5. Books and publications

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Presentation of “The Incense Burner” and “Flight of Seagulls” by Omar Berrada (FRENCH) Play

Presentation of “The Incense Burner” and “Flight of Seagulls” by Omar Berrada (FRENCH)

Published at 15 08,,, 18 2018
03.06.2018. Casa Arabe organized the presentation of two books by the moroccan writer Omar Berrada. With the particpation of Omar Berrada: Painter, sculptor and author of the books; and Paloma Monsonís: A professor of Spanish and translator. “The incense burner is the instrument in which we burn a substance considered to be a conjurer of misfortune. It is also used to perfume, to honor and to express oftentimes excessive flattery. My incense burner is the anti-incense burner: it is focused on a part of our society, lifting a spiral over what we share in our everyday lives and the difficulties it has just to exist. I have attempted to write this with a touch of humor, and above all with neither complacence about human suffering nor overstated pity.” These are the words which the author uses to describe his first novel. Translated into Spanish by Paloma Monsonís as “El incensario” and “Vuelo de gaviotas,” they portray Moroccan reality with both its lights and shadows, placing an emphasis on the disowned, people who live in extreme poverty. Omar Berrada describes their everyday life with talent and a touch of humor, and he does so using language that is, at the same time, poetic and heart-wrenching, almost mystical, combining an extraordinary wealth of nuance, images and traditional expressions. This style all his own, both elaborate and ruthless, makes his novels a suggestive narrative and aesthetic experience for readers. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/presentation-of-“the-incense-burner”-and-“flight-of-seagulls”-by-omar-berrada

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  • Presentation of “The Incense Burner” and “Flight of Seagulls” by Omar Berrada (FRENCH)Show video

    Presentation of “The Incense Burner” and “Flight of Seagulls” by Omar Berrada (FRENCH)

    03.06.2018. Casa Arabe organized the presentation of two books by the moroccan writer Omar Berrada. With the particpation of Omar Berrada: Painter, sculptor and author of the books; and Paloma Monsonís: A professor of Spanish and translator. “The incense burner is the instrument in which we burn a substance considered to be a conjurer of misfortune. It is also used to perfume, to honor and to express oftentimes excessive flattery. My incense burner is the anti-incense burner: it is focused on a part of our society, lifting a spiral over what we share in our everyday lives and the difficulties it has just to exist. I have attempted to write this with a touch of humor, and above all with neither complacence about human suffering nor overstated pity.” These are the words which the author uses to describe his first novel. Translated into Spanish by Paloma Monsonís as “El incensario” and “Vuelo de gaviotas,” they portray Moroccan reality with both its lights and shadows, placing an emphasis on the disowned, people who live in extreme poverty. Omar Berrada describes their everyday life with talent and a touch of humor, and he does so using language that is, at the same time, poetic and heart-wrenching, almost mystical, combining an extraordinary wealth of nuance, images and traditional expressions. This style all his own, both elaborate and ruthless, makes his novels a suggestive narrative and aesthetic experience for readers. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/presentation-of-“the-incense-burner”-and-“flight-of-seagulls”-by-omar-berrada
    Published at 15 08,,, 18 2018
  • Emirati cultural days: a literary evening (ARABIC)Show video

    Emirati cultural days: a literary evening (ARABIC)

    2017.16.10. Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid were the stage for this day of literature, which included the participation of three Emirati authors and Arabic oud player. Participating in the event were Khaled Aldhanhani, an Emirati poet, writer and journalist; Talal Aljunaibi, an Emirati poet and writer, and Eman Alyousuf, an Emirati novelist, along with musical performances by Arabic oud player Abdellah Afazaz. The evening was moderated by Soha Abboud Haggar, a professor of Arab and Islamic Studies from the School of Philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The event was presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe, and Hissa Abdullah A. Al Otaiba, ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Madrid. The United Arab Emirates is a country known for the great interest it pays to culture and its support for different fields of art and creativity, which has produced a great deal of quality literature and a high cultural standing among the world’s countries. The Emirates’ cultural heritage has been developed and enriched throughout this process, and in a short time it has filled everyone with pride: artists, intellectuals, governmental institutions and private organisations. Within the framework of the Emirati initiative “Zayed’s Ambassadors” and under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi, the Crown Prince of Al Fujairah, Casa Árabe and the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Madrid organized this literary evening, included within the Emirati Cultural Evenings that was held in Madrid from October 16 to 18. The goal of the event is to give people a chance to get a taste of the new Arabic literature being born on the shores of the Sea of Oman: the poetry that has existed since the dawn of time and has always filled the lives of tribes throughout Emirati society, in a presentation given by Khaled Al Dhanhani and Talal Al Junaibi, along with the suggestive sampling of Emirati storytelling through the viewpoint of a women, Eman Al Yousuf. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/emirati-cultural-days-a-literary-evening
    Published at 32 26,,, 17 2017
  • The Arabian Nights: Rereading a classic (ARA)Show video

