Past Events

Banipal is keen to promote live literature events that include Arab authors. Check out this section for news of events that Banipal is organising or is involved in. For a photo report of a recent event, click here.

24 April 2024
April Bookclub on Zoom

The next Bookclub will be discussing 

Shadow of the Sun

with its author Taleb Alrefai and its translator Nashwa Nasreldin

Published by Banipal Books, October 2023, it is available as a paperback and an ebook.

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8 February 2024
6.00pm to
Brunei Gallery, Thornhaugh Stt, London WC1B 5DQ

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation 2023

celebrates literary translation with the Annual Lecture and the Winner
of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

6.00pm-9.00pm, THURSDAY 8 FEBRUARY 2024
The Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, London WC1B 5DQ

to this free event, in-person and online

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Wednesday 22 November 2023
6.30pm to 8.00pm
November Book Club on Zoom

The November bookclub will discuss


Works by 16 Palestinian poets – selected, introduced, and translated from the Arabic by Mohammed Sawaie
and published by Banipal Books in the UK in April 2022, and due out in the US in February 2024.

Available as a paperback and an ebook

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Wednesday 25 October 2023
6.30-8.00pm BST (UK Time)
October Book Club on Zoom

The October 2023 Bookclub will discuss

Birds of Nabaa,
A Mauritanian Tale

by Abdallah Uld Mohamadi Bah

Translated from the Arabic by Raphael Cohen

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Wednesday 11 October 2023
The Byre Theatre Abbey Street, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9LA

Light from the East: Middle Eastern Art Now

with Catherine Cobham, Nouri al-Jarrah and Fabio Caiani.

This is a FREE multi-media celebration of Middle Eastern art, but do book your place

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Wednesday 27 September 2023
6.30pm to 8.00pm
September Book Club on Zoom

Our next book club will be in September, not August, when many of us are having a break.  The book under discussion will be:


by Jalal Barjas

translated by Paul G. Starkey 

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Saturday, 23 September 2023
7:45 pm - 8:35 pm UK time
G7, 3401 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Mohammed Sawaie is in conversation with Bill Mullen at the Palestine Writes Festival about his book

The Tent Generations, Palestinian Poems

which was published by Banipal Books earlier this year

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Wednesday 26 July
6.30-8.00pm BST (UK Time)
July Zoom bookclub discussion

The novel under discussion for July is:

Sarmada by Fadi Azzam,

translated by Adam Talib

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Wednesday 28 June 2023
6.30 to 8.00pm BST (UK time)
June Zoom Bookclub Meeting

The June bookclub will discuss

The Dispersal

by Inaam Kachachi

translated from the Arabic by Inam Jaber

published December 2022 by Interlink Publishing, USA


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31 May 2023
May Zoom Book Club meeting

The May book club will discuss

The Drowning 

by Hammour Ziada

translated by Paul G Starkey, who will be joining the discussion at 7pm.

published Fall 2022 by Interlink Publishing  

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27 April 2023
6.30pm-8.00pm (London time)
April Bookclub on Zoom

The book under discussion is:

Warda by Sonallah Ibrahim

translated from the Arabic by Hosam Aboul-Ela

Sonallah Ibrahim’s 2000 masterpiece offers readers a view of twentieth-century world events through the diary pages of his titular character

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7 April 2023
12:30pm ET (17.30pm London Time))
The Jerusalem Fund, 2425 Virginia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

The Tent Generations: Palestinian Poems

Dr. Mohammed Sawaie will talk about his new book of poems by 16 major Palestinian poets, whose poems he selected, translated and introduced.

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22March 2023
6.30pm-8.00pm (London time)
March Bookclub on Zoom

The March Book club meeting will discuss

The Disappearance of Mr. Nobody

by Ahmed Taibaoui

Translated by Jonathan Wright

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Thursday 9 March 2023
Lit & Phil Library, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 1SE

Save the date – Thurday 9 March – for the Banipal Magazine 25 Years Celebration – A Grand Evening of Literature

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22 Feb 2023
6.30-8.00pm GMT (London Time)
February Bookclub on Zoom

Make a date to discuss one of the winning two works of the 2022 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize

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9 February 2023
6.00pm UK time GMT
Online with Banipal Trust and co-hosted by Arts Canteen

Make a date online for Thursday evening – 9 February 2023

The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature’s celebration of the winners of the 2022 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation takes place the day after the Society of Authors' Award Ceremony on 8 February for all the translation prizes they administer. 

Moderated by the Banipal Trust Chair Prof Paul Starkey, the celeberation will comprise readings in both languages from both the winning books, a discussion and a Q&A session.

This event is co-hosted by Arts Canteen and Banipal Trust for Arab Literature.

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25 January 2023

The book under discussion is Gaza Weddings by Ibrahim Nasrallah, translated by Nancy Roberts

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Wednesday 18 January 2023
Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black's Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9DT

Save the date, 18 January 2023, for our 25 Years Celebration of Arab Literature 

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26 October 2022
6.30-8.00pm London Time
Banipal October 2022 BookClub on Zoom

The Night Will Have Its Say

by Ibrahim al-Koni

Translated by Nancy Roberts (published by Hoopoe Fiction, 2022)

Nancy Roberts will be joining the online discussion.

