On Raja Alem’s ‘Sarab’ & Translating an Arabic Book Not Published in Arabic

"I was honoured to work on this for many reasons, but I have to say that Raja’s process of not publishing the Arabic first really felt like a mark of faith in what translators can do, and recognition of the different value they can bring to a text."

International Prize for Arabic Fiction Can’t Escape Controversy

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction – or, as it's popularly known, the "Arabic Booker" – has attracted a wealth of controversy in its first four years. A number of prominent authors have refused to let their books be nominated for the prize, which has been accused of, among other things, being too closely allied with governmental powers, discriminating against women and rewarding novels that cater to western interests.