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Al-Tanki, in the Footsteps of an Iraqi Woman (ARABIC) Play

Al-Tanki, in the Footsteps of an Iraqi Woman (ARABIC)

Published at 16 26,,, 22 2022
Casa Árabe and Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo are presenting Alia Mamduh's most recent work on Wednesday 1 June in Madrid. The event will feature the author of the book, Alia Mamduh, who will be accompanied by her translator and prologue writer, Ignacio Gutiérrez de Terán, professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Autonomous University of Madrid. This bewildering symphony of disparate narrative voices draws us into the search for Afaf, the Iraqi painter whose traces are lost in Paris. The Iraqi writer who has lived in France for decades has long been experimenting with the Arabic language, trying to generate a peculiar way of expressing her life experience as an exiled Arab woman who returns again and again, paradoxically, to her native country. Writing about the violence, dictatorships and invasions that forced her to leave; about the marginalisation that women continue to suffer in the cities and towns of Iraq in the shadow of the omnipotent power exercised by the man, the father, the elder brother or the great military, civil and religious leader; or about the repression of basic freedoms, starting with freedom of expression and ending with sexual freedom. All this comes to the surface from the very first page of this detailed account of an Iraqi family and the street where its members live, in spite of a Baghdad that languidly declines... (from the presentation by Ignacio Gutiérrez de Terán) Al-Tanki's publishing novel is complemented by the reissue of Alia Mamduh's previous novel, Naphthalene, also published by Ediciones del Oriente y el Mediterráneo in 2000, in which her play of subtlety, acidity and linguistic distortion both confuses and uncovers the tragic experience of millions of Iraqis forced to leave their homeland.


  • Syria: The impossible revolution (ARABIC)Show video

    Syria: The impossible revolution (ARABIC)

    04.17.2018. Syrian political opposition leader Yassin Al-Haj Saleh presented his work at the Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid. This is a compilation of texts which the author has been publishing since the beginning of the insurrection in his country. Along with the author, the event included speeches by Santiago Alba Rico, a Spanish writer, essayist and philosopher, and Naomí Ramírez Díaz, the book’s translator and publisher. The event was presented by Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Politics Coordinator. The work which we are presenting, published by Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, is a compilation of texts which Yassin Al-Haj has written since the insurrection in Syria, when that process began on March 15, 2011. Though not well-known in Spain, Yassin Al-Haj is one of the most important intellectuals among Syrian dissidents. “Someone might think that this book talks about Syria and its defeated revolution, about the Assad dictatorship and the Near East, about imperialism and the Kurdish question (Chapters 10, 11 and 13 are quite interesting and controversial), on Jihadism and violence. But it is more than that. This book speaks about us all. One of the theories that Al-Haj Saleh has upheld in recent years is that Syria reveals and represents a universal destiny, and therefore it is impossible to think about Syria, and even less so about the globalized world, without thinking about our common fate. This is why every time we produce a discourse to forget, negate or avoid Syria, we are really just doing damage to ourselves.” Santiago Alba Rico Yassin Al-Haj Saleh spent sixteen years in jail for his Communist militancy. Since the year 2000, after finishing his studies in Medicine, which he was forced to give up because he was imprisoned, he has been writing a book of stories about his experience in jail, as well as The Syrian Question, published in France by Sindbad-Actes Sud. He regularly contributes articles to the newspapers Al-Hayat, Al-Quds al-Arabi and Al-Jumhuriya. In 2012, he was granted the Prince Claus Award of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the social impact of his writings, though he was unable to collect the award since he was living underground in Damascus. He is currently an associate researcher at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. His wife, Samira Khalil, the author of Diary of the Siege on Douma in 2013, has been missing since she was kidnapped in December of 2013, along with Razan Zaituneh, Wael Hammada and Nazem Hamadi. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/syria-the-impossible-revolution
    Published at 07 24,,, 18 2018
  • 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