DHOFARI GUCCI: On a recent visit to a supermarket I was confronted by someone I didn’t know who wanted to change my life. It’s an all too common occurrence
DHOFARI GUCCI: If the Swiss are at one end of the planning spectrum then my fellow Dhofaris at the furthest extreme
SHELINA ZAHRA JANMOHAMED: The daily duties and responsibilities may grind down our inner superhero but the flame lives in every Muslim woman
STEVE ROYSTON: There comes a time in your life when the “Big Issues’ that dominate your thoughts – sex and money, for instance – are usurped by death. I’m heading there.
M. LYNX-QUALEY: I confess – I read from both sides of the so-called ‘great divide’ in Egyptian literature. Should we even talk in these terms anymore?
DANIEL M. VARISCO: The incomparable Naguib Mahfouz had a brilliant eye for the detail that revealed Cairo everyday life. Here’s one of my favourite passages.
M. LYNX-QUALEY: He came to writing late and he writes in his third language but Rawi Hage has developed a compelling, distinctive voice
M. LYNX-QUALEY: At major international writer events there seems to be an overwhelming focus on the politics of the region. Understandable but we’re neglecting a fuller picture
M. LYNX-QUALEY: So you’ve decided that there’s only enough time in your life to read five Arabic books (translated). Here’s a little help deciding which five.
DEREK WORKMAN, VIEW FROM FEZ: It’s a culture that stretches back more than 1,000 years but it’s on the point of extinction
GEORGE EL HAGE, TABSIR: I felt it necessary to express directly to my son the feelings of loneliness, isolation and alienation felt by a Lebanese exile.
STEVE ROYSTON: His skill, wit and humour have brought the great traveller, Ibn Battuta, vividly to life. The latest on his travels delivers again.
TABSIR: They reflect the everyday struggles of a people whose land has been wracked by conflict and war.
M. LYNX-QUALEY: He was nominated twice but never matched the Arab World’s only Nobel literature prize recipient, Naguib Mahfouz.
STEVE ROYSTON: It’s by no means scientific or representative but here are the people and special moments that resonated with me this year
MONA ELNAMOURY, ARABLIT: Fatima Almaadoul, a children’s author, has come up with an interesting way to talk to children about Egypt’s troubled present
M. LYNX-QUALEY: The opening today of a new venue in Dubai which encourages artists and authors to meet is further evidence of the growing cultural scene in the city
HENA KHAN, CGNEWS: As an author of children’s books that seek to explain some of the key precepts of Islam I’ve found they make a profound impact