Beirut 2013

Event 1

Alaa Abdul-Hadi, Layla El Atrash and Hyam Yared in conversation with Iman Humaydan

PEN Centre Lebanon: New Challenges

Venue: ZICO HOUSE
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A conversation with staff members of the Jordanian, Egyptian, and Lebanese PEN Centres around the importance of Arab PEN Centres in the region. What are the aims, the values and the multilingual literary spaces that PEN creates, and what challenges do PEN Centres encounter in their individual countries?

Event in Arabic and French

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Event 28

Jana Elhassan: Me, She And The Other Women

Outreach and Educational Programme

Venue: Monot Public Library
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Jana Elhassan (Lebanon) is one of the finalists for the International Prize for Arab Fiction 2013.

Hay Festival Beirut promotes culture, education and social responsibility. Together with our partners Assabil, the French Institute of Lebanon, Goethe Institute and Armenian schools, we offer this event as part of our outreach and educational programme.


Event in Arabic
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Event 2

Talal Husseini and Nahla Chahal in conversation with Dalal Al Bizri

PEN Centre Lebanon: Writing In A Sectarian Society

Venue: ZICO HOUSE
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What is the role of the writer in a deeply divided sectarian society? How does the writer ‘speak truth to power’ in such a society? And how does he or she contribute to the transformation of consciousness? How can writers exit their individualities and enter into a larger national space?

Event in Arabic

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Event 3

Philip Mansel in conversation with Robert Myers

Was Beirut A Levantine City?

Venue: AUB (BUILDING 37/BEHIND THE OLD OBSERVATORY)
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Philip Mansel is a historian and author of a number of books about revolutionary and post-revolutionary France, the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East. Mansel has published eleven books of history and biography. In his latest book, Levant: Splendor And Catastrophe On The Mediterranean, Mansel turns his attention to three mixed cities, which attracted people of different religions and cultures: Alexandria, Beirut and Izmir, cities of the Levant along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Mansel is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Literature, the Institute of Historical Research, the Royal Asiatic Society and a member of the Conseil Scientifique of the Centre de Recherche du Château de Versailles. He received the London Library Life in Literature Award in 2012. 

Event in English 

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Event 4

Maha Hassan, Faika Medjahed and Shereen El Feki in conversation with Rasha Al Atrash

PEN Centre Lebanon: Women’s Battles And The Post-authoritarian Arab Order

Venue: ZICO HOUSE
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Testimonies from women who have participated in the Arab uprisings.

Event in Arabic

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Event 5

Joe Sacco in conversation with Mazen Kerbaj

Venue: BEIRUT ART CENTER
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Joe Sacco is perhaps the most innovative journalist of our times. Joe uses his drawings and notes to tell journalistic stories and highlight injustice. He has published many celebrated books such as Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992–1995 and Footnotes In Gaza. He talks to Mazen Kerbaj.

Event in English

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Event 6

Abbas Beydoun, Wael Abd el Fattah and Rabab El Mahdi in conversation with Iskandar Habache

Co-organised with PEN Lebanon and supported by PEN International PEN International Free the Word! e

Venue: ZICO HOUSE
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Does a writer have any duty to recount certain stories, to attempt to tell the truth, even? And in societies where freedom of expression is limited or censorship imposed, do such responsibilities increase? Writers from Egypt and Lebanon discuss their experiences with censorship and publishing in the region. 

Event in Arabic

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Event 7

Owen Sheers in conversation with Jonathan Levi

Welcome To Our War: The Two Worlds Of Charlie F.

Venue: BEIRUT ART CENTER
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Owen Sheers’ play The Two Worlds Of Charlie F. was created from the experiences of recently wounded soldiers and their families. Many of the soldiers interviewed for the play’s research also perform in its cast, making the production a unique rehabilitation project as well as an unflinching but uplifting play about the aftermath of mental and physical wounding in conflict. The play premièred at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in London before touring the UK, winning the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award at the Edinburgh Festival. The Theatre Of War, a BBC documentary about the creation of the play,will be screened, followed by a conversation with Owen chaired by Jonathan Levi.

