Banipal 50's feature on Prison Writing is timely and thought-provoking. We are proud that the 50th issue of Banipal is celebrated with thought-provoking testimonies and texts by some of the most renowned and respected of Arab authors from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Palestine and Syria, authors who have never stopped defending the right to free expression, tolerance and social justice. Their struggles continue today, and are ever more needed, ever more vindicated in this strange world we live in, where religious fundamentalists and bigots of all persuasions are in ascendance, dictatorships and unelected bureaucracies are still in control, and whistleblowers defending basic human rights are on the run.
Banipal’s work over the last 17 years has been to be witness to the living literary scene in the Arab world, commissioning translations of newly published works to bring to the Anglophone world the richness and variety ever present in today’s Arab literary landscape.
This massive work of 50 issues has been produced by a small, dedicated team, backed by a brilliant army of translators, consulting and contributing editors, reviewers . . . and of course, all the authors. We salute them all.
Cover painting by the New York based Iraqi painter Ahmed Alsoudani