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28 Sept 2022
6.30pm-8.00pm (London time)
September 2022 Book Club on Zoom

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31 August 2022
6.30pm-8.00pm (London time)
Next Book Club on Zoom (August – no book club in July)

Hot Maroc by Yassin Adnan, translated by Alexander Elinson

With an infectious blend of humor, satire, and biting social commentary, Yassin Adnan gives readers a portrait of contemporary Morocco — and the city of Marrakech — told through the eyes of the hapless Rahhal Laâouina, a.k.a. the Squirrel.

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29 June 2022
6.30-8.00pm BST (London time)
Banipal June Book Club on Zoom

The Book Smuggler

by Omaima Al-Khamis

translated by Sarah Enany
winner of the 2021 Saif Ghobash Banipal Translation Prize

This book won the 2018 Naguib Mahouz Medal for Literature and was longlisted for the 2019 International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

It is published by Hoopoe Fiction in paperback and ebook editions

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25 May 2022
6.30pm-8.00pm (London time)
May Book Club on Zoom

Things I Left Behind

by Shada Mustafa

translated from the Arabic by Nancy Roberts
(published by Banipal Books, 9 May 2022)

Shada Mustafa and Nancy Roberts will both be joining us for an unusual May bookclub-cum-book launch.

All welcome

Just email to request the login details for this online Zoom event

If you have difficulty getting hold of a copy, please email us at and we'll try to help.


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28 April 2022
April Book Club on Zoom

The April Book Club will discuss


by Egyptian author Mohamed Kheir

translated into English by Robin Moger, who is joining us for the session

published by Two Lines Press

NB: For this month only the meeting is moved to THURSDAY, instead of our usual Wednesday.

All welcome

Just email to request the login details for this online Zoom event

If you have difficulty getting hold of a copy, please email us at and we'll try to help.


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30 March 2022
March Book Club on Zoom

I Do Not Sleep
by Ihsan Abdel Kouddous,

translated by Jonathan Smolin (Hoopoe Fiction, 2021)

"A story of betrayal, desire, and family drama, written by a giant of Egyptian popular fiction who shocked readers in the 1950s when this Lolita-esque novel first appeared and whose work has never before been available in English" – Hoopoe Fiction.

All welcome

Just email to request the login details for this online Zoom event

If you have difficulty getting hold of a copy, please email us at and we'll try to help.


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11 March 2022
StAnza International Poetry Festival, The Byre Theatre – Auditorium, Abbey Street, St Andrews, KY16 9LA

Nouri al-Jarrah, author of A Boat to Lesbos (Banipal Books 2018), will be appearing at Scotland's International Poetry Festival, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary.

The Friday of this year’s festival (7–13 March) is dedicated primarily to questions of exile, migration, belonging and tracing one’s roots, and will culminate in Poetry Centre Stage, an exciting triple bill from three major writers born respectively in Zambia, Jamaica and Syria, currently living in the UK / the US – Kayo Chingonyi, Safiya Sinclair and Nouri al-Jarrah.

Nouri Al-Jarrah will read from four decades of work written in exile, including poems from A Boat to Lesbos and his most recent work, The Stone Serpent, Barates of Palmyra’s Elegy to Regina his Beloved (being published later this year by Banipal Books). The latter epic poem awakens two extraordinary lovers, Barates, a Syrian from Palmyra, and Regina, the Celtic slave he freed and married, from where they have lain at rest beside Hadrian’s Wall for eighteen centuries, and tells their unique love story.

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10 March 2022
Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan's College, Windmilll Hill, Durham DH1 3LJ

Writing in the Time of War

Khaled Khalifa will speak about his own experience and writing and will read an extract from his novel Death is Hard Work.

Join us on Thursday 10th March 2022 at 18:00 at the Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan's College, for the lecture.

A drinks reception will be held following the event.

We are also hosting the lecture online.
To book your place please scan the QR code below.

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Book Club on Zoom

A Bed for the King’s Daughter is a collection of experimental short stories by of Syrian author Shahla Ujayli that uses surrealism and irony to examine women’s agency and the decline of modern collective life. It was shortlisted for the 2021 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize. Its Arabic original won Al-Multaqa Prize for the Arabic Short Story in 2017. 

All welcome

Just email to request the login details for this online Zoom event

If you have difficulty getting hold of a copy, please email us at 

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Online Celebration with Zooom

An Evening with

Sarah Enany and Rasha Adly,
in conversation with Roger Allen (chair of judges), with readings and Q&A

and an interlude of Nay music

The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature invites you to an online celebration of the 2021 Winner.

It takes place the week after the award ceremony, on Thursday 17 February at 5.00pm GMT

organised in partnership

with Arts Canteen

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Society of Authors Zoom link

Translation Prizes 2021

– Save the Date –
10 February 2022 / 6PM / online

Join us online
for the Society of Authors
Translation Prizes 2021

‘Powerful evidence that the art of translation is alive and thriving’

At this online event,

the 2021 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation will be awarded to

Sarah Enany for her translation of the novel The Girl with Braided Hair by Rasha Adly,

published by Hoopoe Fiction.

