Al Ahram’s New English Portal ‘gets bookish’

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The Egyptian government-owned Al Ahram has launched the beta version of its new English online portal. The site includes a replacement for the old Al Ahram Weekly book-review section, which expired in the spring of 2006.

According to the new portal’s Mary Mourad, this is not “a full-fledged publication, but something that’s more suitable for an online reader.”

Mourad said the website will be “covering as much as possible of the intellectual arena. With a significant focus on books and writers.”

The first list of articles ranges from events listings to book reviews to a notice about the new Shorouk Penguin partnership.

The portal, Mourad said, will cover news and views of Arabic literature, but will be “more focused on the international reader. The more international-community type of reader.”

Highlights from the beta version include a review of Miral al-Tahawy’s International Prize for Arabic Fiction-shortlisted Brooklyn Heights and a review of Beirut39 alum Mohamed Salah Al-Azab’s latest novel, Sidi Barrani.

The site erroneously calls Sidi Barrani Al-Azab’s first novel, but such is a beta version.

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