Abu Dhabi Book Fair

‘Living Together in Spite of Our Differences’: A Talk with Amin Maalouf

“History does not say who we are by itself—we make it say that. Historical events are the clay that we shape according what we need, think, and believe.”


Is Clarity No Longer a Crime?

“Clarity is a crime,” Mahmoud Darwish once wrote, in his “Leaving the Mediterranean Coast.” This line of poetry was quoted by Egyptian novelist Ezzedine Choukri Fishere when he declined to explain aspects of his International Prize for Arabic Fiction-shortlisted novel Embrace at the Brooklyn Bridge in 2011.

Philip Kennedy: These Books Shouldn’t Just Hide on a Shelf

Philip F. Kennedy, the Library of Arabic Literature’s General Editor, has been a key force in putting systems in place and getting the LAL — which focuses on Arabic-English editions of classical and pre-modern Arabic literature — on its feet. He spoke with ArabLit at the 2013 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair about how the project came about, noting a few the challenges the editors and editor-translators have faced.

Book Fairs and the Locals

Now that I’ve returned from the fair, I’ve been reflecting on how difficult it is to say what “localization” and “roots” mean in a country that’s 90-percent non-Emirati. This 90 percent — of Pakistanis, Egyptians, French, Malaysians, Indians, Filipinos, Lebanese, others — may contribute vibrantly to the country’s development. Yet they cannot, as things currently stand, be considered locals.