What a Strange Idea: To be a Writer in the Arab World!

  • East Gallery, Buel Hall, Columbia University

Lecture by Anouar Benmalek.

It is a gamble for a writer to live in the Arab world. Violent dictatorships and intolerance can put a high price on the act of writing: They may either destroy the desire to write, or force the writer to follow the advice of a poet who sacrificed his life for his craft: Silence is death/And you, if you remain silent, you die/And if you speak, you die/So speak and die. 

Anouar Benmalek is a Franco-Algerian writer, poet and professor of mathematics. He was a founding member of the Algerian Committee Against Torture and editor of the Cahier noir d'octobre about the torture committed by the Algerian army and police during the riots of October 1988. He is the prize-winning author of many books including Le Rapt (2009) and Tu ne mourras plus demain (2011). 

Sponsored by the Institute of African Studies, the Middle East Institute, the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies and Maison Francaise

Copies of Abduction (Le Rapt) will be available for purchase at the event.