Event in English

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Event 8

Masrah Al Madina and the Hay Festival presents: Hanan Al Shaykh and Nidal Al Ashkar

One Thousand and One Nights: a Reading accompanied by musicians and actors

Venue: AL MADINA THEATRE
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The acclaimed  writer Hanan Al Shaykh and the leading Arab actress and director Nidal Al Ashkar will read from the witty, poetic, erotic and brutal, One Thousand and One Nights, the never-ending stories told by the young Shahrazad under sentence of death to King Shahrayar. To survive she spins a web of tales night after night, leaving the King in suspense when morning comes, thus prolonging her life for another day. These mesmerising stories tell of the real and the supernatural, love and marriage, power and punishment, wealth and poverty, and the endless trials and uncertainties of fate. Now adapted by Hanan al-Shaykh the One Thousand and One Nights are revealed in an intoxicating new voice.

Event in Arabic with subtitles in English

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Event 29

Conz in conversation

Outreach and Educational Programme

Venue: Geitawi Public Library
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Hay Festival Beirut promotes culture, education and social responsibility. Together with our partners Assabil, the French Institute of Lebanon, Goethe Institute and Armenian schools, we offer this event as part of our outreach and educational programme.


Event in English
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Event 9

Joe Sacco in conversation with Lina Ghaibeh

Venue: AUB (HOSTLER STUDENT CENTER AUDITORIUM/LOWER CAMPUS)
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Joe Sacco is perhaps the most innovative journalist of our times. Joe uses his drawings and notes to tell journalistic stories and highlight injustice. He has published many celebrated books such as Palestine, Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992–1995 and Footnotes In Gaza. In conversation with Lina Ghaibeh.

Event for students in English

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Event 30

Entretien entre Patrick Deville et des étudiants de l’USEK

Outreach and Educational Programme

Venue: USEK
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Hay Festival Beirut promotes culture, education and social responsibility. Together with our partners Assabil, the French Institute of Lebanon, Goethe Institute and Armenian schools, we offer this event as part of our outreach and educational programme.


Event in French
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Event 10

Kamal Mouzawak in conversation with Rosie Boycott

Food And The City

Venue: 392RMEIL393
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Kamal Mouzawak created the first farmers’ market in Beirut (Souk el-Tayeb), preserving both food traditions and the culture of sustainable agriculture in Lebanon, while boosting the business of small producers. His celebrated restaurant Tawlet, a model of social enterprise, is one of Beirut’s more innovative and celebrated restaurants, and he has just opened a second Tawlet restaurant in the beautiful Bekaa valley. Kamal will discuss food, its relationship to the city and its inhabitants, and how development needs to be achieved carefully when it comes to where we live and what we eat. Rosie Boycott is a journalist, writer and the chairman of London Food, part of Mayor Boris Johnson’s attempt to improve Londoners’ access to healthy, locally produced and affordable food. Followed by a tasting provided by Tawlet.

Event in English

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Event 11

Samar Dudin, Helena Kennedy, Heba Morayef, Elham Saudi and Fawaz Traboulsi in conversation with Hani Shukrallah

A Space For Change: Politics And Women’s Rights In The Middle East

Venue: BEIRUT ART CENTER
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Five international experts and activists speak about civil rights for women in the Middle East. Samar Dudin is Regional Director and Head of Programs at Ruwwad, Jordan, a region-wide community development initiative; Baroness Helena Kennedy is a British barrister, broadcaster and Labour Member of the UK House of Lords; Heba Morayef is Director of Human Rights Watch, Egypt; Elham Saudi is Director of Lawyers for Justice in Libya; and Fawaz Traboulsi is a faculty member at AUB, Lebanon. They talk to Hani Shukrallah (Egypt).

