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Issue 39 - September 2007

Sunday 30 September 2007

Four Promising Arabic Authors Win Grants

The results from the Read Write Now grants competition are in. Four up-and-coming authors will receive funding to write and publish original Arabic books for young adults. The grants competition and publication of these books represent the third and final phase of Read Write Now, an initiative that promotes reading and writing for Arab young adults. The books represent a diverse and thought-provoking collection. Basima Takroury’s novel of three Palestinians waiting at a crowded check-point explores the bindings that connect and separate humanity. “You Will Never Read It” by Mona Merhi, a young Lebanese author, is an abstract profile that draws a “portrait” of youth. Young men are the audience for “Horeya Dot Com” allows the reader to navigate contemporary issues of sex, religion, politics, music and movies with a web structure translated into a book. Lastly, “Souwar” (Pictures) by Maan Samara, is a richly illustrated pocket-sized collection of 50 stories that probe the questions raised by teenagers and youth inviting them to ruminate on these questions in their daily life.

As part of the effort to develop the talent and potential of authors writing for young adults, the authors will also receive editorial and production support along with the grant. Read Write Now is financially supported by Next Page Foundation (supported by the Open Society Institute – Budapest) and Anna Lindh Foundation in collaboration with Tamer Institute, Mawred Cultural Resource and Bibliotecka Alexandria.

New publications

(JPG) Vlado Olah, Khamutno Khamiben, in Romani and Czech (Dzeno Association) supported by the Grants Program of the VORBA project

Khamutno Kamiben is a poetry collection by one of the most famous contemporary Romani writers in the Czech Republic – Vladimir Olah. The author has led an interesting and dynamic life, starting from the Romani settlement in Eastern Slovakia where he was born, through serving as a professional soldier, receiving his PhD in Philosophy, and currently - a dedicated activist in various socio-cultural activities. The collection presents verses created during different periods of the author’s life. Their commonality, however, is the strong influence of the Roma folklore tradition. In this sense, the book belongs to the tradition of Czech Romani literature, also represented by Tera Fabiánová, Andrej Giňa, Vojta Fabián, František Demeter, Margita Reiznerová, Ilona Ferková, Andrej Pešta and Helena Červeňáková-Laliková.

Despite the growing number of Romani language publications, according to its publisher, the Khamutno Kamiben is the only poetry collection in Romani that has been published in a separate book in the Czech Republic for the last 2 years. In keeping with the aim of ensuring wide distribution, Dzeno Association offers the book in a number of mainstream bookstores, in the bookstore of Museum of Romany Culture in Brno and the Romani shop Romen in Prague, as well as online - via its website 500 copies were distributed in the Czech and Slovakian public libraries with the help of the Multicultural Center in Prague and the Roma Press Agency.

(JPG) Places of Love (in the Texts of Ten East European Women), edited by Miglena Nikolchina and Nadezhda Radulova, translation into Bulgarian by Galina Georgieva, Darin Tenev, Zornica Hristova, Nadezhda Radulova, Petya Abrasheva (Altera, Sofia 2007), supported by Women Issues Translation Program

This collection of critical essays gathers different perspectives on “philosophical/ literary Eros”, presented by ten East European women scholars (Alenka Zupancic, Andrea Peto, Miglena Nikolchina, Katerina Kolozova, Jelisaveta Blagojevic, Milena Kirova, Nadezhda Alexandrova, Irina Zerebkina, Ralica Georgieva, and Nadezhda Radulova), working in the field of philosophy, literary theory, and history. The publication provides a gender-sensitive view on the ethics of love and is a follow-up of a long lasting dialogue between the authors included. It vibrates between the oral and the written, hence it serves as a script of an ongoing and still open debate on love. Last but not the least, collecting regional scholars in a book is a fruitful point of departure for intensifying the exchange of ideas and resources within the region, which – particularly in the field of Gender Studies – is still scarce and occasional.