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26 January 2022 Book Club on Zoom

The book under discussion is the 2021 winner of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize 

The Girl with Braided Hair by Rasha Adly, translated by Sarah Enany and published by Hoopoe Fiction

Available as a paperback and an ebook.

All welcome

Just email to request the login details for this online Zoom event

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24 November 2021
6.30 to 8.00 GMT (UK time)
Book Club on Zoom

The book under discussion:

Sarajevo Firewood by Algerian novelist and cultural journalist Saïd Khatibi.  Its translator Paul Starkey, Emeritus Professor of Arabic, University of Durham, and the award-winning translator of many works of contemporary Arabic fiction, will be joining us. The novel was published by Banipal Books in September 2021.

Available as paperback or ebook from here or from your usual online sources.

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27 October
Book Club on Zoom

The book under discussion:
The Critical Case of a Man Called K
by Aziz Mohammad, translated by Humphrey Davies. Published by Hoopoe Fiction.

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Bookclub on Zoom

Discussion on the novelThe Slave Yards by Najwa Bin Shatwan, translated by Nancy Roberts. Shortlisted for the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, this unforgettable novel offers a window into a dark chapter of Libyan history and illuminates the lives of women with great pathos and humanity. 

Fadia Faqir writes of it: "This beautifully written novel is a milestone because an Arab woman writer dared to investigate, describe, and expose two slaveries: that of slaves and that of women."


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28 July 2021
Online on Zoom
Our chosen book for the July meeting is:
The Book of Disappearance by Ibtisam Azem, translated from the Arabic by Sinan Antoon, published by Syracuse Univ Press.
What if all the Palestinians in Israel simply disappeared one day? What would happen next? How would Israelis react? These unsettling questions are posed in Azem’s powerfully imaginative novel.

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Wed 30 June 2021
Online with Zoom

The book under discussion is God 99 by Iraqi author Hassan Blasim. It is translated by Jonathan Wright, who will join the meeting, ready to answer any questions, and talk about the work.

Please email to register to receive the details to join the Zoom meeting.

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Online with Zoom

The next Banipal Book Club will meet online on Wednesday 31 March.

The book under discussion is The Old Woman and the River by the late Kuwaiti author Ismail Fahd Ismail, translated by Sophia Vasalou.

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18.00 GMT

FREE online event, hosted by the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature in collaboration with Arts Canteen.

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Wednesday 4 November 2020
4 Nov 2020 Book Club on Zoom

The next Banipal Book Club will discuss The Eye of the Mirror by Liana Badr, who will give the 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize Lecture on 11 November. It is translated by Samira Kawar, who will be attending the meeting.

Email to register and be sent the Zoom login-in details.

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on Zoom

Banipal Book Club on Zoom, Wednesday 7 October 2020
6.30-8.00pm (BST)

We will be discussing MAMA HISSA'S MICE by Saud Alsanousi, translated by Sawad Hussain

Special guests: Saud Alsanousi and Sawad Hussain

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Thu 18 April 2019
6.00 to 7.30pm
Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, NY University, 255 Sullivan St. NY10012

Syrian poet Nouri Al-Jarrah

in conversation with Hala Halim

plus readings from his collection

A Boat to Lesbos

Co-sponsored by the Department of Comparative Literature, the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, and the Center for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora

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Wed 17 April 2019
6.00 to 8.00pm
Smith Buonanno, Room 106, Brown University, Rhode Island

A Boat to Lesbos

Syrian poet Nouri al-Jarrah

reads from his first book in English translation

Free and open to the public. Reception to follow

Sponsored by the Center for Language Studies, Middle East Studies, Literary Arts, The Program in Modern Greek Studies, and the C.V. Starr Foundation Lectureship at Brown University

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1 November 2018
Meetings Room & Library, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE

Banipal Book Club discusses the new Adonis work in translation Concerto Al-Quds

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19 September
Kings College London, Lecture Theatre 1, Bush House, 30 Aldwych, London WC2B 4BG

The Arab British Centre, Banipal Book Club & KCL Action Palestine

have pleasure in inviting you to a screening of

The Dupes

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Afternoons and Evenings until 18 September
Institute of Contemporary Arts & Institut français

SAFAR – A Literary Journey through Arab Cinema

SAFAR Film Festival highlights one of the most underexplored chapters of Arab film history – the 1960s until today. It screens classic adaptations from Syria, Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria, including some world premier restorations, and explore the myriad ways in which literature and storytelling can influence contemporary cinema – from story structure, to folklore, to autobiography – with a selection of documentaries, shorts, and features from Iraq, Palestine, Jordan, Qatar, and Lebanon, all accompanied by expert Q&As.

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Friday, 13 October 2017
1.30pm to 2.30pm
Frankfurt Book Fair, Hall 3.1. (L25) The Weltempfang Center for Politics, Literature and Translation


Crises in the Arab world – good for creativity? Literary responses
(Arabic, English, German)

Panel debate with Libyan poet and translator Ashur Etwebi, Syrian poet and critic Mohamad Alaaedin Abdul Moula, and Samuel Shimon, Iraqi author and founding editor of Banipal and Kikah literary magazines.

Moderated by Peter Ripken.