Event in English

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Event 12

Christoph Peters and Mohammed Hanif in conversation with Jonathan Levi

Venue: ZICO HOUSE
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Christoph Peters is a German author of novels and short stories. His novel Stadt Land Fluss was published in 1999, and won the ‘aspekte’ prize for the best German literary debut; it was followed by a collection of short stories in 2001, and in 2007 his first novel to be published in English, The Fabric Of Night. Mohammed Hanif (Pakistan) is a writer and journalist, author of the award-winning A Case Of Exploding Mangoes, which was shortlisted for the 2008 Guardian First Book Award and longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize, and subsequently won the 2009 Commonwealth Book Prize and the 2008 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. Hanif has also written for the stage and screen, including a feature film, The Long Night (2002). They talk to writer and journalist Jonathan Levi.

Event in English

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Event 13

Woman’s Word

Documentary Screening

Venue: INSTITUTO CERVANTES DE BEIRUT
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Directed by Silvia G Ponzoda, and produced by Radio Televisió Valenciana, Taller de Imagen de la UA and Taller Digital, Palabra de Mujer (‘Woman’s Word’) looks at the work and lives of three Arab women: Nawal Al Saadawi (Egypt), Hanan Al Shaykh (Lebanon) and Janata Bennuna (Morocco). The women have in common that their literature promotes social change, that they write in Arabic and that they belong to the same generation of intellectuals. The documentary won the Jury Prize at the San Diego Women Film Festival (2006).

In Arabic and English with Spanish subtitles. Duration 52 minutes.

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Event 14

Hanif Kureishi in conversation with Rosie Boycott

Venue: 392RMEIL393
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Hanif Kureishi, CBE, is an English playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker, novelist and short story writer. In 2008, The Times included Kureishi in their list of ‘50 greatest British writers since 1945’. The themes of his work have touched on topics of race, nationalism, immigration and sexuality. He is the author of many celebrated books such as The Buddha Of Suburbia, the script of the film My Beautiful Laundrette and his recent novel Something To Tell You. He talks to Rosie Boycott.

Event in English

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Event 15

Shereen El Feki

Sex And The Citadel

Venue: BEIRUT ART CENTER
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Shereen El Feki is author of Sex And The Citadel: Intimate Life In A Changing Arab World. Half-Egyptian, half-Welsh, she is a writer, a broadcaster and an academic. Shereen El Feki is an expert on social change in the Arab region, particularly as it relates to sexual and reproductive life, and served as vice-chair of the Global Commission on HIV and the Law, representing the Arab region. She is a United Nations Global Expert, a project of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

Event in English

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Event 16

Jon McNaught and Conz in conversation with Michèle Standjofski

Graphic Tales

Venue: ZICO HOUSE
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British Jon McNaught is the creator of a very special graphic style, using screen-printing and lithography to create miniature images and silent narratives, capturing quiet moments in small, inky panels. Belgian Conz made his debut in 2004 with the semi-autobiographical album Toen ik nog Baas van de Wereld was (‘When I Still Ruled The World’, pub. Oogachtend), which won the prize for the best début at the Turnhout comics festival. He is currently working on his dream project, the science-fiction graphic novel De Wraak van de Walvis (‘The Whale’s Revenge’). In conversation with Michèle Standjofski.

Event in English

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Event 17

Samah Al Shaik, Rewa Zeinati, Abdullah Abu Shumais, Isra’a Kalash, Karl Ove Knausgård, Jonathan Levi, Owen Sheers, Christoph Peters and Hind Shoufani

Poetry & Fiction Soireé

Venue: 392RMEIL393
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The writers share examples of their work in the original language with the audience. Samah Al Shaik (Palestine), Rewa Zeinati (Lebanon), Abdullah Abu Shumais (Palestine), Isra’a Kalash (Palestine), Karl Ove Knausgård (Norway), Jonathan Levi (USA), Owen Sheers (UK), Christoph Peters (Germany) and Hind Shoufani (Palestine). Presented by John Kampfner.

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