Pay No Heed to the Rockets – WoW Festival, Liverpool, 19 May 2018

Join multiple award-winning internationally acclaimed writers Mourid Barghouti and Marcello Di Cintio for a moving and insightful discussion on exile, displacement, belonging and political turmoil. A truly one-of-a-kind event featuring a voice of a generation.

The Bluecoat

School Lane
London L1 3BX
Tickets: £8/£4 concession

In 1966, the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti, then twenty-two, left his country to return to university in Cairo. A year later came the Six Day War and Barghouti, like many Palestinians living abroad, was denied entry into his homeland. Thirty years later, he was finally allowed to visit Ramallah, the city he had grown up in. A rickety wooden bridge over a dried-up river connects the West Bank to Jordan. It is the very same bridge Barghouti had crossed, little knowing that he would not be able to return. I Saw Ramallah, his extraordinarily beautiful account of homecoming, begins at this crossing, filled with its ironies and heartaches. In half bemusement, half joy, Barghouti journeys through Ramallah, keenly aware that the city he had left barely resembles the present-day city scarred by the Occupation – and he discovers in this displacement that the events of 1967 have made him permanently homeless.

Canadian author Marcello Di Cintio begins his new book, Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Palestine in the Present Tense, by following Barghouti’s footsteps across that same bridge. From Ramallah, Di Cintio travels across Palestine to hear the stories of writers, poets, librarians, booksellers and readers. His book offers a window into the literary heritage of Palestine that transcends the narrow language of conflict. Di Cintio’s previous book, Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, explored what it means to live in the shadows of walls, fences and other fortified borders. Walls won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and  the Wilfred Eggleston Prize for Non-Fiction.

John McHugo Book Launch

On Monday 18 September Hatchards Piccadilly will host John McHugo to launch A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi‘is. Join us to hear John present the genesis, development and manipulation of one of the greatest schisms that has come to define Islam: A Concise History of Sunnis and Shi’is charts nothing less than the struggle for the soul of the Muslim world. Places can be booked in advance via the events page on the Hatchards website.

Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic: Extreme Comedy NOW!

To launch our satirical collection, Don’t Panic I’m Islamic: Words and Pictures on How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Alien Next Door, we’re hosting A Fun Event at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchens. Join us as contestants Omar Hamdi, Esther Manito and Amrou Al-Kadhi battle it out to win a visa. They will be judged on their wit and words by Bidisha and Karl Sharro (AKA, Karl Remarks) as they fulfil various challenges, including answering green card application questions, delivering Fox News-approved headlines in the style of Sean Spicer and performing stand up.

Who will be allowed to stay and who will be sent home in shame (electronics in hold)?

Tickets are £8.50 and available here – but do hurry as they’re going like hot cakes! See you there, Inshallah.

Representing Conflict Now – Imperial War Museum

Join artists, poets and photographers at the Imperial War Museum on Saturday June 17 to hear about how we respond to contemporary conflicts through live poetry performances, discussion panels and art installations. As part of the Imperial War Museum’s Meet the Author series, Giles Duley will also be signing copies of his book I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See: Photographs from the Refugee Crisis, which documents the refugee crisis in all its horror, tragedy and humanity, from 2.00pm – 3.30pm.

London Radical Bookfair

Saqi Books will be staging a debut presence at this year’s London Radical Bookfair 2017! We will be joining other progressive and independent publishers to celebrate a radical politics that forms an essential part of our work. The event is free and held at Goldsmiths University on Saturday 26th June, 12-6pm. We look forward to seeing you there! For more details, visit the Bookfair’s website.

Laila Parsons UK Events

We’re very excited to be welcoming Laila Parsons to the UK this month to talk about her book The Commander: Fawzi al-Qawuqji and the Fight for Arab Independence 1914-1948. The Commander is a well-crafted, definitive biography that tells Qawuqji’s dramatic story in the full context of his turbulent times and was recently crowned Winner of the Society for Military History’s 2017 Distinguished Book Award. Events will take place at the University of Oxford’s Middle East Centre on the 28 April and in London at the Arab British Centre and LMEI on the 2 May. Please see seperate websites for further details.

author photograph by Lea Grahovac