Articles Archive for November 2013
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Khaled always entered first and greeted the customers sitting at tables near the door. He bent down, kissed the men, flirted with the women, and strutted to where Nabil, Qasabji’s owner, had cleaned a spot for us. He ordered either a glass of arak or the local Damascene beer, Barada, pulled a cigarette from his pack, lit it, and added to the purplish haze of smoke.
On Tuesday November 5th, Lebanese author Jabbour Douaihy received the Young Arab literature award, created in the Spring of 2013 by the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation, and the Arab World Institute, Paris.
Eight titles were shortlisted, by authors Saber Mansouri (“I was born eight times”, Le Seuil), Nabil Naoum (“Amir”, Actes Sud, Sindbad), Ahmed Dich (“Chibani”, Anne Carrière), Salim Bachi (“The last summer of a young man”, Flammarion), Jabbour Douaihy (“Chased away”, Actes Sud, Sindbad), Hayat El Yamani (“Bi-cultural”, Anne Carrière), Charif Majdalani (“The last lord of Marsad”, Le Seuil), Alia Mamdouh …
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I first thought of this project in a random conversation with Nadim Tarazi, a friend who owned my favorite bookshop in Beirut in the 1990s, and now runs “La Maison du livre”, association for book professionals. He was visiting Paris where I then lived. It was the winter of 2006. I had been a literary agent specialized in Arabic literature for two years, and was struggling to find independent information on books. This is where the realization of a need for more information on Arab books, as well as for quality standards, stemmed from.