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Banipal: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature

Published/Hosted by Banipal. ISSN: 1461-5363.

Banipal is an independent literary magazine publishing contemporary authors and poets from all over the Arab world in English translation, and was founded in 1998 by Margaret Obank and Iraqi author Samuel Shimon. The three issues a year present established and new Arab authors and poets in English for the first time through poems, short stories or excerpts from novels, and include author interviews, profiles and book reviews. Each issue is well illustrated with author photographs with the full colour covers featuring prominent Arab artists. From the first issue, the three cornerstones of Banipal were that Arab literature is an essential part of world culture and human civilisation; that dialogue between different cultures needs to be continually deepened; and that the joy and enlightenment to be gained from reading beautiful poetry and imaginative writing is an integral part of human existence. These three points have guided Banipal’s translation and promotion of contemporary Arab literature. Literary translation has such an inspirational power to develop dialogue and interaction between cultures; the moment a reader starts to read a translation dialogue begins. Banipal is a magazine for lovers of literature, of world literature, to encourage a wider readership of Arab writers and poets for their own sake, and for both the particularity and the universality of their voices. Banipal publishes Arab writers and poets who write in French, English or German as well as the main Arabic language, presenting the reality of literature from the Arab world and naming it ‘Arab’ rather than ‘Arabic’ literature (which excludes literature by Arab authors not written in Arabic – and consequently many great Arab writers).

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