|Mansoura Ez Eldin|
PALFEST Founder: Ahdaf Soueif
PALFEST 2013 Participants:
|Tarek Abboushi||Eyad Barghuthy||Dimitri Mikelis|
|Alaa Abd El Fattah||Ahmad Dahbour||China Miéville|
|Atef Abu Saif||Najwan Darwish||Hisham Naffa’a|
|Susan Abulhawa||Jeremy Harding||Gillian Slovo|
|Ali Abunimah||Aamer Hussein||Jesse Soodalter|
|Lina Attalah||Othman Hussein||Ahdaf Soueif|
|Ibtisam Azem||Maya Khaldi||Stormtrap|
|Saleh Bakri||Marcia Lynx Qualey||Tom Warner|
Sugar Street Review - By Tom Little
A couple of months ago, Egyptian novelist and journalist Ahdaf Soueif gave a talk at London’s Mosaic Rooms about the Egyptian revolution, her art and the place of art in the uprising. As the lecture came to a close, the floor was opened up to questions. Usually, I find it a little tricky to concentrate for this part of the night as people have a tendency to ask questions that are a little too clever for me, but one question stuck in my mind.
A young lady, speaking in a marked D4 Dublin accent, stood up to introduce herself as a Libyan poet. She said that at a recent forum for significant female Arab writers, she and her significant female Arab writer colleagues had agreed that literary society in the Arab world marginalized women authors. What could be done to change this, she wondered out loud? Soueif looked baffled and said that she just couldn’t see that this was the case. Some of the Arab world’s best-known writers, both in-and-outside the region, are women. It seemed unbelievable to her that someone could think this was the case.
Agree or disagree, I have to admit that I was taken aback by how strongly Soueif felt that this was the case, and her response has had us thinking over the last few weeks. So, in honour of International Women’s Day 2012, we have decided to put together a list of our five favourite women novelists from the Arab world. For a number of reasons, but mainly my inability to read anything other than basic Arabic, we have limited ourselves to writers whose works are published in English too.
By Regis Cabral
A woman with her child
Takes to the streets
Against the tyrant
With devil in his eyes
A despot hidden behind
False promises and lies
While the blood flows
Out of the good peoples' hearts
To the protest march
The voice of liberty is high
In the sacrifice
Of this woman and her child
As bleeding friends find strength
As she struggles against the dark
For her child she rises
Inspired by the immortal messages
Seen by poets
In the eternal and true light
That will sweep away
The dictatorship of night
And she fights
With her smile
For her child
Still alive in her arms
To stop the pain in Syria
And the tears in the sky
(c) Regis Cabral, Piteå, Sweden, 21 June 2012
Thank you Regis for sending this poem to me.
The Palestine Festival of Literature is pleased to announce it has been granted permission to travel to Gaza by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Palfest will depart for Rafah on Saturday morning. In Gaza the Festival will run a series of free public events and workshops.
PalFest will hold its closing event in Cairo at the Rawabet Space for Performing Arts. The event will take the form of a report back from the participants on what they saw and heard and discussed in Gaza. The PalFest Team says: “We believe in the fundamental unity between Egypt and Palestine and hope that these events will forge new connections between the people of Gaza and Cairo”.
The Rawabet event will be at 8pm on Friday May 11, and all are welcome.
PALFEST Founder: Ahdaf Soueif
PALFEST 2012 Participants:
Alaa Abd El Fattah
Khaled al Khamissi