A collaboration between ICORN International Cities of Refuge Network and Banipal Magazine of Modern Arab Literature

Celebrating 20 years of publishing

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Saturday, 7 October 2017
Waterstones Gower Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 6EQ


Celebrating 20 years of publishing




Syrian author Dima Wannous, Libyan author Ghazi Gheblawi, translator Jonathan Wright (winner of the 2016 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize) and Banipal publisher Margaret Obank. Moderated by Arabist and translator Becki Maddock.

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8 September 2017
Upper Foyer, Haus der Berliner Festspiele, Schaperstraße 24, 10719 Berlin

International Berlin Literature Festival logo

Twenty Years of Banipal Magazine – Arabic Literature in English

Amin Zaoui (Algeria), Mariam Al Saadi (United Arab Emirates), Emad Fouad (Egypt), Nouri Al-Jarrah (Syria), Veronika Dintinjana (Slovenia), Samuel Shimon (Iraq/UK) and Margaret Obank (UK) present the independent magazine of modern Arabic literature Banipal

Moderator: Stefan Weidner
with interpreter Mustafa Al-Slaiman and reader Matthias Scherwenikas

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Tue 27 June 2017
6.30pm for 7.00pm start
Waterstones Piccadilly 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1V 9LE

Literary Awards in the Arab World
with special guest Mohammad Hasan Alwan,
winner of this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction

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Thu 22 June 2017
Arab British Centre Meeting Room, 1 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE

Supporting Refugee Week 2017 with


Presenting a diverse evening of special guests, literature, discussion, poetry, film, books, readings, theatre, performance, and open mic – looking at the question of how literature is dealing with the biggest enforced movement of people ever recorded.

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Tue 23 May 2017
Arab British Centre Meeting Room, 1 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE

The next Book Club meeting will discuss The Bamboo Stalk by Kuwaiti author Saud Alsanousi, which won the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction and the 2016 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

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23 February
International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY


A Celebration of Arabic Literature in English Translation

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation invites you to a celebratory evening with the translator and the author of this year's winning novel The Bamboo Stalk.

Jonathan Wright, who wins the prize a second time with this translation, is joined by the novel’s young Kuwaiti author, Saud Alsanousi, in conversation with journalist Ben East.

The evening is introduced by Carnegie Medal-winning children’s writer Melvin Burgess.

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9 February 2017
Meetings Room & Library, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square London EC4A 3DE


The Banipal Book Club holds its first meeeting of 2017

We will be discussing the novel
No Knives in the Kitchens of this City

by Syrian author Khaled Khalifa,
translated from the Arabic by Leri Price


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6.30 p.m.-9.00 p.m.
Waterstone's Piccadilly, 203/206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

A Gala Literary Evening
Banipal 57 – Syria in the Heart

Three authors from Syria in the Heart: Nouri A-Jarrah reads and discusses his dramatic poem A Boat to Lesbos; performance poet Charlotte Van den Broeck, a household name in her native Belgium, from Guest Literature from Flanders; and Iraqi novelist Muhsin al-Ramli with his novel The President's Gardens (to be published by Maclehose Press, April 2017)

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Thu 24 November 2016
Meetings Room & Library, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square London EC4A 3DE


The Banipal Book Club is back!

The book to be discussed is The Longing of the Dervish by Sudanese author Hammour Ziada, translated by Jonathan Wright. The Arabic original won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2014 and was shortlisted for the 2015 International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

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Tue 21 June 2016
Arab British Centre, Meetings Room & Library, 1 Gough Square, London EC4A 3DE

Supporting Refugee Week with
Do join us for a diverse evening of literature, discussion, poetry, film, readings, theatre and performance

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Tue 14 June 2016
6.30pm for 7.00pm
Waterstone's Piccadilly, 203/206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

Ahmad Al Malik and Tarek Eltayeb, two of Sudan’s acclaimed and inspiring writers, are on a special visit to London to talk about their work and the Sudanese literary scene today. With readings from Banipal 55 – Sudanese Literature Today, the magazine’s latest edition.

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Thu 18 February 2016
6.30 p.m.-9.00 p.m.
Waterstone's Piccadilly, 203/206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

Celebrate 2015's best literary translation from Arabic with the winner of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize and his author in conversation with Gaby Wood

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Wed 17 February 2016
6.15 p.m. for 6.30 p.m.
Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU

The Award Ceremony of Translation Prizes from Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Spanish and Swedish 

This is a free event, but please reserve your seat by emailing

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Thu 10 December 2015
6.30 p.m.-8.00 p.m.
The Arab British Centre Meetings Room, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE

Next Banipal Book Club Meeting

The 29 entries for the 2015 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation

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23 September 2015
4th Floor, Waterstone’s Piccadilly Bookstore, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

Photos and news of the event are posted here, on Facebook, on Instagram and on the News pages of this site.