    The Arabian Nights: Rereading a classic (ARA)

    Presentation of a new edition of this universal classic, given by Salvador Peña, winner of the Sheikh Hamad Award for Arabic-Spanish translation. In the last quarter of 2016, the publishing firm Verbum published what is perhaps the definitive edition in the Spanish language of the Arab and Eastern literature classic, “The Arabian Nights.” This publication is the result of seven years of work by translator and Arabist Salvador Peña, who carried out the enormous task of updating the work and revealing the keys to the original text unknown to date, including the addition of passages that had been eliminated because of censorship. Salvador Peña, translator and Arabist. University of Malaga, Abdelfattah Kilito, expert on literature. Université Mohamed VI, Rabat, Hector Urien, narrator, and Luis Rafael Hernández, director of the Verbum publishing firm, took part in the book’s presentation. The event was presented by Pedro Villena, the General Director of Casa Árabe. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/the-arabian-nights-rereading-a-classic
    Published at 42 18,,, 17 2017
  • Presentation of the book “No One Sleeps in Alexandria” by Ibrahim Abdel Meguid (in Arabic)Show video

    Presentation of the book “No One Sleeps in Alexandria” by Ibrahim Abdel Meguid (in Arabic)

    The novel No One Sleeps in Alexandria appears on the Muse list of the 100 best novels of all time. In Egypt, it was a huge success when it was published a decade ago and won the Cairo Book Fair Prize in 1996. The work has now been published in Spanish by Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, with the cooperation of the Toledo School of Translators, in a translation by Pablo García. The presentation of this translation at Casa Árabe will include the participation of novelist and poet Bernardo Atxaga. In this work, Ibrahim Abdel Meguid uses his penetrating glance to describe the everyday life of Alexandria throughout the years of World War II, by examining the rough life lived by a married couple, Zahra and Magdeddin, who are forced to leave their village and move to this city, right at the time when the Nazis invade Poland in Europe. The work recounts several episodes that took place in North Africa during the war, tied together by the common thread of interwoven Muslim and Coptic lives, including people from both North and South, men and women, providing enrichment from within the vision of Cavafis, Forster or Durrell’s Alexandria.
    Published at 35 29,,, 16 2016
  • Iraqi literature in exile (in Arabic)Show video

    Iraqi literature in exile (in Arabic)

    The Iraqi diaspora in Europe can count a significant number of intellectuals and artists amongst its ranks. Through their literary, artistic and other works, they bear witness to the constant process of negotiating their identity, imposed by the fact that they belong in several places all at once. During this evening, along with journalist and writer Joan Cañete, we will be holding a conversation with two essential voices in contemporary Arab literature, both of whom have had works published in Spanish in 2016. El loco de la plaza Libertad (The Madman of Freedom Square) is the first volume of short stories by Hassan Blasim, a writer and filmmaker who has resided in Finland since 2004. Mixing the phantasmagorical with the starkly real, in a style that has been compared with Roberto Bolaño’s because of his penchant for macabre comedy, Blasim immerses readers in the individual destinies of the people who lived through the institutionalized paranoia of Saddam Hussein’s regime, the Iraq war and the later American occupation, of those who had to emigrate and endure human trafficking and the nightmare of trying to build a new life in Europe.
    Published at 06 22,,, 16 2016