The editor of these pages, M. Lynx Qualey, is grateful for support and contributions from the writers listed (alphabetically) below. If you would like to submit something to ArabLit, please email mlynxqualey – at –

Inas Abassi

inasInas Abassi has published two prize-winning books of poetry, Secrets of the Wind (2004) and Archive of the Blind (2007), as well as Tales of the Korean Scheherezade. Abassi has published her poetry, writing and translations in newspapers, magazines and websites in Britain, Jordan, UAE and Lebanon. You can find her work in English translation in Banipal 39: Modern Tunisian Literature, trans. Allison Blecker. 

Tunis International Book Fair 2012: Successful, Considering

Asmaa Abdallah

aaAsmaa Abdallah is a graduate student in English and Comparative Literature at the American University in Cairo and has been writing for English-language publications in Cairo since 2006.

Ibrahim Eissa: I Do Not Write Novels As a Political Act

The Past, Present, and (Possible) Future of Egypt’s Culture Ministry

Faris Adnon

Faris Adnon was born in Diwaniah, Iraq in 1966 and was forced to leave his homeland in 1991. He entered the USA as a refugee in 1992. He contributed to an Iraqi poetry anthology in Spanish named Gilgamesh Curse in 2005 and his first poetry collection, مظلة من كلمات, was published in Beirut in 2009.

In Iraqi Discourse, No Room Left for Poets

 Katrina Weber Ashour

Katrina Weber Ashour is an arts and communication consultant with experience in the Middle East, whose current clients include Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art.

‘We Don’t Live in a Post-colonial World’: On Music & Translation

Hisham Bustani

Hisham Bustani was born in 1975 in Amman, Jordan. He writes fiction and has three published collections of short fiction: Of Love and Death (Beirut: Dar al-Farabi, 2008), The Monotonous Chaos of Existence (Beirut: Dar al-Farabi, 2010) and The Perception of Meaning (Beirut: Dar al-Adab, 2012). Bustani is acclaimed for his contemporary themes, style, and language. He experiments on the boundaries of narration and poetry, using the internal music of language as a driving force. He often utilizes philosophy, physics, biology, cosmology and visual art in his fiction. The German review Inamo has chosen Bustani as one of the Arab world’s emerging and influential new writers, translating one of his stories into German for its special issue on “New Arab Literature” (No. 60, December 2009). He was also featured in the March/April 2012 issue of Poets & Writers in the report “Middle Eastern Rhythms: A Report from Literary Jordan.” His translated fiction has appeared in The Saint Anne’s Review andWorld Literature Today.

Short Story: ‘Nightmares of the City’

Maurice Chammah

Maurice Chammah  is a writer, currently a Fulbright Fellow in Egypt, a follower of Egyptian media, and a reporter on culture and politics. His blog is Adrift on the Nile.

A Visit to Alaa Al-Aswany’s Literary Salon

Viewing Translation Through the Lens of Bahaa Taher’s ‘Love in Exile’

Amira Abd El-Khalek

Amira Abd El-Khalek studied English literature and anthropology in Egypt and the UK. She has held academic positions at Ain Shams University and the American University in Cairo and has worked in national and international NGOs. She is an avid reader in English and Arabic, enjoys writing and is passionate about films.

‘Judgment Day’: A Conversation About Poetry, the Quran, and the Future of Arabic

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction’s First 5 Years: A Look Back

Ibrahim Nasrallah, on Writing, Palestine, and Flying with Two Wings

Palestinian Poets Asma’a Azaizeh and Marwan Makhoul on Reading Their Work in Israel, Irony, and Fighting With the Poem

Mona Elnamoury

Dr. Mona Elnamoury is a lecturer at the faculty of Arts, English Dept., Tanta University. She also teaches at the MSA in the faculty of Languages and Translation, and has translated Ursula LeGuin into Arabic. She also writes.

The Blown-up Bridges of Translation in Mona Baker’s ‘Translation as (Re)-Narration

The Flowing River of Translation in Michael Cronin’s ‘Global Perspectives’

Why Would Kate Chopin Want to Participate in the IPAF ‘Nadwa’?

