Books and publications

Index / Activities / Books and publications / Conference with Amin Maalouf 

Conference with Amin Maalouf 

October 23, 20197:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish and French, with simultaneous translation.

Casa Árabe and the Alianza Editorial publishing firm have organized this event to take place on Wednesday, October 23 in Madrid, on the occasion of publishing his book “The Collapse of Civilizations” in Spanish (“El naufragio de las civilizaciones”).

At the conference, writer Amin Maalouf will be holding a dialogue with a journalist from the newspaper  El País, Guillermo Altares. The event will be presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe. 

A few years back, Amin Maalouf spoke to us about the fact that “our civilizations are weakening” in Disordered World and In the Name of Identity, and he explained the reasons why: a mistrust towards “Others,” xenophobia, political and religious intolerance, populism, individualism and the lack of solidarity in nationalism, racism...Today he speaks directly about an “imminent collapse.”

There is no longing for a better past in his words. He is only concerned for the future of this “disconcerting era,” what is to come for the new generations, for the potential disappearance of everything that gives meaning to the human adventure. Nor does he let himself get carried away by pessimism or wish to preach discouragement. He only calls out clearly for collective responsibility, leaving the door open to hope that the world will find its bearings again, because, as he wrote in his novel The Disoriented: ”It is better to be wrong about hope than right about despair.”

Amin Maalouf (Beirut, 1949) was born into an Arab Christian family and, following a lengthy family tradition, initially devoted his career to journalism, at the Lebanese daily An Nahar, on occasion as a war correspondent. In 1975, after the Lebanese civil war broke out, Maalouf went into exile in France, where he has lived with his family ever since. With the publication of his essay The Crusades Through Arab Eyes in 1983, he decided to become a writer (mainly of essays and novels). Most of Maalouf’s books take place in a historical setting, and in them he combines real facts with fantasy and philosophical concepts. His texts, written with the skill of a true master storyteller, provide a refined, sensitive view of the values and attitudes of different cultures in the Middle East, Africa and Mediterranean world. Maalouf has received the Maison de Presse Award for his novel Samarkand and the Goncourt Award for The Rock of Tanios. Both were published by the Alianza Editorial publishing firm in 1989 and 1994, respectively, along with the rest of his work: Leo Africanus (1989), The Crusades Through Arab Eyes(1989), The Gardens of Light (1991), The First Century After Beatrice (1993), Ports of Call (Les Échelles du Levant, 1997), In the Name of Identity (1999), Balthasar’s Odyssey (2000), Love from Afar (2002), Origins (2004),  Disordered World (2009) and The Disoriented (2012). In 2010, he was bestowed with the Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters, and he is a member of the French Academy. His works have been translated into more than twenty languages.
Conference with Amin Maalouf 
Amin Maalouf, at Casa Árabe in 2012 (Photo: Alberto Gallego)