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Wed 29 July 2015
6.30 p.m.
Meetings room & Library, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE

Library Open Evening
A post-Shubbak, pre-holiday discussion and refreshments with publishers and literature promoters, and the chance to browse through displays of latest works


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Wed 29 April 2015
6.30 p.m.
4th floor, Waterstone's Piccadilly, 203/206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

The launch of The Bamboo Stalk by Saud Alsanousi, winner of the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction

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Thu 19 March 2015
Meetings room & Library, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE

Banipal Book Club meets to discuss
The Corpse Washer, written and translated by Sinan Antoon, winner of the 2014 Saif Ghobash Banpal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation


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Wed 25 February 2015
6.15 p.m. for 6.30 p.m.
Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London SW1P 3EU

The Award Ceremony of Translation Prizes from Arabic, French, German, Spanish and Italian

• This is a free event, but please reserve your place by emailing

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Tue 24 February 2015
6.30 p.m.-9.00 p.m.
Waterstone's Piccadilly (4th floor), 203/206 Piccadilly, London W1J 9HD

In conversation: the Winner of Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation - Sinan Antoon

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Thu 30 October 2014
18:30 – 20:30
Meetings room & Library, Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE

First ever BALMAL Library Open Evening 

The first ever BALMAL Open Evening, hosted by the Arab British Centre and Banipal, has been very successful: the room was full of visitors and animated conversation!

The Library now has a number of new members, and many of the duplicate ex-library books were sold. Interest in Arab literature is definitely increasing.

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Tue 24 June 2014
The Mosaic Rooms, A.M. Qattan Foundation, London, SW5

BOOK LAUNCH: Collected Poetical Works of Saadi Youssef

The event will be followed by a reception and book signing session.

FREE but please reserve your place by emailing

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Wed 05 March 2014
The Arab British Centre, 1 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE


Books on Street

Wednesday 5 March 2014 | 14:30 – 16:30

Meeting Room, The Arab British Centre
1 Gough Square, London, EC4A 3DE

This event is FREE but please RSVP so we have an idea of numbers.
RSVP | | 020 7832 1310

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Thu 13 February 2014
2-4.30 pm
Meetings Room & Library, The Arab British Centre

Roundtable on Arabic Literary Translation

Image of Jonathan Wright Image of William Hutchins
Jonathan Wright                            William M Hutchins

This is a Roundtable discussion with the joint winners of the 2013 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, Jonathan Wright and William M. Hutchins, chaired by Professor Yasir Suleiman.

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Thu 13 February 2014
7.00 pm
The Gallery, Foyles Bookshop, Charing Cross Road

Arabic Literature in English
An evening with the prizewinning translators and their novels

Celebrating the joint prizewinners of the 2013 Saif Ghobash Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, Jonathan Wright and William M. Hutchins.

Foyles Charing Cross Road

Introduced by Paul Starkey

With readings from the novels and a drinks reception

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12 November
6.30pm to 8.00pm
Lecture Theatre, Kensington Central Library, Phillimore Walk, W8 7RX

     Launch of
Banipal 48

Narrating Marrakech title of Banipal 48

Do join us for this singular literary celebration of the Red City of Marrakech.

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Thursday 24 October 2013
Meeting Room, Kensington Central Library, Phillimore Walk, W8 7RX


Short stories from the Arab world

with Banipal Book Club

Three short stores from different Arab countries:
Mordechai's Moustache and his Wife's Cats
by Mahmoud Shukair (Palestine), Black Kohl . . . White Heart by Mona al-Shammari (Kuwait) and Ali the Red by Luay Hamza Abbas (Iraq).  

No knowledge of Arabic required.


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Thu 24 January 2013
Doors open 6.30 pm for 7.00pm start
The Mosaic Rooms, A.M. Qattan Foundation, London, SW5

Celebrate Banipal 45 – Writers from Palestine at The Mosaic Rooms with two authors from the issue – Asma'a Azaizeh and Marwan Makhoul. Join them for readings of their works, for discussion and a reception

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30 November, 2012
6.45-7.15pm, 7.30-8.00pm and 8.15-8.45pm.
V&A, Cromwell Road, London SW7 2RL

Banipal Short Story Circles at the V&A as part of the V&A's Friday Late: Record, Reframe, Resist and the Nour Festival of Arts.

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Monday 8th October, 2012
Bayleaf Restaurant, Birmingham

Libyan Authors and Banipal at the Birmingham Book Festival

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17 August
Vitosha Guest Haus & Pinocchio Theatre, Ann Arbor

Vitosha Guest Haus & Pinocchio Theatre
in association with The Alliance for Artists Communities present:

A Reading of Young Writers from Yemen and Morocco – Wajdi al-Ahdal and Abdelaziz Errachidi

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July 1st, 2012
Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre

Banipal Celebration Reading at the South Bank Centre with Hassan El Ouazzani (Morocco), Khaled Mattawa (Libya), Saadia Mufarreh (Kuwait), Amjad Nasser (Jordan), Iman Mersal (Egypt) and Rasha Omran (Syria)

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26 June to 1 July 2012
One week event
Southbank Centre – Royal Festival Hall


The largest gathering of international poets ever seen, as part of the UK Cultural Olympiad prior to the opening of the Olympic Games at the end of July 2012

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14 April to 27 May
New film about Etel Adnan by the Otolith Group
Fabrica Gallery in Brighton

I See Infinite Distance Between Any Point and Another

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24 May 2012
6.30 to 8.30
The Banipal Arab British Centre Library


For the second Book Club meeting, we will be reading Out of It by Selma Dabbagh


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28 - 30 April
Three day event

Organised by Ashur Etwebi and Khaled Mattawa

The first major literary festival in Libya featured poets, scholars, and literary professionals from Algeria, Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

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27 March 2012
Abu Dhabi

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2012 and the Abu Dhabi Book Fair

The award ceremony of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction took place in the evening of the 27 March 2012, and was followed by the opening of the Abu Dhabi book fair the next morning.

