ArabLit Quarterly Fall/Winter issue out now

Could it get any better? It seems that yes, it can. The current issue – themed The Eye – is stunning and this one features one my recent translations, of Syrian writer Rami Tawil’s beautiful and haunting short story, Eyes Shut.

Print and online editions all available via:

ArabLit Quarterly Issue III out now

The third issue of this fabulous new journal of Arabic literature in translation is a fine mix of strong writing and illustration, with a theme of The Sea.

All the work published so far has been excellent, but I’ve found this issue to be particularly special. Don’t miss Muhammad El-Hajj’s novella “Nobody Mourns the City’s Cats,” translated by Yasmine Zohdi.

Here’s what you get if you order it now via:
Individual sales:
Individual subscribers:

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And for more info:


Shatila Stories now available in Arabic!

Shatila Stories sadly didn’t win the EBRD prize, although some excellent titles made it on to the shortlist and I am slowly making my way through them.

But the good news is that Shatila Stories is now available in Arabic! It’s not often that a book is translated back into the source language, but this publication is unique in every way! And all profits are donated to support refugees.

Get your copy here:

Shatila Stories makes EBRD Literature Prize Longlist!

Our collaborative novel, published by Peirene Press, has been selected as one of ten titles being considered for the EBRD prize, an award backed by the British Council.

I hadn’t realised that Shatila Stories isn’t eligble for any other translated literature awards because it was written by multiple writers. So here are all fingers and toes being crossed …

More on the Prize:

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the EBRD, is pleased to announce the launch of the EBRD Literature Prize 2019, in partnership with the British Council. The Prize will recognise the extraordinary richness and variety of cultures and history in the EBRD region – a region stretching across central and eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans, Turkey, the southern and eastern Mediterranean and northern Africa.

The EBRD Literature Prize 2019 will be awarded to the year’s best work of literary fiction translated into English and originally written in any language of the EBRD’s 38 countries of operations and published by a UK publisher.

The Prize – now in its second year — is one of the few international literature prizes which recognises both author and translator. It highlights the importance of the writer in voicing the hopes, aspirations and challenges facing people across our regions. But just as importantly, the Prize acknowledges the talent and key role of the translator in making the stories from these countries accessible to the English-speaking public.

The first prize, worth €20,000, will be equally divided between the winning author and translator. Two runners-up and their translators will receive a prize of €1,000 each.

Our prestigious panel of independent judges for the EBRD Literature 2019 prize will be:

  • Rosie Goldsmith (Chair of the Judging Panel), BBC broadcaster and journalist; founder and chair of the European Literature Network.
  • Gabriel Gbadamosi, poet, playwright, novelist; former fellow for creative writing, Cambridge University.
  • Ted Hodgkinson, editor, critic, Senior Programmer for Literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre.
  • Samantha Schnee, translator and Founding Editor of Words Without Borders, dedicated to publishing the world’s best literature translated into English.

‘After Coffee’ finally sees its UK launch

It’s been in the making for more than three years, but the English translation of ‘After Coffee’ was finally launched and celebrated at SOAS univeristy in London on Monday January 14th, 2019.

Myself and author Abdelrashid Mahmoudi read excerpts of the novel, while Mahmoudi elaborated on the writing process, how much of Medhat’s story is autobiographical and how he continues to haunt him.

The months of toil on a translation are truly worth it when you hold that edition in your hands. And even more when you sell it! The book is now available to buy online and hopefully in bookstores too. (free worldwide delivery)

Our BFFs at also published an excerpt from the book:

And the following dialogue between the team behind the translation: