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St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham and Banipal magazine of modern Arab literature are delighted to announce that the Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship of 2020 has been awarded to Sudanese writer and journalist Hammour Ziada.
Hammour Ziada is a Sudanese writer and journalist, born in Khartoum in 1977. He worked for charitable and civil society organisations, and then as a journalist for a number of Sudanese newspapers, including Al-Mustaqilla, Ajras al-Horriya, and Al-Jarida. He became chief editor of the cultural section of the Sudanese Al-Akhbar daily. He is the author of several works of fiction: A Life Story from Omdurman (short stories, 2008), Al-Kunj (a novel, 2010), Sleeping at the Foot of the Mountain (short stories, 2014). His second novel, The Longing of the Dervish (2014), which won the 2014 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature and was longlisted for the 2015 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, is set in 19th-century Sudan during the collapse of the theocratic state. It examines the social conflict between white Christian and Islamic Sufi cultures in Sudan, exploring concepts of love, religion, betrayal and political struggle.
The annual Banipal Visiting Writer Fellowship, established in October 2016 by St Aidan’s College of the University of Durham and Banipal magazine of modern Arab literature with the support of the British Council, is for a published author writing in Arabic. The three-month residency is based each year at St Aidan’s College.
The Fellowship is based on the three cornerstones that form the core of Banipal magazine: that Arab literature is an essential part of world culture and human civilisation; that dialogue between different cultures needs to be continually deepened; and that the joy and enlightenment to be gained from reading beautiful poetry and imaginative writing is an integral part of human existence.
The Fellowship encourages dialogue with the Arab world through literature. The cultural exchange and dialogue that it will enable, and create, will open windows for non-Arab audiences in the UK onto the realities of Arab cultures in all their diversity and vibrancy, enabling fruitful discourse to develop. It is hoped that this will lead to further exchange, to mutual respect, to new writings, to deeper understanding, and to contributing to Arab literature taking its rightful place in the canon of world literature.
Each year the Fellowship provides a unique space for a published author writing in Arabic to reflect and to write, and to also have the opportunity to share their work with British audiences.
Hammour Ziada will arrive in Durham to start his writing residency on 13 January 2020, and over the course of the residency will be able to engage in a monthly literary activity with writers and readers in Durham, the North East of England, and London, in addition to pursuing his work-in-progress.
For all enquiries, please email: Banipalfellowship@gmail.com
The Principal, St Aidan's College, University of Durham,
Windmill Hill, Durham DH1 3LJ, UK