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Sun 19 February 2012
King's Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG.

Join Adina Hoffman as she talks about her biography of the great Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali. This event is part of Jewish Book Week.

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Mon 06 February 2012
King's Place

Presentation of the 2011 Saif Ghobash - Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

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Wed 25 January 2012
Curiositea, Warwick University

1001 Arabian Nights in One Night

Literature from the Arab world

An evening of readings and discussion with guest speaker Banipal's publisher Margaret Obank talking about the current Arabic literary scene

Organised by the English Literature Society as part of the University's One World Week.


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14 December 2011
Intercontinental Beach Garden, Abu Dhabi

A collaboration between New York University Abu Dhabi and Banipal to celebrate Emirati literature in English and Arabic. Part of the New York University conference on World Literature and Translation.

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6 December 2011
The Gallery and Library, The Arab British Centre

Banipal Winter Reception to Celebrate the Authors and Translators in Banipals 42, 41 and 40.

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8 November 2011
Southbank Centre

State of Emergency. An evening of poetry from the Arab world at the Southbank Centre.

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4-6 November 2011
All day
Aldeburgh Poetry Festival

Over the course of the festival, Margaret Obank, Amjad Nasser, Kay Ryan and Fergus Allen, and judge of this year's Popescu Prize Jane Draycott gave a number of talks on their work in the Arabic literary field, along with poetry readings.

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23 October 2011
Manchester Literature Festival

Past winner Raja Alem (2011) from Saudi Arabia, and former judges Ghalia Kabbani and Paul Starkey in discussion about the importance and global impact of this prize, and the role fiction can play in promoting cultural understanding.

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12-16 October 2011
Four day event
Frankfurt Book Fair

An exciting and inspiring four days for Banipal, with great interest in the three issues of 2011 that were presented at the Fair. 

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30 September to 3 October 2011
A three day event
Fondation Royaumont, Asnières sur Oise, France.

Sleep Song

From the dreams and nightmares that have haunted US veterans of the Iraq war, Mike Ladd created poems. These poems led to an encounter with the other side. In Baghdad, Ahmed Abdul Hussein, too, felt the war as a source of words and wrote poetry. A meeting between invisible enemies who become visible men. The premiere of Sleep Song was at Fondation Royaumont, Asnières sur Oise, France on 30 September, followed by a second performance 

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28 September
The Gallery at Foyles Charing Cross Road

Harvill Secker Young Translators' Prize

In celebration of the Harvill Secker Young Translators' Prize, author Penelope Lively, journalist Maya Jaggi, Prize founder Briony Everroad and translator Paul Starkey will discuss literature in translation and this year's chosen language for the prize, Arabic.

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Tue 20 September 2011
The Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road, London SW5 0SW

Launch of One Day in April, a new novel by Jad El Hage

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7-17 September
all day
Berlin International Literature Festival

Emirati writers Khulood al-Mualla and Sara al-Jarwan with Samuel Shimon at the Berlin International Literature Festival. The visit of the two authors was supported by the Emirates Foundation

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

SHUBBAK FESTIVAL – The Arab Spring: A Literary Perspective
Authors from Syria, Egypt and Libya in conversation

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9 July 2011
3 - 4.30pm
The Bluecoat

An Iraqi in Paris:  Samuel Shimon in conversation with Eckhard Thiemann at the Liverpool Arabic Arts Festival

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9 July 2011
Ledbury Poetry Festival

Modern Tunisian Poetry – Tahar Bekri, Amina Saïd with distinguished American poet and translator Marilyn Hacker in Gala Poetry Performances – plus Supper

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18 June 2011
London Review Bookshop

Ramsey Nasr, Poet Laureate of the Netherlands, at LRB's World Literature Weekend, in conversation about his work and Heavenly Life, selected poems in English translation, with readings 

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3 June 2011
8pm - 11pm
St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace


The Ziggurat Builders

a new composition for Voice, Oud and Cello by Marcus Davidson exploring the music of the voice and the Oud from medieval to contemporary sounds, with title and libretto taken from an existing poem by the late Iraqi Assyrian poet Sargon Boulus (1944-2007). 

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6 November 2010
Poetry International, South Bank Centre, London SE1

7.00pm, Saturday 6 November 2010

St. Paul’s Pavilion, Royal Festival Hall, Level 6

Jasmine Donahaye, Adam Foulds, Nathalie Handal and Ramsey Nasr

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October - November 2010
South Bank Centre, London, SE1

Poetry International London, 28 October to 6 November, focused on Palestine and the Middle East, hosting poets from around the world on the theme of imagining peace.

