Banipal highlights literary journeys through Arab cinema

Banipal magazine's latest issue sheds light on London’s Safar Film Festival and Morocco’s Assilah Festival.
Friday 13/07/2018

LONDON – Banipal, a literary magazine focused on providing English translations of contemporary Arab works, has released its latest issue dedicated to Arabic cinema.

The publication's summer issue, Banipal 62, is the product of special collaborations with London’s Safar Film Festival,  organised by the Arab British Centre from September 13-18, and Morocco’s Assilah Festival

Featured in the issue are articles by Nadia El-Sebai, executive director of the Arab British Centre, and Joseph Fahim, curator of the 2018 Safar Film Festival, who gives readers a glimpse of what to expect from the fourth festival, dubbed “A literary journey through Arab cinema." 

The issue also features an interview with Daoud Abdel Sayed, director of the famous Egyptian film "Kit Kat," adapted from Ibrahim Aslan’s novel “The Heron," as well as articles discussing the adaptation of literature into film.

More women needed

In an article entitled, “Wanted: A women’s literature that can be turned into film,” Dr Haitham El-Zobaidi, executive editor of Al-Arab Publishing Group, gave a brief overview of the presentation of women in Arab cinema from its early days to our time. 

“The absence of women’s issues in Arab cinema will persist so long as Arab women writers themselves do not take the initiative first,” argued El-Zobaidi.  

The 66-page issue opens with excerpts from Lutfiya al-Dulaimi’s novel, “Lovers, a Phonograph and Times,” translated into English by Nancy Roberts. 

Also included are excerpts from Ahmed Ali El-Zein’s novel, “Al-Arrafa” (meaning the seer), translated by Jonathan Wright. 

The summer issue includes a short story by Tunisian writer Ali Douagi and a poem by Yahya Wagdi, in addition to a number of book reviews. 

Morocco’s Assilah 

The publication sheds light on Morocco’s Asilah Festival, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year.  

“Morocco has shown the world that one can prosper just through the richness of ideas,” wrote Rudroneel Ghosh, a journalist with The Times of India. 

“Thus, with the world increasingly finding out that many of the things that it hitherto valued are increasingly insignificant, we have in Morocco and Assilah an example that investing in human capital pays.” 

Banipal magazine was founded by Margaret Obank and Samuel Shimon in London in 1998.