21st July
Khalili Lecture Theatre, School of Oriental and African Studies

Part of SHUBBAK – A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture

The Arab Spring: A Literary Perspective

Thursday 21 July
6:30 – 8.30pm
Khalili Lecture Theatre (KLT)
School of Oriental and African Studies

Three Arab authors from Libya, Egypt and Syria joined writer Brian Whitaker for a conversation about the momentous events of the ‘Arab Spring’ and what it means for literary life in their home countries.

Giuma Bukleb                        Khaled al-Berry                      Ghalia Kabbani

Giuma Bukleb was born in Tripoli, Libya, in 1952 and has published short stories in Libyan literary periodicals since 1976.  Imprisoned by the Gaddafi regime in the 1970s-80s, Bukleb has recently composed a series of audio podcasts on his views of the ‘Arab Spring’ entitled "Letter from London".
Khaled al-Berry was born in Suhaj, Egypt, in 1972.  His acclaimed memoir Life is More Beautiful than Paradise: A Jihadist’s Own Story was published in English in 2009.  Al-Berry’s third novel An Oriental Dance was shortlisted for this year’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction (also known as the ‘Arabic Booker’).  He currently works for the BBC World Service.
Ghalia Kabbani is a Syrian author and journalist who grew up in Kuwait.  She has published three collections of short stories and her second novel in Arabic, Secrets and Lies, was published in 2010.  She is a columnist for Al-Hayat newspaper.
Brian Whitaker is an Editor of the Guardian’s Comment is Free and the newspaper's former Middle East Editor.  He is author of Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian Life in the Middle East (2006) and What’s Really Wrong with the Middle East (2009).

The event was organised by the Arab British Centre in partnership with Caabu,
with thanks to Banipal and the London Middle East Institute for their support and assistance.