In Memory of Sufi Writer Ahmed Bahjat

Radwa Ashour on the Train of Images in the Egyptian Revolution

Radwa Ashour’s ‘Siraaj’: A Trip into the Past that Ends in the Present

When Is Revolution Untranslatable? When It’s Fast and Funny

Nadia Ghanem

Nadia Ghanem is a reader based in London and tweets at @ayatghanem.

A Short Walk through Tahir Wattar’s ‘The Earthquake’

Two Views of Etel Adnan’s ‘Crime of Honor’ 

Author Nihad Sirees: ‘We Are Fighting the Formal History of a Regime’

Two Views of ‘Syria Speaks’: A Lens on Syria Through the Arts

Amina Hachemi

Amina Hachemi (@ahach) holds a BA from Paris-Sorbonne University and an MA in Translation, Writing and Cultural Difference from the University of Warwick.  She is a passionate linguist with particular interest in literary translation and writing, especially short stories.  She enjoys creative experimentation and, being of Algerian and Irish descent, she also likes to explore cultural perspectives and interaction through her work.  Amina believes in the arts as a fundamental platform for intercultural dialogue and understanding.  She is currently working as a freelance editor and translator. 

The Emirati Short Story: A Focus on Identity

Mohga Hassib

Mohga Hassib is an English and Comparative Literature graduate student at American University in Cairo. She has been president of the university’s literature club since fall 2011.

Review of ‘Arabic Booker’-shortlisted ‘Embrace at Brooklyn Bridge’

Sarah Irving

[] is author of a biography of Leila Khaled and of the Bradt Guide to Palestine, and has been a journalist and reviewer for over a decade. She is currently a postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh and is dipping a tentative toe into the waters of Arabic-English translation.

Adventures in Co-translation

‘Silencing the Sea’: A Look at the Landscape of Palestinian Poetries

‘The Iraqi Christ’: An Unsparing, Unforgiving Depiction of the Human Condition

Hassan Blasim: I’m Not Interested in Preserving ‘The Beauty of the Arabic Language’

A Bilingual Poetry Collection that Looks at Life through the Lens of Islam

‘Touch’: Poetry of Palestinian Landscape, Through a Girl’s Eyes

Two Views of ‘Syria Speaks’: A Lens on Syria Through the Arts

‘Perhaps This Poem Has No End’: Reel Iraq in Edinburgh

Marilyn Booth on What Should Be Obvious (But Isn’t) About Translating Arabic Literature

Launch of ‘Lady from Tel Aviv’: Whose Story Is It?

Review: ‘Head over Heels in Saudi Arabia’ at Edinburgh Fringe

If You’re in Edinburgh: Highlights from the Fests

‘Reclaiming Arabic As a Language of Sex’

Elisabeth Jaquette

Elisabeth Jaquette is a MA student in Anthropology at Columbia University and a CASA fellow at the American University in Cairo. She has lived in Cairo since 2007, where she runs an Arabic-English book club and tweets at@lissiejaquette.

Salwa Bakr on ‘Women and Arabic Literature’ 

Formerly Banned Graphic Novel ‘Metro’ Now Available in Cairo

Margaret Litvin

Margaret Litvin is assistant professor of Arabic and comparative literature at Boston University.

The Egyptian Military Elite, Reflected in ‘Moon over Samarqand’

Ghada Mourad

Ghada Mourad is a PhD student and a Schaeffer fellow in literary translation in the department of Comparative Literature at UC Irvine. She works on aesthetics and politics in late twentieth-century Arabic and Francophone literature in the MENAYou can read some of her translations on Jadaliyya.

‘The Best Poems Are Not Political Poems,’ But—

Mishka Mojabber Mourani

mishkaMishka Mojabber Mourani’s (@MishkaMM1) most recent book is ALONE TOGETHER, co-authored with Aida Yacoub Haddad. It is published by Kutub – Beirut, 2012. ISBN: 9789953554167; you can read more about the bilingual project here. Mourani is also the author of the memoir BALCONIES, which is distributed by Lebanon’s Dar an-Nahar.

Lebanese Novelist Nazik Yared on Starting Late and Writing with Honesty

Memoir: Teta, Did You Know Aleppo?

