Book Reading and Discussion — Egyptian Novelist Sonallah Ibrahim — Alwan

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Date/Time: 16/03/2009 12:00 am

Alwan for the Arts Presents
Book Reading and Discussion: Egyptian Novelist Sonallah Ibrahim
Monday, March 16, 2009 7:00 P.M.
Introduced by Professor Hala Halim and Reading in English by Tala Hadid
Free and Open to the Public


Sonallah Ibrahim was born in 1937. After studying law and drama at Cairo University, he became a journalist in Cairo until his arrest and imprisonment in 1959 as an advocate for the Left. Upon his release in 1964, he briefly returned to journalism in Egypt before moving to Berlin to work for a news agency and to Moscow where he studied cinematography. He returned to Egypt in 1974 and since then has dedicated all his time to writing.
Sonallah Ibrahim has written a number of novels and short stories, as well as a dozen children’s books. He has also translated a variety of books into Arabic. His book Cairo from Edge to Edge is a rich and highly original portrait of a city as seen through the lens of French photographer Jean Pierre Ribire and Sonallah’s pen.
Ibrahim is well known for his documentary novels that employ a literary style unique in Arabic writing. In 1998 his novel “Sharaf” was awarded best Egyptian novel. In 1999 he was a visiting associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies of the University of California at Berkeley. Sonallah’s books have been translated into many languages. In 2004 Sonallah Ibrahim received the sixth IBN RUSHD Prize for Freedom of Thought at the Goethe Institute in Berlin
Tilka Al Raiha (The Smell of It)
Star of August, Syria 1974, Cairo 1986
The Committee, Beirut 1981, Cairo 1998
Beirut Beirut, 1984
Zaat, 1992
Sharaf, 1998
Warda, 2000.
Amrikanli, 2003
Al-talassos, 2007
For a short interview: www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLsficDXnOQ
Articles on Sonallah Ibrahim:




Hala Halim is assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. Her research and teaching address a wide variety of issues, including contrasting accounts of heritage and urban spaces in relation to narratives of identity; translation studies and the practice of translation; questions of genre and “transculturation”; and comparative genealogies of cosmopolitanism. She has published on such subjects as the postcolonial redrawing of British educational policies in Egypt, the films of Youssef Chahine, E. M. Forster’s Egyptian texts, and the translation and reception of Constantine P. Cavafy’s poetry in Arabic. She is currently revising a manuscript entitled “The Alexandria Archive: An Archaeology of Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism” which identifies and critiques a Eurocentric, quasi-colonial paradigm of cosmopolitanism associated with Alexandria and seeks out alternative modes of inter-ethnic and inter-religious solidarity that speak to current postcolonial Middle Eastern imperatives. She has held an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA’s Humanities Consortium, and her translation of a novel by Mohamed El-Bisatie, Clamor of the Lake, received an Egyptian State Incentive Award in 2006.
Tala Hadid was born in London and trained as a painter. She made her first full length film while she was studying as an undergraduate at Brown University, Sacred Poet, on Pier Paolo Pasolini with rare interviews with Laura Betti, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Citti and Ninetto Davoli. She went on to work with legendary French editor Joëlle Hache and worked with Academy Award winning British director Michael Radford. The author of several short films. in 2001, she produced and directed a film in St Petersburg, Russia, with poets Genya Turovskaya and Vladimir Kucheriavkin. In 2005, Hadid completed her thesis film at Columbia University, Tes Cheveux Noirs Ihsan. The film, shot in Northern Morocco and in the Rif Mountains, was awarded the 2005 Cinecolor/Kodak Prize, the Global Lens Prize, A BAFTA special mention and a Special Jury Prize and best Actress Award at the Tangiers International Film Festival. In February 2006 the film won the Panorama Best short Film Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
Forthcoming Events
• Tuesday, March 24, 7:00 p.m.
Book Reading/Signing: Scout Tufankjian, Photographer Photographs by Scout Tufankjian on Barack Obama’s History-Making Presidential Campaign. Free and open to the public. More info: http://www.alwanforthearts.org/event/325
• Wednesday, March 25, 7:00 p.m.
Film Screening: Ein Shams / Eye of the Sun (Egypt/2008/90 mins/Arabic w/English ST)
An independent Egyptian feature by its masterful director, Ibrahim El Batout. Tribeca Cinemas, 54 Varick St. at Canal. Tickets: $10. More info: http://www.alwanforthearts.org/event/330
• Friday, March 27, 7:00 p.m.
Reading and Discussion: Jean Genet’s “Un Captif Amoureux” (Prisoner of Love) in English and Arabic. Free and open to the public. More info: http://www.alwanforthearts.org/event/331
• Saturday, March 28, 9:00 p.m.
Concert: Mavrothi Kontanis and the Meandros Ensemble – A Night at the Café Aman. This concert of very special repertoire will feature songs from the 1920’s to the 1940’s, as well as a mix of Ottoman and Gipsy repertoire. $20/$15. More info: http://www.alwanforthearts.org/event/323

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