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To celebrate the launch of Writing Revolution, join some of the editors and contributors as they discuss the project, the Arab Revolutions and their aftermath, and hear readings from the book.
Writing Revolution (I.B.Tauris) is a collection of some of the best new writing born out of the Arab Spring. Bringing together authors, journalists, activists, students, writers and bloggers, it tells the deeply moving and personal stories of these individuals who witnessed and wrote about the revolutions in their countries across the Arab region. From Cairo to Damascus and from Tunisia to Bahrain, Layla Al-Zubaidi and Matthew Cassel have brought together some of the most exciting new writing born out of revolution in the Arab world. This is a remarkable collection of testimony, entirely composed by participants in, and witnesses to, the profound changes shaking their region.
Panelists to include:
Matthew Cassel (Editor) A journalist and photographer covering the Middle East for Al Jazeera English. Cassel first learned about the region through his human rights and media work in Palestinian refugee camps. Over the past decade he has worked in the occupied Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Bahrain and elsewhere.
Layla Al-Zubaidi (Editor) Director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in South Africa, and was previously based in Beirut and Ramallah. She has published on cultural resistance and freedom of expression, and is co-editor of Democratic Transition in the Middle East: Unmaking Power (Routledge, 2012).
Ali Aldairy (Contributor, Bahrain) is a Bahraini researcher, linguist and cultural critic, interested in philosophy and religion. He is the author of several books and maintains his own website. A long standing activist he has been struggling since the Bahraini uprising in 2011 and was forced to leave the country. In exile he founded the online Arabic newspaper Mira’at al-Bahrain (The Bahrain Mirror).
Mohamed Mesrati (Contributor, Libya) is a Libyan writer and journalist residing in the UK. He started to publish his short stories online in 2007. He works as a journalist for El Kef newspaper, which has featured his investigative reports on social issues in Libya, including reports on women’s freedoms and on alcohol (in the latter he interviewed smugglers and local drinks-makers). He has also worked on reports investigating the status of Libyans living abroad. An extract from his novel-in-progress Mama Pizza has appeared in Banipal No.40.
Ali Abdulemam is a Bahrain blogger, the founder of Bahrain Online and human rights activist. He took part in protests calling for democracy in Bahrain in February-March 2011. He was amongst the first to agree to contribute to the Writing Revolution project before he went into hiding during a government crackdown on the protest movement. He was sentenced, in absentia to 15 years in prison and recently fled Bahrain to the UK where he’s been granted asylum. He is representing his friend and fellow political refugee, Dr. Ali Aldairy, who ended up contributing to this project but was sadly not able to make it to the UK for this event.
Translated mostly from the Arabic, it has been awarded a 2013 Prize from English PEN for Outstanding Writing in Translation.
Please note that unfortunately Ali Aldairy will no longer be joining the panel due to visa restrictions.
The discussion will be followed by a Q&A and a food and drinks reception.
Don’t forget to check our screenings page for forthcoming films at The Mosaic Rooms.