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Bilingual Poetry Recital

From April 01, 2013 until April 18, 2013

On Thursday, April, 18, Casa Árabe is presenting the poetry anthology "The Diwan of Oriental and Andalusian Arabic Poetry" with a poetry recital given by Mahmoud Sobh, author of the work, and poet Javier Lostalé.

 This event, which will be taking place at the Casa Árabe Auditorium in Madrid (Calle Alcalá, 62) as of 7:00 p.m., will also include the participation of Federico Arbós, a Doctor of Arabic Philology, and Eduardo López Busquets, the General Director of Casa Árabe. Mahmoud Sobh (the author) will perform the recitation in Arabic, and the Spanish will be read by Javier Lostalé.

As stated by the author himself in the introduction to his book, “Like the Arab wise men used to say since the eighth century, poetry is the “Diwan” of the Arabs. “Diwan,” a word of Persian origin, means a complete work, the archives and record of nearly all the works of a nation, or communication which lives through, for and with poetry, as the Arabs have done and continue to do today. In order for Spanish readers to gain broad, profound knowledge of the true essence of the Arabs’ way of being and their beautiful literary creations, we have begun this anthology as of the pre-Islamic era at the heart of Arabia and continued up to 1492. In other words, it includes the best poetry over a time span of ten centuries.” Our task has been to select and recreate an extensive anthology of classical Arabic poetry from both the East and Andalusia, in which the most notable poets occupy a greater space, though always bearing in mind our own preferences. With only certain exceptions, this is the first time an anthology with such a broad range has been published in Spanish, despite the universal importance held by poetry in the Arabic language, a very poetic language which came into existence on the Arabian Peninsula, grew in Mesopotamia, Greater Syria, the Nile Valley and the Maghreb, and spread towards the Orient until crossing the Indian Sub-continent and reaching the West by way of the Iberian Peninsula, known as Al-Andalus by the Arabs.”

Mahmud Sobh

Born in the Galilean town of Safad in 1936 –but with Spanish nationality since 1978–, Mr. Sobh is a Doctor of Arabic Language and Literature from the University of Damascus and in Semitic Philology from Madrid’s Complutense University. Since the late 1960’s he has formed part of the Complutense University itself, as well as the School of Diplomacy, and he currently holds Professorship number 1 of Arab and Islamic Studies, the same which was formerly held by renowned Arabists Miguel Asín Palacios and Emilio García Gómez.
The author of such works as “Historia de la Literatura Árabe Clásica” (“History of Classical Arabic Literature”) published by Cátedra, “Trovadores árabes de la Comunidad Valenciana y las Islas Baleares” (“Arab Troubadours of the Valencian Region and Balearic Islands”) published by Aitana, and the monumental “El diván de la poesía árabe oriental y andalusí” (“The Diwan of Oriental and Andalusian Arabic Poetry”), which was published by Visor and appeared in bookstores in 2012, as well as translating other Spanish texts into Arabic, including the emblematic Spanish work “La Celestina” by Fernando de Rojas. As a poet, he has received such prestigious awards as the Álamo, City of Irún and Vicente Aleixandre prizes. His poetry –expressed in titles such as “Huerto palestino” (“Palestinian Garden”), “Poseso en Layla” (“Possession in Layla”), “Diván antes, en, después” (“Diwan Before, In, After”), and “Mar blanco” (“White Sea”), is a popular type of poetry filled with vitality that is resounding, classical yet iconoclastic, and pleasant yet disturbing at the same time. It perpetuates us in an endless youth of which love, seeking our identity, life as an adventure and rebellious sincerity are the essential points of reference.

Bilingual Poetry Recital