SOAS University of London

Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

Love and Nostalgia, Poetry and Song: Award winning Palestinian poet and writer, Mourid Barghouti, on classical and modern Arabic poetics, and Umm Kulthum

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Date: 11 December 2017Time: 2:30 PM

Finishes: 11 December 2017Time: 5:30 PM

Venue: Birkbeck

Type of Event: Talk

Part of the series Arabic Poetry and Stories Translation Workshops - ‘It was and it was not…’: Translation in Action

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Mourid Barghouti was born in Deir Ghassana, near Ramallah, Palestine, in 1944. He finished high school in Ramallah Secondary
School and graduated from Cairo University, Faculty of Arts, Department of English Language and Literature in 1967. He taught English at the Technical College in Kuwait (1968-1971), worked as a presenter for The Voice of Palestine (1972-1977) and, became the Palestinian cultural attaché in Budapest, Hungary (1978-1991) before his retirement and dedicating his time to writing.

His first book of poetry was published in Beirut 1972 and has published 13 books of poetry since. His Collected Works came out in Beirut in 1997 and in Cairo 2013. He was awarded the Palestine Award for Poetry (2000). His poems are published in Arabic and international literary magazines. English translations of his poetry were published in Banipal, Times Literary Supplement and Modern Poetry in Translation. A Small Sun, his first poetry book in English translation, was published by The Aldeburgh Poetry Trust in 2003. Midnight and Other Poems was published by ARC publications in 2008 with an introduction by Guy Mannes-Abott.

I Saw Ramallah, his first autobiographical narrative, available in several editions in Arabic, won the Naguib Mahfouz Award for Literature in 1997. It was translated into several languages. It was translated into English by Ahdaf Soueif (with an introduction by Edward Said) was published by the American University in Cairo Press, Random House, New York, and Bloomsbury, London.

I Was Born There, I Was Born Here, his second autobiographical work, was published in Beirut in 2009. It was translated into English by Humphrey Davis (with an introduction by John Berger) and published by Bloomsbury, London, New York.

He was the chair of judges of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in the year 2015.

Edward Said on I saw Ramallah: “one of the finest existential accounts of Palestinian displacement we now have.”

John Berger on I Saw Ramallah: “a bedside book if ever there was one, unforgettable memories, razor insights, name–games, stories with eyes closed, no conclusions, only the passionate pain of exile, recounted at the end of the day by a true poet.”

This event is Free but please register via Eventbrite.

This event will be closely followed by An Evening with Award-Winning Palestinian Poet and Writer Mourid Barghouti on Poetry and Autobiography, Family, Home and Homeland

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