Mazen Maalouf
Foto: Raphael Lucas

Mazen Maarouf: The Poems of an Exiled Palestinian in Prague

You are cordially invited to an evening with Mazen Maarouf, a Palestinian author living in Iceland, on Monday 17th September at 7 pm in the salon of Café Kampus (Náprstkova 10, Praha 1). Mazen will be presented by Alexandra Büchler of Literature Across Frontiers and will read his poems and a short story in Arabic and English, with a reading of Czech translations by Burhan Kalak, followed by Q&A.

The event will be in English with Czech interpreting. Admissions are free.

The evening is organized by Literature Across Frontiers in cooperation with Den Poezie and the cultural society Maramíja.

Mazen, born to Palestinian refugees in Beirut, was forced into exile in Iceland after criticising the Syrian regime as a journalist. His first collection of short stories “Jokes for the Gunman (2015)” received the prestigious Al-Multaqa Prize for Arabic short fiction and is currently being translated into ten languages, including English by Jonathan Wright, to be published by Granta / Portobello.

About the author:

Mazen Maarouf (1978) is a Palestinian-Icelandic writer, poet, translator, and journalist born in Beirut to a family of Palestinian refugees who had to flee Tal El-Zaatar at the beginning of Lebanese civil war. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in General Chemistry from the Lebanese University (Faculty of Sciences). He worked for several years as a Chemistry and Physics teacher before writing.

He published three collections of poetry, “Our Grief Resembles Bread (Al-Farabi, 2000)”, “The Camera Doesn’t Capture Birds (Al-Anwar, 2004”, “Al-Kamel, 2010”) and “An Angel Suspended On a Clothesline (Riad El-Rayyes, 2012)”, which has been translated into several languages including French under the title “Un Ange Sur une Corde à Linge” (L’Amandier Poésie, 2013, translated by Samira Negrouche) and Icelandic under the title “Ekkert Nema Strokleður” (Dimma, 2013, translated By Aðalsteinn Ásberg, Sjón and Kári Tulinius). Selections of his poetry and short fiction have been translated into many languages including German, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, Maltese, Urdu, Malay, and now also into Czech (translation by Burhan Kalak) and Polish.

In 2012, Al Jazeera made a documentary about his work within the series Artscape: Poets of Protest, available online:

Further reading:

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