Banipal 44 is a feast of fiction for summer 2012. The writers come from nine countries – Huzama Habayeb from Palestine, Leila Aboulela from Sudan, from Syria Lina Hawyan al-Hassan and Maha Hassan, Hawra al-Nadawi from Iraq, Huda al-Jahouri from Oman, Rachida el-Charni from Tunisia, Latifa Labsir and Hanane Derkaoui from Morocco, Fadhila el Farouk from Algeria, Renée Hayek from Lebanon and Mansoura Ez Eldin from Egypt.
Through four short stories and eight chapters of novels, they write eloquently and forcefully on human issues such as loss, identity, personal awakening, family relations, migration, exile, being black in the Arab world, prejudice, dealing with prison and discrimination, travel and local customs.
Banipal 44 also features works by two Iraqi authors, novelist poet Fadhil al-Azzawi and author and journalist Hussain al-Mozany, also the Timbuktu-born novelist Omar al-Ansari and the talented young Saudi author Mohammed Hasan Alwan, while in Literary Influences, Habib Selmi tells the engrossing tale of how he became a writer in a house of no books.
Banipal 44 inaugurates a new Guest Writer occasional feature, the first being the American poet Marilyn Hacker who, in February 2012, was awarded the Argana International Poetry Prize by the House of Poetry in Morocco.
Finally, Banipal 44’s Last Page feature is a thought-provoking article by Emirati author Mariam al-Saedi about her visit to South Korea to take part in the Asia Africa and Latin America Literature Forum.