Unfortunately after nearly five years, The Third Line can no longer host Kutub’s monthly meetings. We hope that you will continue reading and exploring the world of Arab literature. We thank you for your enthusiasm, shared stories and conversations. It was a pleasure to get to know you and join in so many discussions together.
For our Arabic readers, we recommend IQRA’A, which gathers monthly at The Pavilion Downtown Dubai (www.pavilion.ae).
Please note that the Kutub blog about Arab Literature may continue in an independent capacity.
For more information? Email: kutub @ thethirdline . com
Kutub was a literary circle that reads works by Middle Eastern authors published in both Arabic and English. It was originally founded by The Third Line, an art gallery in Dubai, UAE that represents contemporary Middle Eastern artists.
Kutub formed in April 2006 out of a concern that there is a lack of support for Middle Eastern authors. The literature coming out of the region is fresh and diverse, but it is also beset with difficulties and a lack of sustained support. One key difficulty is a limited amount of translation of Arabic authors into English.
Kutub sought to support Middle Eastern Literature and to challenge the local readership (both English and Arabic speakers) to consider a broad range of Middle Eastern writers as well as to hold critical cross-cultural conversations that help bring together diverse thought and stir challenging conversation. We read fiction that informs and challenges as well as entertains, including classics as well as modern works by new authors. Our readers ranged from the academic to the culturally interested – and everyone brings a sharp and open mind for conversation.
Texts were chosen on the following criteria:
- that they’re fiction, published in both English and Arabic
- that they’re by authors representative of the Middle Eastern region
- crucially, that they are interesting, entertaining, enlightening and thus conducive to lively banter that crosses cultural boundaries and builds bridges