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Mahmoud Trawri dug into the thorny history of Black Africans and slavery in the Arabian Peninsula while writing Maymouna, published in 2001. The novel is still hard to find in Saudi Arabia.
Here’s a recommended reading list of lighter works to take your mind off Covid-19. Many are inspired by the broad sweep of history across the Middle East and North Africa.
Publishers and literary websites are making it easy to find good reading material from or about the Arab world, with many free offerings to choose from.
Arab writers and scholars whose events literary events had to move online learned some quick lessons in what makes virtual gatherings succeed.
Readers who need a break from news of Covid-19 and chronicles of disease may find welcome relief in these books from the Middle East and North Africa.
The prestigious prizes could not be presented in person this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the show went on virtually.
Egypt celebrates its most famous modern writer in the long-delayed museum, which finally opened last year. Visitors may wish, though, that it had taken a more engaging approach.
If Arabs want a true lingua franca, they must ease the rigid boundaries they’ve set up between the local dialects and the formal language.
Arab authors who have become interested in writing historical fiction often take a distinct perspective on the lives of ordinary people, instead of focusing on wars or politics.