Monday, April 09, 2012

bqfp statement on iraqi authors' tour of uk

(L to R) Inaam Kachachi, Samuel Shimon, Ali Bader, at Oxford Literary Festival

Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP) statement on Iraqi Authors' Tour of UK:

[an appearance of the three writers, scheduled for Bristol Festival of Ideas on 3 April, was cancelled "due to unforeseen circumstances"]

Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing Spotlight on Leading Iraqi Authors:
Ali Bader, Inaam Kachachi and Samuel Shimon tour the UK

UK, 8 April 2012- Last week Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing authors Ali Bader, Inaam Kachachi and Samuel Shimon spoke to rapt audiences at the prestigious Southbank Centre in London and Oxford Literary Festival as part of a four day tour of the UK. Speaking on the 9th anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq the three authors discussed the richness and resilience of Iraqi literature and the very different ways in which they each provide an alternative vision of their homeland to images perpetuated by the media.

With the publication of An Iraqi in Paris, The American Granddaughter and The Tobacco Keeper BQFP brings great contemporary Iraqi fiction to an English-speaking audience. Among the few translations of Iraqi writers into English, Bader, Kachachi and Shimon are rare voices, offering insight into the social make-up of their complex country.

The National states ‘despite all the turmoil of Iraq's past three decades, the country's literature has been steadily evolving... English translations of Iraqi work hasn't been quite as prolific, although that's slowly changing, with the help of Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing’.
Andy Smart, consultant publisher at BQFP, commented on the recent tour by the three writers : ‘We hope everyone who attended the events will have been surprised and invigorated by the passion and humour of three great writers.’

at Oxford Literary Festival

An Iraqi in Paris A young Iraqi writer sets out to become a Hollywood film-maker, only to end up as a refugee on the streets of Paris where he beds down in a train station. Although his dream of making a film about his deaf-mute father is never realised, the extraordinary encounters he has with the likes of Jean-Luc Godard, Samuel Beckett and a ghost from Père Lachaise Cemetery transform his own story into a captivating drama more compelling than anything on the big screen.
Samuel Shimon is an Assyrian writer, filmmaker and publisher. Born in Iraq, he left his country in 1979. He is the assistant editor of Banipal., the leading magazine of Arabic literature in English He lives in London.

The Tobacco Keeper A former member of Saddam’s army, now working as a journalist, returns to Baghdad to unravel the mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the celebrated violinist Kamal Medhat. He soon discovers an extraordinary secret, the man known as Kamal Medhat had lived three lives; as a Jew exiled in Israel, a Shia Muslim while in Iran and a Sunni Muslim on his return to Iraq.
Ali Bader is an award-winning Iraqi novelist, essayist, poet, scriptwriter and journalist who has written ten novels, two poetry collections and several works of non-fiction. He fought in the Iran-Iraq war as a conscript and more recently worked as a war correspondent covering the Middle East.

The American Granddaughter Fifteen years after emigrating from Baghdad to America, Zeina returns to her war-torn homeland as an interpreter for the US Army and finds herself tormented by conflicting allegiances. Her traditional grandmother disapproves of her granddaughter’s involvement with the occupying forces. Whilst in Baghdad, Zeina meets two ‘brothers’ she knows nothing of. When she falls deeply in love with one of them, a militant in the Mahdi Army, she herself begins to question her values.
Born in Baghdad, Inaam Kachachi now lives in France. She writes for several Arabic newspapers and has previously published two non-fiction books and one novel.

About BQFP
Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing (BQFP) is owned by Qatar Foundation and managed by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc in London. BQFP is based in Doha, Qatar, and has three main aims:
• Publishing: To publish books of excellence and originality to the highest editorial, design and production standards, in Arabic and in English.
• Reading and Writing Development: to encourage lifelong literacy in Qatar and the Arab World.
• Knowledge Transfer: Transfer of publishing and related skills to Qatar and the Gulf region via training and other initiatives.
For more information on BQFP’S activities please refer to our website:

For more details on BQFP titles contact Laura Brooke and the BQFP team at +974 55 9351 50

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