keep eye

Keep Your Eye On The Wall – Book Launch and discussion

How many ways are there of looking at a wall?

In a striking new book featuring specially commissioned images, including images by six renowned Palestinian photographers who interpret the ‘Separation Barrier’ that Israel continues to erect in the West Bank. The results, with accompanying texts by noted writers (and a foreword by distinguished author and human rights activist Raja Shehadeh), are by turns surprising, poignant, disturbing and humorous. The photographers whose work appears in the book are: Taysir Batniji, Raed Bawayah, Rula Halawani, Noel Jabbour , Raeda Saadeh, Steve Sabella and Kai Wiedenhoefer. Join us for a thought-provoking discussion between the book’s editors Olivia Snaije and Mitchell Albert and two of the books contributors Malu Halasa, a London-based cultural critic whose essay on the movement against aestheticising the Wall is featured in the book, and Berlin-based Steve Sabella, whose powerful images convey the fragmented state of the psyche in exile. Saturday 16 November 2013, 12pm. The Mosaic Rooms A.M. Qattan Foundation Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road London SW5 0SW FREE, More information  

The People Want

The Arab Uprising: Results and Prospects

Join Gilbert Achcar, Nadje al-Ali, Adam Hanieh and Salwa Ismail at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) to discuss the results and prospects of the Arab uprising. The event will also mark the publication of Gilbert Achcar’s most recent title The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (Saqi Books, 2013). The euphoria that welcomed the Arab uprising in its initial stage tended to turn

into gloom in recent months. Away from impressionistic reactions, the panellists will assess and

discuss the latest developments in the Arab-speaking region. Thursday 24 October 2013 • 6.30pm Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS FREE EVENT • No booking required For further information contact: The London Middle East Institute at SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG; T: 020 7898 4330; F: 020 7898 4329; E:; W:

9781908906113 Asian Britain Front cover

Asian Britain at the South Asian Literature Festival OPENING NIGHT

We are delighted to announce that Susheila Nasta and Florian Stadtler will be appearing alongside Razia Iqbal at the South Asian Literature Festival opening night to present their new work  Asian Britain.

This extraordinary photographic history draws upon culture, film, music, the military, business, the suffragist movement and the different phases of historic settlement of Asian migrants from the subcontinent, the Caribbean and East Africa. Personalities from the arts, business, politics and sport appear alongside the pioneers – the first female law student at Oxford, the first Indian RAF pilots, the first Asian MP – and of equal significance are the experiences and history of the ordinary immigrants.

Susheila Nasta MBE is editor-in-chief of the internationally distinguished literary magazine, Wasafiri. Currently Professor of Modern Literature at the Open University, she has published widely on the black and South Asian diasporas.

Florian Stadtler is Lecturer in Global Literature at the University of Exeter. He has published on South Asian cinema, history and writing.

Razia Iqbal is a presenter for Newshour on the BBC World Service and for Talking Books on the BBC News Channel.


Wednesday 23 October, 18.30 – 19.45

University of Westminster

Tickets £5

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Nour logo

Nour Festival

Saqi Books is a proud partner of the Nour Festival of Arts 2013.

The festival is a celebration of the very best in contemporary Middle Eastern and North African arts and culture. Nour, which means light or illumination, springs to life each October and November in venues across the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The festival’s highly acclaimed programme of art, film, literature, music and performance has established Nour as a crucial meeting point for East and West.

This year’s programme has a lot to offer, including 6 art exhibitions, 16 film screenings, 15 thought-provoking talks and debates and 14 performances across dance and drama, music and poetry.

Saqi has organised three literary events, which will cover the history of the Arabs, a discussion on sex and sexuality in the Arab world, and will showcase the talented Raba’i al-Madhoun shortlistee of the International Prize of Arabic Fiction. We are also participating in the Souk and the Nour Tour Bus. Please find further information on our events below.

Happy festival everyone!

John McHugo at the Kensington Central Library

John McHugo talks about his recently published work A Concise History of the Arabs, which deals with the political, social and intellectual history of the Arabs, from the Roman Empire to the present day. A Q&A session will follow.

