Exiled Writers Ink and Windows for Peace invite you to:
ACROSS THE MIDDLE EASTERN DIVIDE
WITH ARAB AND JEWISH WRITERS FROM IRAQ, SYRIA, TURKEY and LIBYA
Moris Farhi is the Turkish born Jewish author of the novel ‘Young Turk’ as well as of The Last of Days, Journey Through the Wilderness and Children of the Rainbow. For over twenty years, under the auspices of English PEN and International PEN, he has campaigned on behalf of writers persecuted or imprisoned by repressive regimes throughout the world, for exercising their right to freedom of expression.
Fadhil As Sultani the poet, has published a collection entitled ‘Burning in Water’. He is editor of the literature section of the Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.
Raphael Luzon – Jewish Libyan born former journalist forced to flee from Libya
Sawsun Sabuh – Syrian poet (further details to follow)
and Floor spots after the coffee break
please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or register on the night.
Chairs: Jude Bloomfield of Windows for Peace and Jennifer Langer of Exiled Writers Ink
www.exiledwriters.co.uk and www.win-peace.org
From: The Guardian – Saturday February 11, 2006
The Middle East comes to London
The Poetry Café in Covent Garden is a cosy place, a calm time-warp of clear-faced students, murmuring couples, tiny tables and red wine; poetry-related newspaper clippings adorn the wall. There are regular readings in the room downstairs, which was cramped this week in anticipation of four writers from across the Middle East. The Danish embassy in Iran was being firebombed as they spoke, and reality couldn’t help but intrude, despite pleas from a moderator for more imaginative fare after the first contributor, Libyan Jew Raphael Luzon, focused on politics. He was followed by Fadhil as Sultani, an Iraqi-born poet who has translated William Trevor and Toni Morrison into Arabic, is tackling English poets from 1952 to 2000, and read a tribute to the founder of Iraqi free verse followed by addresses to Van Gogh and RS Thomas: “Like you, I sometimes hear the fluttering of swans on an unknown sea … sometimes, like you, I hear in the middle of the night mysterious music, and a voice summoning me.” Impac-longlisted Moris Farhi, who left Turkey for England at 19, read a thinly fictionalised injunction to multi-ethnic tolerance and was followed by Ghias al Jundi, an exiled Syrian who had cheered when the Danish cartoons were published but was dashed down by the “biggest disaster” when the protests began. His poems were full of details – the floor of the university library where he used to hide to kiss his girlfriend, the “smell of words on clothes” – and finally, “I met a girl from the Czech Republic on the number 36 bus, and I don’t know why, but she asked me about love,” was the introduction to one poem, which ended: “In this vague future, I forget myself.”