Taleb Al-Refai’s IPAF-longlisted ‘Al-Najdi’: Alnukhethah’s Ode to the Sea

By giving Ali al-Najdi a voice, al-Refai introduces the readers to the man behind the sea-faring legend.


An Excerpt from Bothayna al-Essa’s ‘Maps of Wandering’

They were driven apart involuntarily, and Sumaiya was forced to exit, against her will, the ring performing tawaf – the circling of the Kaaba. Faisal raised his arm in the air, like a ship mast. “Sumaiya! Sumaiya!” he cried at the top of his voice. They both rowed their way in the direction of the other, their hands met, and he grabbed her wrist, pulling her towards him.

Best-selling Kuwaiti Author Bothayna al-Essa on the Anti-Consumerist Attitude Needed to Write

“The way the world works — it’s designed such that we’re transformed into consumers, and it consumes the individual by making them into a consumer. By entering into this cycle, we lose ourselves and the true voice we hear in our heads when we experience setbacks in this world. It’s upon the writer — all of us actually, not just writers — but writers in particular to go up against this way of life.”