Covid-19 is still with us, spreading its deathly virus, killing thousands, keeping us in our homes, making us keep our distance wherever we go, wearing masks whenever we might get within a metre or so of another person, and creating virtual, digital events. Over the months it has changed the world, and till now it’s hard to see an end to it. All our lives are being transformed by it.
On 8 April, the Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced its 2020 winners – Banipal Magazine won the Publishing and Technology award. What a huge honour and accolade for this 23-year-old literary magazine. It is a tremendous boost to our very necessary translation project. We were pleased, also, to hear a mention of our new project of a second magazine – Revista Banipal for modern Arab literature in Spanish translation.
Banipal 68 – Short Stories introduces 21 diverse, engaging and thoughtful stories, mostly for the first time in English. First, from the award ceremony of the Almultaqa Prize for the Arabic Short Story, there is winner Sheikha Helawy and finalists Sofiene Rajab, Sherif Saleh and Mahmoud Al-Rahbi, and then three further great short story writers, Muhammad Khudayyir , Mustafa Taj Aldeen Almosa and Mohammed Al-Sharekh.
- Plus chapters from two novels – Free Fall by Abeer Esber and A Small Death by Mohammed Hasan Alwan.
- Plus works by two major poets – Moncef Ouhaibi, winner of the 2020 Sheikh Zayed Award for Literature, and Abdo Wazen.
- Plus interview with Mohamed Berrada and essay by Bothayna al-Essa on her writings.
- And letters from Ghassan Kanafani to Denys Johnson-Davies.
A HUGE THANKS to all our contributors who have continued working from home under coronavirus restrictions, and to our socially-distancing printer and distributor.