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6-10 October 2010
all day
Buchmesse, Frankfurt

Banipal had a stand in the newly organised Weltempfang in the Frankfurt Book Fair's Hall 5. On Sunday 10 October (10.10.1) Banipal's editor Samuel Shimon hosted a discussion on Tunisian literature, the theme of Banipal 39 that was published on 1st October.

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July 2010
all day
Assilah, Morocco

To see some of the official photos from this year's Assilah Festival, click here


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July 2010
every day
Al-Sindiyan, Syria

This year the Festival Director and poet Rasha Omran invited Stephen Watts to join the team of poets for the week-long events.

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Thu 15 July 2010
Frome Festival

Last year’s first ‘Arab Evening’ of readings, music, and delectable middle eastern dishes proved so popular there will be repeat helpings at Trinity Hall this summer, with Syrian author Ghalia Kabbani and, from Iraq, playwright Hassan Abdulrazzak and oud player Khyam Allami.

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Wed 14 July 2010
Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London – Emirati Poets

Khalid Albudoor, Khulood al-Mu’alla and Nujoom al-Ghanem, three successful modernist Emirati poets, have their first London reading with specially commissioned English translations of their works

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Sun 11 July 2010
Ledbury Poetry Festival – Iraqi poets

Poetry and Iraq – two poets in the forefront of Iraqi writing today – Fadhil al-Azzawi and Sinan Antoon discuss the place of poetry in Iraq and read from their works

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Sat 10 July 2010
Ledbury Poetry Festival – Emirati Poets

Khalid al-Budoor, Khulood al-Mu’alla and Nujoom al-Ghanem, three successful modern Emirati poets, read their works and meet poetry-loving audiences at the annual Ledbury Poetry Festival

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Sun 13 June 2010
2 – 7pm
Live at Bernie Spain Gardens on the South Bank, London, SE1 9PP

BBC Radio 3's World Routes Academy 2010 – Iraq at Celebrating Sanctuary Festival
An afternoon’s events dedicated to Iraqi culture – live music, spoken word, workshops and discussions

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10-13 March 2010
10-13 March 2010
Dubai Festival City

More than 80 authors from around the world converged on Dubai Festival City for the second Emirates Airline International Literature Festival

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14 to 18 October 2009
9.00am to 6.00pm
Frankfurt Book Fair

Visit Banipal at the Frankfurt Book Fair
We're in the International Centre, in Hall 5.0, Stand D912


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Monday 13th July 2009
7:00pm to 9:30pm
London Review Bookshop

The London Review Bookshop

The event featured not only the poets Siham Bouhlal and Mustafa Stitou, who came from Paris and the Netherlands respectively, but also the spirit of two others, Hassan Najmi and Ouidad Benmoussa, both of whom should have been there but for the new and infamous privatised system for getting VISAs to come to the UK, which made it impossible for them to make the visit. All with works published in Banipal 35.

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Saturday 11th July 2009
12:45pm / 8:00pm
Ledbury Poetry Festival

The Ledbury Poetry Festival
•  Launching two Arabic poetry books
• Introducing Moroccan Poets

Two Arabic poetry events, featuring the launch of two new books by Banipal Books, Shepherd of Solitude by Amjad Nasser (pictured) and Knife Sharpener by the late Sargon Boulus.  Plus Moroccan poets Siham Bouhlal and Mustafa Stitou, who live in Europe and who wonderfully stepped in when the UK's new visa system prevented well-known poets from Morocco setting foot in the UK.

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Thursday 9th July 2009
8:00pm to 10:00pm

Frome Festival 2009
Arab Writing Today

An exciting event, the first of its kind at the Frome Festival: three Arab writers came together to give readings and to talk about their work.

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20-22 April 2009
London BookFair 2009
Earl's Court, London

London Book Fair 2009

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Tue 08 July 2008
London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, London WC1A 2JL

Breaking through: Syrian writers in conversation and performance

Hala Mohammed, Monzer Masri, Rasha Omran, Lukman Derky, four Syrian poets - who are also a film-maker, a painter, an arts festival director, and a journalist / scriptwriter respectively - were seen in conversation (on writing, publishing and the arts in Syria today) – and in performance. Audiences were able to hear readings of poems, newly translated for the latest issue of Banipal 31, which included a major feature on contemporary Syrian literature. Free wine and nibbles were served after the event.

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Sat 05 July 2008
Syrian Poets in UK
Ledbury Poetry Festival and London Review Bookshop

Hala Mohammed, Monzer Masri, Lukman Derky, Rasha OmranLedbury Poetry Festival and London Review Bookshop
Hala Mohammad, Monzer Masri, Rasha Omran and Lukman Derky visited the UK for events at the Ledbury Poetry Festival and the London Review Bookshop.

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Mon 05 May 2008
BBC Radio 4


published in translation in BANIPAL MAGAZINE
with some republished in the collection SARDINES AND ORANGES, published by Banipal Books
were broadcast, in the English translation, one a day, as below, from Monday to Friday, 5 to 9 May

Produced by Square Dog Productions for Radio 4.

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Tue 11 March 2008
6.00 to 7.30pm
Manchester Central Library

Banipal magazine is the winner of the 2008 Incwriters Outstanding Contribution to Literature (Magazines) award. It was chosen from the short list of ten magazines below and the award presented at a ceremony at Manchester Central Library.

