M. LYNX-QUALEY: Unlike, say South American writers such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Arab writers appear to be defined by their geography and politics
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: He was nominated twice but never matched the Arab World’s only Nobel literature prize recipient, Naguib Mahfouz.
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
M. LYNX-QUALEY: There’s always bound to be heated debate about the merits of judging literature but the Arab world’s literary prizes attract particularly warm discussion.
MOHGA HASSIB, ARABLIT: There is a debate among writers about how to treat the subject of torture. The acclaimed Lebanese writer Elias Khoury has firm views
EMAN AL NAFJAN: They’re individuals who have inspired others with their courage, their humanity and their personal example.
M. LYNX-QUALEY: Ahdaf Soueif said it first but many of her peers agree that the tumultuous events wracking the Arab world leave fiction irrelevant.
KHALED DIAB, CGNEWS: It’s possible to see the key struggles of the last 60 years through the prism of the life of Sasson Somekh.
RAMZY BAROUD: There has been a flood of Palestinian refugees into Syria and they’re facing desperate times.
M. LYNX-QUALEY: Whether it’s the Nobel Prize or those closer to home there’s always a bit – or more – of politics when literary prizes are awarded.
NADIA MOHAMMAD, CGNEWS: Everyone seems to have an opinion on who and what Muslim men are. Time to ask the men themselves
JUAN COLE: One problem for Mursi is mollifying the Egyptians who are terrified of him, fearing he wants to turn their fun-loving country into a grim Saudi Arabia.
M. LYNX-QUALEY: His hand was broken by thugs last week but celebrated novelist Khaled Khalifa continues his work
JUAN COLE: The Egyptian electorate seems to have a strong leaning for ‘law and order’. Very similar to the U.S electorate in the 1960s
TABSIR: A celebrated novelist, poet and filmmaker Sinan Antoon reflects on life in Iraq before and after the fall of Saddam Hussein
M. LYNX-QUALEY: It may be Cairo’s oldest book market but heritage is no protector from increasing development
M. LYNX-QUALEY: He is arguably Egypt’s leading public intellectual and every week he holds public salons whose numbers have swelled hugely over the past year.