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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.


  • 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
  • Book presentation: "The Era of Jihad"Show video

    Book presentation: "The Era of Jihad"

    From 2001 until today, Patrick Cockburn’s coverage of the conflicts in the Middle East and other regions has been outstanding. His chronicles make use of his extensive direct experience and in-depth knowledge of the region’s history to offer fine-tuned analysis in the midst of very complex crises. For instance, he upheld that the Western invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq would be unsustainable and that it was very likely that the Libyan rebels would end up facing off against each other. Perhaps what is most surprising is that he reported on the advent of ISIS as the main force in the region even before the British government’s intelligence services were aware of the threat it represented. This led the jury of the British Journalism Awards to ask itself “whether the authorities should study the possibility of sending the MI6 as a whole into retirement and hiring Patrick Cockburn to replace them.” Written in the form of a fascinating diary, this book combines a careful selection of Cockburn’s writings from the war fronts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
    Published at 10 03,,, 16 2016
  • Book presentation: Le Piano orientalShow video

    Book presentation: Le Piano oriental

    Le piano oriental (The Eastern Piano) explores the cultural relations between East and West through the images drawn by Zeina Abirached. Their graphic and narrative structure draws us along two different timelines. Abirached was inspired by the life of her great-grandfather, Abdallah Chahine, transforming him into a music aficionado who invents a bilingual piano in the 1950’s. This piano unites the two shores of the Mediterranean with one fantastic beat of its pedals. The instrument put together by Abdallah is a symbol of the proximity between two cultures. Abirached uses that idea to discuss the need to integrate the unique historical and cultural features of these two lands without causing them to lose their own identities, all with a wonderful sense of humor.
    Published at 06 03,,, 16 2016
  • The Arabic Language in Spain (in Arabic)Show video

    The Arabic Language in Spain (in Arabic)

    Presentation of a study published in Arabic by the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for the Arabic Language. Casa Árabe hosted this event, organized by the office of the Cultural Attaché of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Spain, on the occasion of publishing a study titled “The Arabic Language in Spain,” in Arabic, by the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Center for the Arabic Language (KAICA). This study forms part of a series of monographic works by the KAICA on the Arabic language published in different languages and countries. It was coordinated by Maoulainine Maoulainine al-Atiq, then a visiting a professor at the University of Granada, as well as the aforementioned authors, along with Bárbara Boloix Gallardo, a professor from the Department of Semitic Studies at the same university.
    Published at 23 20,,, 16 2016
  • Presentation of the book “Silk Nights” by Aicha Bassry (Arabic)Show video

    Presentation of the book “Silk Nights” by Aicha Bassry (Arabic)

    On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Casa Árabe and the Verbum publishing firm, with the cooperation of the Círculo Intercultural Hispano Árabe, organized this presentation of the book: “Noches de Seda” (“Silk Nights”) by Aicha Bassry. The event included the participation of Aicha Bassry, the author; Paula Izquierdo, a writer, and Abdul Hadi Sadoun, a writer, translator and collaborating editor from the Verbum publishing firm. Presented and moderated by Nuria Medina, Casa Árabe’s Culture Coordinator. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/presentation-of-the-book-“silk-nights”
    Published at 40 11,,, 16 2016