Marcia Lynx Qualey
Last updated: 7 March, 2012

Spring calendar of Arabic literary events & book releases


March 6-10 Emirates Lit Fest, Dubai, UAE.

March 6-16 Riyadh International Book Fair, KSA.

March 14 This is Jerusalem“: Poetry by Najwan Darwish and music by Basel Zayed. 8 p.m. at  the Free Word Lecture Theater, London, UK.

March 15 Selma Dabbagh discusses her debut novel, Out of Itwith Karma Nablusi at SOAS. 7 p.m. Introduced by Najwan Darwish. (My review of Out of It.) London, UK.

March 19-24 Durban, South Africa’s “Time of the Writer” festival at Elizabeth Sneddon Theater. Headliner participants include Egyptian novelist Bahaa Taher & Libyan Ibrahim al-Koni.

March 22-26 Second Annual Tahrir Book Fair, at the American University in Cairo’s Tahrir campus. Egypt.

March 27 International Prize for Arabic Fiction winner announced. Abu Dhabi, UAE.

March 28 Translation Symposium at Queens College, New York City (NYC), USA, with keynote by novelist Elias Khoury. Includes talks by Sinan Antoon and Susan Bernofsky.

March 28-April 2 Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. UAE.

March 28-29 Book launch of Gathering of the Tide with discussions and readings, VCU Qatar in Doha, Qatar.

March 29 Awards presentation ceremony for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award winners at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions center.

March 29 Poets Mahfuz Mir Ali, Rowyda Amin, Nick Makoh, and Shazea Quraishi read at an event at London’s Southbank Centre to celebrate the TEN anthology. UK.


April 2 Iraqi authors Ali Badr, Inaam Kachachi, and Samuel Shimonappear at the Southbank Centre. London, UK.

April 2 The Road From Damascus, by Robin Yassin Kassab, will be discussed by the Arabic Literature Discussion Group in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

April 3 Performance by Marcel Khalife: An homage to Mahmoud Darwish and the Arab people. Town Hall, NYC.

April 11 Ghassan Zaqtan and Fady Joudah on Palestinian Poetry at Columbia University, NYC. More information TBA soon.

April 16-18 London Book Fair. In particular, a stream on “literary translation” and “World Literature: How Much Does It Matter To Us?“ London, UK.

April 20-21 The Arkansas Festival of Writers will feature appearances from Sinan Antoon and Randa Jarrar. USA.

April 21 Ahdaf Soueif appears at the Blue Metropolis Festival in Montreal, Canada at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.  Alaa al-Aswany is also scheduled to appear at the fest; a full list of writers will be available on March 20.

April 23 – May 2 Children’s Book Festival in Sharjah, UAE.

April 24 Tracing Genealogies of Gazan Literature: 1947-2011 NYC, USA.

April 26 – May 5 Kuwait International Books Exhibition

April 29 Ali Badr, Inaam Kachachi, and Samuel Shimon “Celebrating Iraqi Culture” at the Festival of Ideas in Bristol, UK. 7:30 p.m.

April 29 – May 1 Translation in and of the World, Doha, Qatar.


Marilyn Booth’s translation of Elias Khoury’s As Though She Were Sleepingfrom Archipelago.

Jonathan Wright’s translation of Youssef Ziedan’s Azazeel will, at long last, be released by Atlantic.


May 4-9 PalFest, the Palestine Festival of Literature. Various locations in Palestine.

May 7 A discussion of Return to Dar al-Basha, by Hassan Nasr at the the Arabic Literature Discussion Group in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

May 21 Ahdaf Soueif gives the Edward Said Annual Lecture at the British Museum in London, UK.


Magdy al-Shafee’s Metro from Metropolitan Books, trans. Humphrey Davies.

Hoda Elsadda’s Gender, Nation and the Arabic Novel: Egypt 1892-2008 will be published by Edinburgh and Syracuse Press.

Forthcoming from AUC Press at not-quite-specified dates: Of Noble Origins: A Palestinian Novel, by Sahar Khalifeh, trans. Aida Bamia; Days in the Diaspora: An Egyptian Novel by Kamal Ruhayyim, trans. Sarah Enany and Time of White Horses, by Ibrahim Nasrallah, trans. Nancy Roberts.