It was not long ago that playwright Lucien Bourjeily (@lucienbourjeily), nominated for a 2014 Index Freedom of Expression Award for his censored play “Is It Permitted or Not,” announced that he’d been prevented from traveling to perform another play in London.
Today, the Gallatin School of New York University inaugurates its “Gallatin Global Writers” series. It was to be kicked off by universally acclaimed Jordanian-British poet and novelist Amjad Nasser. Then he was refused entry by Homeland Security
Kuwaiti government censors have prevented Abdullah Al Busais’s new novel “Stray Memories” from entering the country. What effect will the banning have?
Egypt’s censorship office has apparently confiscated copies of three books that entered the country on Saturday, sent from Beirut by acclaimed publishing house Al-Tanweer.
“So I’m on the podium. Marcia has handed me the mike, and my thousands-strong and well-informed American audience is rapt.” Youssef Rakha on the narrowing of discourse.
On Thursday, an appeals court in Beni Suef upheld a five-year sentence for Karam Saber, the author convicted on charges of contempt of religion for his short-story collection Where is God.
What stands between a book and its Jordanian reader? Why did Susan Abulhawa’s “Mornings in Jenin” fail to satisfy the press and publications law, or Hassan Blasim’s “Madman of Freedom Square”? How does censorship work?
In the last week in Britain, there has been a relatively loud roar over new-ish rules that restrict sending books (and underwear, among other things) to prisoners. But England is hardly the only place to strangle prisoners’ access to books.
In April 2013, the Lebanese anti-censorship organization “March” announced that they would be staging a play “Bto2ta3 aw ma Bto2ta2?” (“Is It Permitted or Not?”) Last August, they found it wasn’t permitted. Now playwright Lucein Bourjeily is up for an award for the play, and an excerpt has been translated into English.
This week, the World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF) came out with its rankings of countries for how they best put the “Web to work” in improving human rights and economic development. Digital has also begun to offer greater access to Arabic books, escaping country-by-country distribution problems. But also last week, an activist from the UAE and a Kuwaiti man were both sentenced to prison time for tweets.
A newly released PEN report finds that a large — and perhaps growing — number of US writers avoid or are considering avoiding red-line topics, which include criticism of the US military and the whole of the Middle East and North Africa.
In May, author Karam Saber was sentenced — in absentia — to five years in prison for alleged defamation of religion in his short-story collection أين الله (Where is God). Following protests from at least 46 Arab human-rights organizations, the case appeared again in mid-September, but was deferred until an October 22 hearing.