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Mon 10 March 2008
Abu Dhabi

At a splendid award ceremony in Abu Dhabi on 10 March 2008, the chair of judges of the new International Prize for Arabic Fiction, known as the Arab Booker, announced that the inaugural winner of the £50,000 prize was Egyptian author Bahaa Taher for his novel Wahat al-Ghurub [Sunset Oasis].

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Thu 25 October 2007
6.30pm to 9pm


A press publishing talk, Q&A and networking event:

Four publishers and editors shared their experience of setting up a small press and gave advice to guide attendees on their way through the process. Panellists included Shaun Levin, Nii Ayikwei Parkes, Margaret Obank, and Chris Hamilton-Emery.

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Wed 10 October 2007
All day each day

The world’s largest fair for the book trade was attended by even more visitors than last year, over 280,000. Hall 5, home of Frankfurt Book Fair’s International Centre was a veritable hub, housing the Guest of Honour Pavilion for Catalan Culture, as well publishers from the Arab world, South American and African countries, Iran, Turkey, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Armenia, and many others; also booths for small independent literary publishers, such as Banipal, Dar al-Jamal, and Hans Schiler Verlag.

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Sat 06 October 2007
11am to 7pm
The Lowry, Salford

Manchester Festival of Literature’s Independents' Day was a day of activities for independent small publishers,mostly local magazine and poetry publishers.

Banipal's stand exhibited and sold magazines and books, including the two new collections of short stories, Mordechai's Moustache and his Wife's Cats and A Retired Gentleman.

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Mon 09 July 2007
6.30pm for 7pm
Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, London

Banipal magazine & the Institut Français

host special reception and poetry reading

to welcome
poets from Lebanon
Abdo Wazen, Zeinab Assaf and Bassam Hajjar

after their performance at the Ledbury Poetry Festival.

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Sat 07 July 2007
Burgage Hall, Ledbury Poetry Festival


Lebanese poets visited the UK for this exclusive event at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Two of the poets had never read in the UK before and one is newly translated into English.

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Wed 23 May 2007
Poets House, 72 Spring St, 2nd floor, New York

An invitation
to celebrate today’s poets
from Lebanon

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Fri 04 May 2007
Virgin Megastore Bookshop, Beirut Centre Ville, Beirut
Lebanese author Jad El Hage launches his second novel written in English The Myrtle Tree (Banipal Books) in Beirut.

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Sat 28 April 2007
Amman, Jordan

The 2nd International Translation Conference of the Arab Thought Foundation was held in Amman, 27 and 28 April 2007. An important panel was organised by the Next Page Foundation, which looked at the experience of promoting Arab literature outside the Arab world, and that means, in translation.

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Tue 17 April 2007
7pm for 7.30pm
Daunt Books, 112-114 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 4UA

A great crowd of friends, journalists, critics, literary agents, publishers and authors, among them Hanan al-Shaykh, Hisham Matar, Aamer Hussein and Amjad Nasser, gathered at Daunt Books for the London launch of The Myrtle Tree.

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Tue 17 April 2007
12 noon
London Book Fair, Central Books Stand

Author of The Myrtle Tree Jad El Hage joined the throng of visitors and exhibitors at The London Book Fair's new venue at Earl's Court, just a stone's throw from where he used to live when he was in London.

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Sun 01 April 2007
All day

THIS year’s book fair, was organised for the first time in co-operation with the Frankfurt Book Fair and housed in a dedicated ultra-modern exhibition centre. The week-long fair was open every day to the public with free admission; schools took it in turns to attend en masse, from kindergarten to secondary school and university.

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Tue 30 January 2007
Northcote Town Hall, Northcote, Melbourne, Australia

Australians for Lebanon
launched The Myrtle Tree
by Lebanese Australian Jad El Hage, who was introduced by Joe Camilleri, Professor of International Relations, La Trobe University

Organised with the support of Darebin and Australian and Lebanese Historical Society

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Thu 11 January 2007
Afaq Bookshop, Qasr Al-Aini Street, Cairo

Afaq Bookshop, CairoAfaq Bookshop, Qasr Al-Aini Street, Cairo

Samuel Shimon read from his autobiographical novel Iraqi fi Baris

. . . AN IRAQ'S NEVER-ENDING DREAM is reported by Ahmed Maged in the Beirut Daily Star . . .

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Wed 22 March 2006
At the Hammersmith & Fulham WORDwide Festival, Banipal hosts an evening with three Arab authors who live and write in London.

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August 2005
all month
ASSILAH, Morocco
Assilah, this small village on the Atlantic, has been host to a major month-long cultural festival since 1978.

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December 2005 and February 2006
Daytime and evening
Berlin, Germany
Contemporary Arab Representations: The Iraqi Equation was a multi-media cultural project curated and arranged by Catherine David in Berlin’s KW Institute for Contemporary Art in December 2005 and February 2006. Read More
29 October-13 November 2004
London, Newcastle, Manchester, Lancaster, Edinburgh, Tyne & Wear, Southwold
The tour brings together four renowned poets and fiction writers from Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon connecting and engaging audiences in the rich and vibrant cultures of these three areas, mainly known in the UK as scenes of war.

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