Adult event
Black Foam: Haji Jabir, Marcia Lynx Qualey & Sawad Hussain

Black Foam: Haji Jabir, Marcia Lynx Qualey & Sawad Hussain

Date/Time: Sunday 5 February 2023 10:00-11:00

Venue: 4th Floor Conference Room 4, Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, Al Jaddaf - Dubai

Language: English

Simultaneous Translation: English to Arabic, Arabic to English

Session No: 215 

Haji Jabir’s Black Foam was longlisted for the 2018 International Prize for Arab Fiction, one of the most prestigious prizes for fiction in Arabic, making him the first Eritrean to make the longlist. The novel is a profoundly intimate tale about a shapeshifting storyteller and his tireless attempt to find his place in the world. An allegory of race and belonging, it explores the experiences of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants.

Join Haji Jabir and translators Marcia Lynx Qualey and Sawad Hussain for a fascinating conversation about their journey translating the novel.

Haji Jabir is an Eritrean novelist born in the coastal city of Moussa. He has published five novels and won the Sharjah Prize for Arab Creativity 2012 and the Katara Prize for Arabic Fiction 2019. Jabir’s work has been translated into English, Italian, Farsi and Arabic. He is currently working on a fiction project that highlights Eritrea and the Horn of Africa region, in human, cultural and historical terms. In addition, he works as a creative writing instructor. His latest novel is Rambo al-Habashi published in 2020.

Marcia Lynx Qualey is a literary critic, book editor, and freelance journalist who runs the ArabLit website (, which won a 2017 London Book Fair Literary Translation Initiative Prize. She also publishes ArabLit Quarterly magazine and co-hosts the BULAQ podcast. Qualey holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota and writes about Arabic literature for the Guardian. Her writing also appears in Al Jazeera, The New Republic, Your Middle East, among many others.

Sawad Hussain is a translator from Arabic whose work has been recognised by English PEN, the Anglo-Omani Society and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, among others. She is a judge for the Palestine Book Awards. Her upcoming translations include The Djinn's Apple by Djamila Morani and Edo's Souls by Stella Gaitano. She was the 2022 translator in residence at the British Centre for Literary Translation.

This session is moderated by Hend Saeed

As you plan your day at the Festival, please take into consideration that it takes between 30-60 mins to commute between the Intercontinental, Festival City and Mohammed Bin Rashid Library.
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Categories: Fiction, Translation