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Summer reading suggestions

From July 20, 2023 until September 03, 2023

Like every year during the summer season, Casa Árabe offers you a list of literary recommendations for you to enjoy during your vacation time. The following is a selection of books by Arab authors and/or titles on Arab topics that we suggest for reading this summer.

We will begin with a new publication to be presented during the last quarter of the year: “The Virtuous,” by Yasmina Khadra. By this same author, we already presented “What Are the Monkeys Waiting for” (2014). Plus, on our YouTube channel, you can watch the interview we held with him last summer for the release of his last novel, “The Salt of All Forgetfulness.”

To mark the month for celebrating LGTBI+ Pride, we hosted presentations on the works “Esto jamás podré contarlo” (“This I Can Never Tell”) at which, Fernando López Rodríguez talks about his experience in the Gulf countries, and “Los lugares verdes” (“Green Places”), in which Luis Salvago discusses a phenomenon typical of Afghanistan, little known beyond its borders.

The year of 2023 marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Nakba, and Palestine will have a major presence within our scheduled activities. For those interested in the topic, last May we presented the books “Palestine, One Hundred Years of Colonialism and Resistance,” at an interesting encounter with its author, Rashid Khalidi and “Palestine in Pieces,” by the writer of Palestinian origin, Lina Meruane.

On refugees, we recommend “Since I Ran Out of Gods,” by David de Juan Marcos, which we informed the public about on the occasion of “Book Night.” Also dealing with the subject of migration is author Tarek Eltayeb in his book “Seasons.”

Testimonials by journalists working in the field are a good choice for summer reading, as well. We specifically noticed books like “Todo por decir” (“Everything Left to Say”), by the dean of Near East correspondents Tomás Alcoverro, and from a different region, “Los grupos armados del Sahel: Conflicto y economía criminal en el norte de Mali” (“Armed groups in the Sahel: Conflict and criminal economics in northern Mali”) by Beatriz Mesa.

More specifically about Morocco, are these suggestions:

- ”Al sur de Tánger. Un viaje a las culturas de Marruecos” (“South of Tangier: A trip to the cultures of Morocco”) by Gonzalo Fernández Parrilla
- ”Del río Amakran al Manzanares. Memorias de un sobreviviente” (“From the Amakran River to the Manzanares: Memoirs of a survivor”) by Mohamed Lemrini;
- ”El millón de Larache. Cien años después (1923-2023)” (“The Larache Million: One hundred years later [1923-2023])” by Carlos Sánchez Tárrago, and
- “Sergeant Moh” by Hassan Al Hamouti Ouass.
- The Spanish translation of ”The Other Spain,” by Mohamed Larbi Messari.
- “Sea of Alboran: An anthology of contemporary Andalusian and Moroccan poetry,” edited and selected by José Sarria, with translated by Khalid Raissoouni.
- “Los irregulares de Tánger” (“The Irregulars of Tangier”), by Santiago de Luca, an original chronicle of the city through its most bizarre characters.

Lovers of poetry also have many possibilities to choose from:

- “El talismán de la palabra” (“The Talisman of the Word”) by Federico Arbós, an extensive essay on contemporary Arabic poetry.
- “El poeta troyano” (“The Trojan Poet”), conversations on the poetry of Mahmud Darwish, edited and translated by Luz Gómez
- Also by Mahmud Darwish is ”Why Did You Let the Horse Out Alone?” and “State of Siege,” in a bilingual edition by Luz Gómez. The presentation event, held on the occasion of World Poetry Day, can be seen here.

For scholars and researchers of Al-Andalus, we suggest:

- “Ajbar Machmua. Crónica anónima sobre la conquista de al-Ándalus, el periodo de los valíes y el emirato omeya” (“Akhbar Machmua: Anonymous chronicle of the era of the Walis and the Umayyad emirate”), translated into Spanish by Emilio Lafuente Alcántara in a revised and annotated edition by Daniel Valdivieso Ramos.
 - “Ál Ándalus, puerta del pensamiento clásico en Europa” (“Al-Andalus: Gateway to classical thought in Europe”) by Ramón Sanchis Ferrándiz, in which he analyzes the journey of knowledge from the fall of the Greco-Roman world to the resurgence of European universities and the beginning of the Renaissance.
- Historiografía andalusí. Fuentes árabes para la historia de al-Ándalus” (“Al-Andalus Historiography: Arab sources in the history of Al-Andalus”) by Professor Juan Martos Quesada, which opens the “Al-Andalus Collection” of the Spanish Society of Medieval Studies.
- “Arqueología de Madinat Qurtuba: Reflexiones, novedades, historias” (“Archeology of Madinat Qurtuba: Reflections, new information, stories”) by Desiderio Vaquerizo and Javier Rosón, which brings together the latest archeological advancements in recent times regarding Qurtuba-Cordoba, with contributions by 32 researchers that came about as a result of the series of conferences “Archeology of Islamic Cordoba.”
 - To get away from it all, read the novel “La estirpe del arrabal II: Creta, el precio del olvido” (“Lineage of the Suburb II: Crete, the price of oblivion”) by Carmen Panadero. If you haven’t read the first book, take advantage of this summer to discover them both.

As for journals, monographs and other publications, we would highlight:
- “From Gades to Tanger-Med: Future tradition on the Straits of Gibraltar,”, issue number 21 of Awraq: Journal of analysis and thought on the contemporary Arab and Islamic world. The presentation of this monograph took place as part of a conference about the importance of the project to build a tunnel connecting Europe and Africa.
- “Pensamiento en el islam” (“Thought in Islam”), a publication that brings together most of the papers presented at the congress of the same name held in 2021, dedicated to teacher Don Miguel Cruz Hernández.
- “Intellectual Connections between Jazirat al-Àrab and Jazirat al-Andalus,” a monograph resulting from the 54th IASA Arab Studies Seminar, held in 2021, in which the latest research carried out on the Arabian Peninsula and associated areas is made known.

Last of all, we must not fail to announce that the Casa Árabe Reading Club in Cordoba, which we organized in conjunction with the the city’s Municipal Library System, will be continuing this fall. The previous session were dedicated to the works “La Córdoba de Ibn Hazm” (“Ibn Hazm’s Cordoba”) and “Wallada, la última luna” (“Wallada, the Last Moon”), combining reading with knowledge about historical figures and themed walks through the city.

Remember that you can order and purchase all of your books at Casa Árabe’s Balqís bookstore.
Summer reading suggestions