Alone Together: The Global Story Behind a Bilingual Book of Poems

Nora Lester Murad

Nora Lester Murad has written two children’s books on Palestinian themes (not yet published) and is working on a women’s literary novel called One Year in Beit Hanina. She lives in Jerusalem, blogs at, and is known to tweet disparaging comments about Palestinian drivers at @NoraInPalestine.

The Literary Scene in Palestine

Stolen Books, Stolen Identity: What Did Israel Do with Palestinians’ Literary Heritage?

Aya Nabih

photoAya Nabih is a translator and Worldscribe country manager in Egypt. She has translated a number of documentaries and children’s TV series and her literary translations have appeared in Egyptian and British journals. She also has participated in poetry nights in Cairo and France, and some of her poems have been translated into French and English.

MASNAA: Language Melting, Merging, and Crossing Boundaries

Assmaa Naguib

Assmaa Naguib is a PhD student at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter.

Narrating the ‘Arab Spring’: Who Owns the Story?

Hussein Omar

Hussein Omar is a history PhD candidate at Merton College, Oxford and the co-founder of the “Downtown Memory and History Project.”

Who Should Save Egypt’s Archives?

Nasser is Not Hamlet

Nora Parr

Nora Parr is a PhD candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), where she is looking at paradigms of nationalism and intertextuality in the Palestinian novel. She works as an editorial assistant for the journal Middle Eastern Literatures, a post she took following three years as a news editor on the English Desk of the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency.

Ibrahim Nasrallah: Part of My Ambition Was to Surprise the Reader Who Knew Palestine

Layla Qasrany

Layla Qasrany an Iraqi-American writer who published her first novel in Arabic (Sahdoutha) in 2011.

The Meaning of ‘Haditha, Iraq

Yasmine Seale

downloadYasmine Seale is a writer and translator living in London.

Abdellatif Laâbi, Terra Incognita

Jennifer Sears

Jennifer Sears teaches English for the New York City College of Technology (CUNY) and also teaches dance in the NYC area.  She can be found at: or

The Process and Politics of Translating Arabic Lit: A Symposium at Queens College

‘We Don’t Live in a Post-colonial World’: On Music & Translation

Hisham Matar and Ali Al-Muqri on Writing During a Revolution

Adonis at Alwan: Always More Beauty to Be Seen

Tea Boys or Interns? Translators Tackle the Language of Najwan Darwish

Maia Tabet

Maia Tabet was born and raised in Beirut. She has worked as a journalist, editor and freelance translator. Her translation of Elias Khoury’s White Masks (2010) was commended by the judges of the 2011 Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

‘Translation In Practice’: A Review

Rawad Z. Wehbe

Rawad Z. Wehbe is a departmental scholar in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. His interests include Arabic literature and translation studies.

‘Translations’ Residency: Three Languages on an Equal Footing


Zuberino loves books and theatre and lives in London. He tweets @zuberino.

At the London Lit Fest with Mohammed Achaari and Raja Alem

Hassan Daoud on the Present and Possibilities of Arabic Fiction


  1. “Please update my profile now that I am tweeting away @MishkaMM1”
    And she took wing and flew away

  2. Just a thought: a list of 20 recommended novels as a starting point would be helpful. And maybe use social networking? Perhaps start a GoodReads group called Arabic Lit (in English). There is a group there but it’s written in Arabic.

    1. Lisa,

      20 in particular? We have done a number of lists… the “5 to read before you die” ( from different authors & scholars…the “top 105” from the Arab Writers Union (, etc.

      But you think a “20 places to start” list would be helpful?

      There is a “MENA” GoodReads group that’s in English.

