Oman


‘Banipal’ plans special issue on Omani literature


Banipal, an independent Arab literary magazine, is published in English from London. Photo – Supplied

Muscat: Banipal, an independent Arab literary magazine published in English from London, is slated to bring out a special issue on Omani literature.

Samuel Shimon, editor-in-chief of Banipal, who is in Muscat on the invitation of the Cultural Club, said a special issue has been planned on the Omani literature.

Shimon will be delivering a lecture on the 'Popularity of Arabic Literature in the West and Experience of Banipal magazine', at the Cultural Club today.

He said that over the years, since the magazine's launch in February 1998, they have published the works of 10 authors from Oman. During his week-long stay in Oman, Shimon will be interacting with various literary figures of the country and meet people at the cultural establishments of the country.

750 Arab works published
He said that 17 years since its launch, the 224-page magazine has published the works of 750 authors from the Arab world, in addition to book reviews which is published three times a year.

Noted writer Adonis feels Banipal not only bridges the gap between the western and eastern cultures but it is a meeting point of two cultures, said Shimon. 

For Adonis, Banipal is a laboratory that illuminates the styles of modern Arabic writing, while at the same time unleashing the energies that allow it to engage in the grand literary developments and evolutions, said Shimon.

"I also have in mind two anthologies of Omani writers, one of poetry and one of fiction, both to be translated into English. I am familiar with the literary scene in Oman, and have many good friends here," said Shimon.

The editor-in-chief said he was looking forward to working together with the poet, Hassan Al Matrooshi, who is also the director of the Cultural Club and promotes translation of Omani literature into English.

 "I will also try to encourage my friends in Oman to do some anthologies of Omani literature in Arabic, to be published in Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon and Egypt.

"This would take Omani literature out of Oman to the rest of the Arab world. We need these literary anthologies in Arabic.

"For example, a Moroccan reader would love to read an anthology of Omani authors," he concluded.

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