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Discover Yemen through its Literature: Six Contemporary Authors Worth Reading

On Arabic Literature in English, M. Lynx Qualey presents six contemporary Yemeni authors worth discovering.

She points out:

As you might expect from a troubled nation with relatively little modern literary output, there aren’t many translations of Yemeni work available in English. However, there are some, as several Yemeni authors have received regional and international acclaim.

These authors are: Mohammad Abdul-Wali, Zaid Mutee Dammaj, Ali al-Muqri, Wajdi al-Ahdal, Nadia Alkowkabani and Shawqi Shafiq.

Qualey was inspired to write about those Yemeni writers by an article published in Yemen Times on March 23, 2015, entitled “Political Crisis and Yemen's Literary Insurgence”. The article mentions other renowned authors such as Marwan Ghafory, Mohammed Algharbi Amran , Habib Sorori, Safa’a Al-Habal, Ahmed Al-Sakkaf or Samir AbdulfattahRamzia Al-Iryani.

It speaks about how the political crisis affected the publishing sector and how, on the other hand, “what the country is going through gives writers a will to write. They try to reflect on what is happening around them within their works.” The article continues: “Ongoing political turmoil may not bode well for Yemen, but if 2014 is any indication, the outlook for its national literary scene is a promising one.”

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