarir (Garden Grove, CA)

@tlthom: “They have a bigger section of religious material, but they have lit on another wall, at least the last time I was there.”

@UmmHafi: “jarir! we used to do pilgrimages there from LA. got a lot of good shaami books there (jabra, khoury, adunis, darwish), but also mustaghanimi, and they had most of mahfouz too last time we were there (also sharing coffee/tea, good times overall)”

@creisi_jreisi: “They have a literature section and even some literature in translation. Though their religious section is much larger.”

–>Middle Eastern Bookstore (Dearborn, MI)

@neimoyer: “Have lunch at Cedarland, then go get a book, and then head to New Yasmeen for something to drink and a sweet.”

–>Middle East Books & More (D.C.)

@MiddleEastBooks: Yo don’t forget about us! Middle East Books & More here in DC. Located in the same building as the Washington Report + newly launched Museum of the Palestinian People

More lists:

From Hadi Badi: Where to Buy Arabic Books for Young Readers (Around the World) 

For Indie Bookstore Day: 33 Great Arab Bookshops Recommended by Writers, Translators, and Scholars

From L’Asiathèque: Librairies recommandées Monde arabe

Marhaba: Publishers & Book Distributors for Arabic Literature

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