Banipal 50 - Prison Writing (2014)

Front cover painting: Detail of painting by Ahmed Alsoudani


EDITORIAL – Banipal's 50th issue

Marwan Ali – Love Poems, translated by Raphael Cohen

Rashid Boudjedra
– excerpt from the novel Printemps (Spring), translated by André Naffis-Sahely


Giuma BuklebCounting Slowly from One to Ten, translated by Robin Moger

Rifat Chadirji – “Into the Darkness of Cell 26”, excerpts from A Wall between Two Darknesses, translated by John Peate

Sonallah Ibrahim – Excerpts from Diaries of Oasis Prison, translated by Elisabeth Jaquette and Sally Gomaa

Fadhil al-Azzawi – The Poet in Prison: Living on Borrowed Time, translated by Jonathan Wright

Saud Qubailat – Two short stories The Prisoner and Old Noise, translated by Nesreen Akhtarkhavari

Ahmed AlfaitouriThe Moment the Cell Door Opened, translated by Robert J Farley

Sherif Hetata – “The Military Prison”, a chapter from The Open Windows, translated by the author

Hashem Gharaibeh A Witness of Prison Life and Writing, followed by a chapter from the novel The Cat That Taught Me How to Fly, translated by Nesreen Akhtarkhavari.  Click here to read a second chapter, entitled Karma, from the novel, which is available to read online.

Osama AlaysaDo Not Tell them I Cried, translated by Sarah H Abdel Halim

Moustafa Khalife: La Coquille – Prisonnier politique en Syrie, A review by Olivia Snaije

Image of Humaza Habayeb

Huzama HabayebThe Fire that Consumed my Heart, translated by John Peate

Xue Qingguo
Arabic Literature in China, translated by Robin Moger

Cover of Adonis collection in ChineseImage of Inaam Kachachi book in ChineseImage of Naguib Mahfouz Zuqaq book in Chinese


Paul Starkey reviews The Arch and the Butterfly by Mohammed Achaari

Mona Zaki reviews June Rain by Jabbour Douaihy

Aamer Hussein reviews Other Lives by Iman Humaydan

Mona Zaki reviews House of the Wolf by Ezzat El Kamhawi


London: Launch of Saadi Youssef’s Collected Poetical Works

Image of Saadi Youssef book launch
l to r: Stephen Watts, Saadi Youssef and Omar al-Qattan


Who is Alessandro Spina?   What is his Libyan Epic?

In an extension of Banipal 50, only available online on this webpage  (not in the print or digital editions) André Naffis-Sahely tells the story of discovering Alessandro Spina and embarking on translating from Italian Spina's 1,250-page Libyan epic.


The translators in Banipal 50 are:
Sarah H Abdel Halim, Nesreen Akhtarkhavari, Raphael Cohen, Robert J Farley, Bassam Frangieh, Sally Gomaa, Elisabeth Jaquette, Robin Moger, André Naffis-Sahely, John Peate, Jonathan Wright

The writers, artists and book reviewers are:
Ahmed Alsoudani, Huzama Habayeb, Aamer Hussein, Olivia Snaije, Paul Starkey, Susannah Tarbush, Mona Zaki

For information on all the translators, writers and book reviewers in Banipal 50 and for more on all other contributors, please go to:

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England