BILA HUDOOD: Arabic Literature Everywhere Literary Festival was recently concluded. There were lots of panels exploring Arab literature, but one in particular caught our eyes, as it focuses on African literature within the broader Arab literary context. The panel was moderated by Sawad Hussain, one of our favorite Arab literary critics, and featured two African writers: Quatar-based Mauritanian novelist Ahmed Val Bin El Dine and Sudanese author Ishraga Mustafa.

Ahmed and Ishraga talked about their respective journey as writers and the influences and inspirations that kindled their interest in writing. Ahmed emphasizes the importance of language in desert cultures. He talks about the historical depths of Arabic languages and how that has served as foundation for a rich literary tradition.

A particularly interesting moment in the conversations is when Ahmed and Ishraga engaged with the complications of publishing African literature in the Arab literary world. They also shared experiences and thoughts on what it meant to be an African writer in the Arab literary scene.

The interview is enlightening and contains a lot of excellent information about African Arab literature, in addition to the personal journeys of the featured authors.

It’s a must watch!