Lebanon’s Francophone Book Fair Honors Camus, Features Local, Int’l Talents

In Arabic Publishing by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije Opening on the heels of the Francophone summit in Montreux, Switzerland – Lebanon’s 17th Francophone book fair kicks off this Thursday in Beirut and runs until November 7th. Articles about the former French protectorate regularly lament the loss of French speakers to English but the Beirut event has nevertheless gained the status of being the third Francophone …

Web-based Entrepreneurs in the Arab World

In Arabic Publishing by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti Today’s Gulf News — the English-language daily based in Dubai — has an interesting piece on entrepreneurs in Lebanon who are using social media to build their businesses on the web. The first profiled is a comics-blogger-turned-author, Maya Zankoul, who ended up self-publishing her book, Amalgam, because no local publisher would take it on: even with a …

Against the Odds: Bringing Arabic Kids Books to Life in Beirut

In Arabic Publishing, Children's by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije BEIRUT: Dar Onboz is a small, Beirut-based publishing company with big dreams. Founded in the spring of 2006, just before the Israeli summer bombing of Lebanon, Dar Onboz has faced down financial worries, problems with distribution and the general difficulties of running a company in country where the political situation is volatile and corruption is commonplace. The …

Even in Peace, Lebanon’s Literary World Remains at War

In Feature Articles by Guest Contributor

By Yasmina Jraissati BEIRUT: This year, with Beirut serving as the World Book Capital for 2009, the city’s literary world remains linguistically and cultural divided: the city will be hosting two distinct book fairs, the Lebanese Francophone Book Fair (Salon francophone du livre de Beyrouth) which took place in October and November, and the International Beirut Book Fair (Maarad al …

Bonus Material: Should Beirut Merge Its Two Book Fairs?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka The question implicit in Yasmina Jraissati’s lead article today is whether or not it would be better for Lebanon’s two book fairs—one catering to French readers, one to Arabic readers—to merge. Jraissati argues that keeping the fairs separate only serves to exacerbate deep suspicions between the two cultures. It seems to me that a book fair is …

Beirut39 Spotlights Arab Writers Under 40

In Feature Articles by Olivia Snaije

By Olivia Snaije LEBANON: The UK-based Hay Festival has announced the shortlist of writers who will be part of Beirut39, a project that intends to give exposure to 39 of some of the most accomplished Arab writers under the age of 40. Hay had previously organized Bogotá39 in 2007, which identified talented young Latin American writers and introduced them to …

Bonus Material: Lebanon’s New Database for Arabic Publishing

In Discussion by Chip Rossetti

By Chip Rossetti A new collaborative online platform for the Arabic publishing industry, Mubtada wa Khabar, is expected to launch in advance of this year’s Beirut Book Fair, which runs from November 28 to December 11. The project is being developed by Yasmina Jraissati, founder of the Paris-based RAYA literary agency, and Nadim Tarazi, founder of Lebanon’s La Maison du …