Reading & Discussion: An Evening of Contemporary Arab Literature

Wed, April 15, 2009 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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A Reading of the Works of Abbas Beydoun and Miral Al-Tahawy (in Arabic and English)
Followed by an Open Discussion with the Authors
English Reader: Anaïs Alexandra
Free and Open to the Public

Since time immemorial through the present, the genre of literature, more than any other form of artistic expression, has played a paramount role in the way the Arab world has expressed itself, its celebrations and pains, moments of defeat and triumph. The poet, the writer, has assumed a particularly significant role in evoking the mass consciousness of the people, or the aspirations and ambitions of a certain political period or another. This reading by two authors of different generations, each from different parts of the Arab world, Egypt and Lebanon, highlights the similarities and discontinuities in generational vision, literary modes of expression, and the role the writer plays in the unsettled environment of the contemporary Arab world.

Listen to Abbas Beydoun recite his poem (in Arabic), "Tyr":

Read an article on Miral al-Tahawy:


Abbas Beydoun was born in Tyre, Lebanon in 1945. He graduated with a degree in Arabic Literature from the Lebanese University. He has published twelve collections of poetry and one novel. His work has been translated into several European languages, including selected poems in Italian, a volume in German translation, a number of poetry collections including his epic poem Tyre in French, and a volume of essays. He is presently cultural editor of As-Safir newspaper in Beirut.

Miral al-Tahawy was born in 1968 and studied Literature at Cairo University. She has published a collection of short stories and three novels, Al-Khibaa’ (1996) (The Tent, 2000) and Blue Aubergine (2002), both translated by Anthony Calderbank and published by AUC Press, Cairo. Her third and most recently published novel "Gazelle Tracks" is currently being translated.

Anaïs Alexandra is an actor and musician who has performed in theatre and film around New York. Credits include Disappeared (Richmond Shepard Theatre), Returning (HERE), Lorca (Blue Heron Art Center), The Faith Project (the Tank), Valiant (Fringe Festival), and Howling (La MaMa). A graduate of the Lycée Français de San Francisco and Yale University, she is a third of the Armenian a cappella trio Zulal, which has performed around the US and Canada (

This event is sponsored by Banipal Magazine, London, England and xandadu* Beirut

Last updated: 2009-04-11 05:13:40

Abbas Beydoun
Abbas Beydoun
Miral Al-Tahawy
Miral Al-Tahawy

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