Upcoming Events: ‘The Arabic Design Library’, Najwan Darwish & more

A few upcoming online events:

May 11

For the second session in the new series on “Histories and Archives of Arabic Publishing” co-hosted by the British Library and Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge, Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFarès will give a talk on “The Arabic Design Library: Alternative Narratives from the Arab World”. She will be joined by Moe Elhosseiny who will speak on “Arabic Cover Design Archive: Digital Archives as Design Activism.” Find more information about this event and the whole series at their website and register here.


The Radical Books Collective launches May 11 with a conversation with writer Nathalie Etoke, hosted by Bhakti Shringarpure. Find out more here and register here.


The creative writing & cultural platform Takween will be hosting an Instagram live event with the translator Mu’awiya Abd al-Majid on “المترجم إذ يرفض الخفاء: مقدمات، ملاحظات، إيضاحات”. For more information, see their Twitter post and participate on Instagram @takweenkw.

May 15

Join the Transnational Literature Series at Brookline Booksmith for a virtual Nakba Day event with poet Najwan Darwish and translator Kareem James Abu-Zeid to discuss Darwish’s second book, Exhausted on the Cross. They’ll be in conversation with writer Nathalie Handal. Find more information here and register here.


Palestine Art Week starts May 15 and runs through May 21, featuring film, theater, literature, visual art, and more. More about how to register at the Palestine Museum website.

Later in May:

May 17

Emma Ramadan, recent winner of the PEN Translation Prize for her translation of Abdellah Taïa’s A Country for Dying, and translator from Spanish, Sophie Hughes, will be talking about “Translating Excess”, specifically translating slang, profanity, and other such registers of language on May 17, 12pm MST (6pm GMT). Register via Zoom here.

May 20

The MENAWA Reading Group will discuss their May read A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum. Join them via Zoom: Meeting ID 727 2975 3204 Passcode 277417 and find out more on their Twitter account.

May 23-29

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair will take place from May 23-29 with a hybrid program of physical and online events. Find out more at their website. We will be highlighting some events nearer the time.

May 25

For the third session in the series on “Histories and Archives of Arabic Publishing” on May 25 at 5pm BST, Zeina Maasri, senior lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Brighton, will speak alongside Berlin-based artist collective Fehras Publishing Practices (Sami Rustom, Omar Nicolas and Kenan Darwich) about their respective projects on Arabic publishing during the Cold War. Find more information about this event and the whole series at their website and register here.


Join Mikey Muhanna as he interviews poet Zeina Hashem Beck for the afikra Conversations series on May 25, 5pm BST. Find more information here and RSVP using this form.


In a joint event by WoWFEST, Comma Press and the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival, authors Hassan Blasim and Christy Lefteri will be in conversation with Ted Hodgkinson about “Searching for the Words: Writing the Refugee Crisis” at 7pm CST. Get tickets for the event here.