Tuesday 15 October, 18.30 – 20.00
Kensington Central Library, Philimore Walk, W8 7RX
Tickets from £3

Does the Arab Spring Need a Summer of Love?

An evening of discussion on taboos and changing sexual mores in the Arab world, with Shereen El Feki, Malu Halasa, Daniel L. Newman and Brian Whitaker.
Join the panellists to explore the rich history of Arabic erotica, today’s troubled sexual climate and what the future holds at this pivotal time of transition.

Wednesday 6 November, 19.00 – 20.30
The Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5 0SW
Free, Booking required

Nour Tour Bus

Get on board the special Routemaster bus for a tour of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. The tour visits venues that promote the diversity of Arab art. In addition, a DJ will be playing a range of Middle Eastern Music. The tour starts at the Victoria and Albert museum and, alongside venue visits, stops at the Al- Saqi book shop.

Saturday 9 November, 10.00 – 17.00
Tour begins at the V&A
Tickets £25 (includes five private visits, a complimentary drink and a mezze platter at midday)

Raba’i al-Madhoun at the Mosaic Rooms
Join novelist Raba’i al-Madhoun and translator Elliot Colla for a discussion and bilingual readings of The Lady from Tel Aviv. This event will be chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.

A bestseller in the Arab world, The Lady from Tel Aviv was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2010, and was a recipient of an English PEN Writers in Translation Award.

Thursday 21 November, 19.00
The Mosaic Rooms, 226 Cromwell Road, SW5 0SW

Saqi Books at Al Souk

Al Souk is the first ever Arab Arts and Design pop-up boutique. Nestled in the heart of Notting Hill, Al Souk will take place between 14 November and 1 December in two of the most prestigious art galleries in the city: Graffik Gallery (242 Portobello Road) and Tabernacle Gallery (Powis Square). Placed under the theme ‘Shapes and Colours’, Al Souk will present artists at the very forefront of Arab fashion, design, jewellery, stationary, music, furniture design, photography, art and literature.

14 November – 1 December
London West Bank, 133-137 Westbourne Grove, W11 2RS

25 November – 1 December
The Tabernacle Gallery, 35 Powis Square, W11 2AY

Abdel Bari

Abdel Bari Atwan to appear at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Saqi Books author Abdel Bari Atwan (After bin Laden) will be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the 19th August in discussion with Mark Huband.

Do we trust what we are told about Britain’s approach to foreign conflicts? Gavin Esler talks with Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan, a persistent critic of the rhetoric of the ‘war on terror’, and Financial Times security correspondent Mark Huband. Atwan interviewed Osama bin Laden, writing about the experience in The Secret History of al Qa’ida; Huband’s Trading Secrets offers a controversial assessment of our intelligence agencies’ abilities to combat the threat of terror.

Abdel Bari Atwan was Editor-in-Chief at the London-based newspaper, Al Quds al-Arabi, which he edited for twenty years. His works include After bin Laden, The Secret History of al-Qa‘ida and A Country of Words: A Palestinian Journey from the Refugee Camp to the Front Page.


11:30am – 12:30pm, Monday 19 August

Baillie Gifford Main Theatre

Tickets from £8.00

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Joan Smith at the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Westbourne Press author Joan Smith will be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on the 26th of August.

From the bedroom to the boardroom, sexual inequalities continue to favour men. Women have more freedom today but the feminist fight is not won yet. In The Public Woman, Joan Smith looks at what women have achieved in the quarter century since she wrote her seminal text, Misogynies. Sex trafficking, domestic violence and so-called honour killings embody a sinister and enduring hostility towards women. Joan Smith is a novelist, journalist, campaigner for human rights and a former chair of the Writers in Prison committee at International PEN. She writes for several national newspapers, including the Independent, and is a regular broadcaster. She is the author of Misogynies, The Public Woman, What Will Survive, Moralities and five detective novels.  

2:30pm – 3:30pm, Monday 26 August

Peppers Theatre

Tickets from £8.00

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