Beirut39 inspires a fresh look at modern Arab literature. A collaboration between the Hay Festival and Beirut World Capital of the Book 2009, the project will bring together 39 of the best known and loved writers of Arab heritage under 39 years of age.

The 39 writers under 39 years will be chosen by a group of respected Arab writers, academics and journalists.  Nominations are solicited from publishers and literary critics across the Arab world and internationally. You are also invited to nominate. The judging panel will be aided by research and specialist knowledge from Hay Festival and Banipal, the magazine of modern literature.

The 39 writers selected to participate in Beirut39 will be invited to Beirut for four days, and around 50 events will be organized all over the city, in libraries, bookshops, cafés, universities and schools etc. The events will be structured around literary topics and will take the form of panel debates between three and five writers with a chairperson. All events will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. The events will be free and entry will be open to the general public; the Festival hopes to attract a diverse audience, reflecting the power of writing to stimulate social cohesion and cultural understanding.

Abu Dhabi Book Fair 2010

The Abu Dhabi Book Fair will return for its 20th edition — 2nd – 7th of March 2010 — and promises to continue strong programing with authors’ talks, publishing industry panel discussions and of course lots of books for sale from around the Arab world and international booksellers. The list of authors and translators attending the Abu Dhabi Book Fair is coming soon.

Stay tuned here or visit the Abu Dhabi Book Fair website –

Continue reading

Sharjah Book Fair 2009

28th Sharjah Book Fair – 11-21st of November 2009

This 10 day annual event bridges cultures and supports reading by showcasing the books of 750 publishers from over 42 nations, with average 400,000 visitors annually.

Opening hours: Saturdays & Thursdays: (10:00 – 22:00); Fridays: (16:00 – 22.30); Boys’ Schools: Mondays & Wednesdays ( 10:00 hrs to 14:00 hrs); and Girls’ Schools: Sundays, Tuesdays ( 10:00 hrs to 14:00 hrs).

For more information visit:

Wild Thorns by Sahar Khalifeh

For July 2009 we discussed Wild Thorns by Sahar Khalifeh. The book was first published in 1976 and translated into English in 2005, was the first Arab novel to offer a glimpse of social and personal relations under Israeli occupation.  Featuring unsentimental portrayals of everyday life, its deep sincerity, uncompromising honesty and rich emotional core plead elegantly for the cause of survival in the face of oppression.

Continue reading