Banipal 30 - Autumn/Winter 2007

Banipal has brought together authors, translators, writers and reviewers in 30 issues which make up an incomparable archive of contemporary literature from the Arab world. And, not to leave out the wide-ranging exhibition of artists whose works have made our front covers. A special display of the artists and covers will be made available soon on this site.This issue opens with tributes from well-known authors to the Iraqi poet, poetry translator and founding editor of Banipal Sargon Boulus, who died unexpectedly on 22 October. His death “has left a gaping wound in the heart of modern Arabic poetry”. Keeping a finger on the pulse of the Arab literary scene, the authors in the issue are from Jordan, Libya, Sudan, Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates and Tunisia. They include the well-known poets Amjad Nasser and Khaled Mattawa, both of whom are founding contributing editors of Banipal, both settled outside their mother countries, the former in the UK, the latter in the USA and both writing intriguing poems of vision and changing heritages. Elias Khoury needs no introduction, and we are pleased to present an excerpt from his novel Yalo, forthcoming in English translation in the USA and the UK.

Cover artist is Jaber Alwan from Iraq



Sargon Boulus (1944–22 October 2007)

Remembering Sargon Boulus –
Bouquets on the grave of Sargon Boulus

Photos and tributes from fellow authors

Amjad Nasser
– Eight Poems

Naguib Mahfouz Excerpts from Morning and Evening Talk, the latest translation of a novel by the late Nobel laureate for literature

Widad Benmoussa
– Selected Poems

Raouf Mousaad Basta Excerpt from his novel The Ostrich Egg [Baydhat al-Na’amah]

Khaled Mattawa – Seven Poems

Azza Rashad – Two short stories My Mother's Eyes and The Nght . . . When all is Quiet

Muwaffak al-Sawad – Two Poems

Samer Abu Hawwash – Three Poems

Mohammed Hasan Alwan – Two short stories Blonde Grass and Statistics

Rania Mamoun
– A short story The Thirteen Months of Sunrise

Adel Khozam – Selected Poems


Lutfiya DulaimiA Thousand and One Nights and The Fruits of the Earth


Noel Abdulahad (1939–2007)

Elias Khoury – Excerpt from the novel Yalo

Abdelkader Benali – Poems Ibn Khaldoun in Hollandia Felix

Habib SelmiSouad’s Tale – an excerpt from a novel

Golala Nouri – Poem Are you sure you want to delete ...?

Elias Farkouh – Three short stories Creation, A Man I Don't Know and A Very Long Short Story

Ibrahim Abdel MeguidHow clocks the watches stopped or Why we heard only the verses of hell in the large tent – An excerpt from a novel


"Literature is the doorway to a country's soul"

Michel Moushabeck of Interlink Publishing,
celebrating twenty years of publishing 1987–2007


Susannah Tarbush The Lodging House by Khairy Shalaby

Mona Zaki Learning English by Rashid al-Daif

Tarek el-Ariss Being Abbas el Abd by Ahmad Alaidy

The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf

Zuzana Kratka Maryam’s Maze by Mansoura Ez-Eldin

Volker Kaminski Das Geständnis des Fleischhauers by Hussain al-Mozany

All these book reviews can be read online. Click here for full iist of online book reviews, originally reviewed in Banipal issues


London: Translation Prizes Award ceremony
Ledbury and London: Celebrating Lebanese Poets
Frankfurt: International Book Fair. For photo-report click here

Please go to the following links for information on the translators for Banipal 30

Piers Amodia, Sinan Antoon, Ali Azeriah, Issa J Boullata, William M Hutchins, John Irons, Khaled al-Masri , Christina Phillips, Jenny Steel and Max Weiss

and to the following links for the reviewers Tarek El-Ariss , Volker Kaminski, Zuzana Kratka and Susannah Tarbush