      1. Thanks for getting back to me so quickly:)
        I think the problem is that I couldn’t find these lists here on your blog. (I looked in tags for words like recommendations, reading list etc, and I checked out the pages without finding them. Now I have, I’m pleased to see that I’ve read some of them, though only the better known ones, of course.
        But I think what I would really like, is a short description to guide me more than just a title, see (Indian Lit) or my own
        I’m working my way through Vishy’s list (slowly) and that’s giving me a sort of under-structure: I’m learning Indian history, a bit about its myths, legends and politics, and am also learning something about their style of writing which is quite distinctive. (As Australian literature is, it’s not like American or British, but has some similarities to Canadian Lit).
        I read The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlabati a couple of years ago when it was shortlisted for a prize and I was on the Shadow Jury, but I found it a difficult place to start because it was so heavily dependent on knowledge of Iranian history. If it hadn’t been for Wikipedia, I wouldn’t have been able to make sense of it at all. I’m not embarrassed by this, it’s not possible for a general reader to be au fait with the histories of all the countries I read from, and I don’t have any intention of specialising in any particular place, but I would like to have a basic grounding in Arab Lit as I do with French and Russian Lit, just as I am extending my experience of reading Indian Lit (and also – at the moment – Chinese, German & African).
        So I’d like something similar as a place to get started, yes.

        1. It’s true, the blog has a terrible organization — I have some awesome older features (like the series of “translators’ rules” that can’t be found without knowing exactly which terms to search.

          I’ve been trying to get a grant of some sort to help me with, in part, (professionally) reorganizing the site, but as you can imagine most orgs don’t provide grants to blogs, especially for the intersection of blog & literature.

          I have some things that touch on what you’re talking about (introduction to Egyptian authors, introduction to Iraqi authors, commentary on some professors’ intro to Arab lit syllabi) but not exactly. It’s a good idea, maybe as a “back to school” thing.


          1. I don’t think it’s terrible, it just needs a little tidying up, that’s all! I think it looks rather classy and I love what you have in the side bar.
            You know how to tag? Just go to your dashboard and click on tags, search for those two posts with the lists (and any others like them) and tag them using Quick Edit as e.g. ‘recommended books’ and they will show up in your tag cloud.

            1. I think I have too many tags, unfortunately. And I’ve clicked too many things utterly at random. And I have lots of great old features/interviews even I can’t find. Blegh.

              1. Can you tell how many posts you’ve done? How big a job would it be to go through them from the beginning?

                1. 1,898. If only I could make my kids do it.

                  1. Ouch.
                    All the more reason to set up categories, even if you just use it from now onwards.
                    Do you know how to do that? It’s really easy.

                    Set up the obvious ones i.e. the different countries, and then each time you do a post just select the categories that apply.
                    And from what I’ve seen from scouting around on your blog, I would also have one for the different genres i.e. fiction, non-fiction, poetry, + one for articles and another one for reviews.

                    And *chuckle* on days when you have nothing better to do, go back to your old posts and categorise them too, say a month’s worth at a time.

                    1. I have categories (including country names, which is how the posts show up in the left-hand runner), and I use them now (most of the time), but I still can’t keep track of where I put things. For instance, there are so many things in “translation,” how do I ever find the “translators’ rules”? I suppose I should’ve tagged them something sensible?

                    2. You mean


                      On Aug 19, 2013 6:08 AM, “Arabic Literature (in English)” wrote: > > mlynxqualey commented: “I have categories (including country names, which is how the posts show up in the left-hand runner), and I use them now (most of the time), but I still can’t keep track of where I put things. For instance, there are so many things in “translation,” how do” >

                    3. Well, you know, as a children’s librarian, I categorise books by subject not using proper Dewey categories, but more the way children and their teachers think, and when in doubt I go and ask someone e.g. if you were looking for a book about whales where would you look? (And they always say on the shelf with all the other books about fish even though of course a whale is a mammal.)
                      I use the same approach with categories and tags on my blog. How about ‘Hints for Translators’?

  3. This site is an oasis of arab literature during our time. I’m not one who has looked for this before but the fact it isnt in our daily mainstream media (literature) had me realise and wonder what the state of arab literature is during this time. So grateful for this.

  4. Salam, my name is Qasim, from last 26+ years Allah and Muhammad s.a.w keep coming into my dreams, over 460+ times Allah comes in my dreams and 250+ times Mohammad s.a.w comes in my dreams, Muhammad S.A.W is the last Messenger of Allah and i am the Ummati of Prophet Muhammad S.A.W, many dreams related to Muslim Ummah, World and the Judgment Day, I have shared few dreams on my fb

  5. please i m a poet from tunisia how can i get a translater to publish my book in other languages .

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