Signs of the Times: The Popular Literature of Tahrir

Kutub highly recommends Signs of the Times: the Popular Literature of Tahrir: Protest Signs, Graffiti, and Street Art the April edition of Shahadat, a monthly online series created by ArteEast designed to provide a platform for experimentation and promotion of short form writing on the web. This issue, co-curated by Rayya El Zein & Alex Ortiz, takes as its focus the popular literature of the Egyptian Revolution. Drawing on protest signs, graffiti, and street art in Tahrir to read the culture of resistance particular to the Egyptian Revolution, the curators examine how protesters changed the political narrative through the use of images, memorials, and expressions of daily life.

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Iraqi In Paris by Samuel Shimon: English and Author’s Interview

The revised edition of An Iraqi in Paris: An Autobiographical Novel by Samuel Shimon has been published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP), as a part of its series of publications listed for this year. Shimon, who is now resident in London is the co-founder and assistant editor of Banipal, the leading magazine of Arab Literature in English.

Those in the UK will have the opportunity to attend an interview with the author hosted by the Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation on Monday April 11th at the London Book Fair: Monday, April 11th from 3:30-4:30pm. For details email Safaa Marish at bqfp @

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A Tale of Four Cities – Literary Magazine Call for Submissions

A Tale of Four Cities is an online literary magazine featuring fiction and creative nonfiction set in real locations in four cities – New York, Dubai, London and the first guest city, Mumbai. This project bridges the gap between travel writing and creative writing, bringing together stories that reflect the real and the imagined within our cities. The website,, will be coming soon with your stories.

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Literature related news in Egypt

Kutub stands in support with people of Egypt.  As we look to Arabic Literature, included below are some links to discussions about the impact of current events on Egypt’s authors, readers, publishing houses, etc.

Words Without Borders, literary informed article by Chris Rosetti

ArabLit blog on 60s generation Egyptian authors and Revolution

American University in Cairo Press ransacked by police

Cairo Book Fair Canceled

Western publishers responsibility to support Egyptian publishers

Novelist Ahdaf Soueif speaking from Tahrir Square on Democracy Now (Kutub featured author, April 2011)

Novelist Ahmed Alaidy in the Washington Post and via Bloomsbury Qatar (Kutub featured author, March 2007)

Novelist Alaa Al Aswany in the LA Times and in The Independent (Kutub featured author, Feb 2007 and May 2008)

Novelist Nawal El Saadawi supports the Revolution (Kutub featured author, November 2010)

The WSJ on the safety of Bibliotheca Alexandrina

Recommendations on relevant reading lists from ArabLit blog

Poetry and Protest article by Elliot Colla posted on

Amany Aly Shawky in Al Masry al Youm on police brutality in Egyptian Literature

    The 2011 EAIFL (Emirates Airline Festival of Literature)

    The EAIFL (Emirates Airline Festival of Literature) returns Tues 8th to Sat 12th March 2011 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Dubai Festival City. The Festival creates a wonderful opportunity for UAE nationals, visitors and residents to meet famous authors, attend literary debates, listen to readings, participate in workshops, and experience the exciting fringe and children’s events. With simultaneous translation in all events, the Festival is a meeting of minds where ideas are shared and friendships are formed – not least among the authors themselves, who whether festival veteran or novice have praised the lively atmosphere and the diverse, intellectually switched-on audience.

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    2011 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

    We look forward to seeing you at the 21st Abu Dhabi International Book Fair 15 – 20 March 2011!

    For six days in March the ADIBF turns into the meeting point for all international and Arab publishers turning ADIBF into the nation’s biggest book shop for six days, offering all in attendance a unique chance to fill in the gaps in their libraries. Indeed, some schools and libraries loook forward to the fair to buy their entire book supply for the coming year. The program includes author lectures, book signings, poetry performances by local and international poets and a live daily cooking show.

    For more information visit:

    Longlist Announced – International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2011

    Religious extremism, political and social conflict and women’s struggles emerge as key themes with the November 11th, 2010 announcement of the longlist contenders for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2011, one of the most prestigious and important literary events of its kind in the Arab world. The judging panel whittled down the longlist of 16 from a total of 123 entries, from 17 countries across the Arab world. Seven women make the longlist of 16, the highest number in the Prize’s history.

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