We’re absolutely delighted to announce that The Commander: Fawzi Al-Qawuqji and the fight for Arab Independence 1914-1948 by Laila Parsons has been shortlisted for the Palestine Book Awards. In The Commander, Laila Parsons explores the dramatic story of Fawzi Al-Qawuji’s endless battle for Arab independence and unity. The rest of the shortlisted titles can be seen here, and the winners will be announced on Friday 24 November at an Awards dinner at the Hilton London Paddington Hotel.
We’re overjoyed to share the news that Argentine-Canadian writer Alberto Manguel has won the prestigious Formentor de las Letras Prize 2017, worth €50,000. His illustrious careers spans many years, during which he shared a personal and intellectual relationship with Jorge Luis Borges. The unanimous decision of the judges recognised the importance of Manguel’s work and his passion to support ‘the great universal library’.
Further information here.
To mark the launch of Giles Duley’s photography collection, I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See, The Observer are holding a timely discussion on ‘The Refugee Crisis: Stories from the Frontline’. Giles will speak about documenting the Syrian refugee crisis alongside Hassan Akkad, Syrian refugee and film maker, Sybella Wilkes, senior communications officer for the UNHCR and the Guardian’s international affairs correspondent, Emma Graham-Harrison. The event will take place on Thursday 29 June 2017, 7pm–8.30pm at the Guardian, London. Tickets are £15 and can be booked via the following link.
Congratulations to Dar Al Saqi and Saudi author, Mohammed Hasan Alwan, who has won the International prize for Arabic fiction for A Small Death, his fictional account of the life of Sunni scholar Muhyiddin Ibn ‘Arabi. A Small Death was selected from a six-book shortlist, and will now receive additional funding for an English translation. Chair of judges, Sahar Khalifeh, emphasised the book’s ‘striking artistry’ and ‘captivating language’. The award was announced on Tuesday 25 April 2017.
Announced today that not one but TWO Dar Al Saqi books have won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award: Khareef al Bara’a (The Autumn of Innocence) by Lebanese author Abbas Beydoun and Al Islam wal Insan (Islam and the Human Being) by Mohammad Chahrour from Syria. Congratulations to Dar Al Saqi, Abbas Beydoun and Mohammad Chahrour.
Saqi Books have acquired I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See: Photographs from the Refugee Crisis by award-winning British photographer Giles Duley.
In October 2015, Giles Duley was commissioned by the UNHCR to document the refugee crisis. Over the next seven months, Duley was to criss-cross Europe and the Middle East, visiting fourteen countries to tell the stories of individuals and families forced to flee their homes. He chronicled the turmoil of Lebanon, the camps of Jordan and Iraq, the hellish scenes on the beaches in Lesvos, the arrival or refugees in Germany and their resettlement in Finland.
Bringing together over 200 original photographs, I Can Only Tell You What My Eyes See shows that even in the midst of such horror and tragedy there is also humour, the unexpected and above all humanity. The book will also include an essay by Robert Del Naja of Massive Attack, which have used Duley’s images in their live shows to draw attention to the crisis.
Saqi will publish an English language edition on 20 June 2017 to mark World Refugee Day. The book will also be published simultaneously in Arabic by Dar Al Saqi in Beirut. All profits made from the sale of both editions will go to the UNHCR’s refugee work.
Saqi Books Managing Director Lynn Gaspard acquired world rights from David Godwin Associates Ltd and will be selling translation rights at Frankfurt.
Gaspard says, ‘Giles Duley’s arresting photographs of families on the shores of Europe and in camps in the Middle East are taken with great sensitivity. They document one of the most devastating tragedies of our time. We can often feel powerless in the face of such overwhelming tragedy. I hope that, in our small way, we can help to make a positive change with the publication of these powerful, heartrending photographs.’
Duley says: ‘Beyond the staggering figures and vast scenes currently witnessed, this project is about the stories and humanity of those caught up in the current refugee crisis. In many ways my work shows the ‘banality’ of normal life among the chaos of tumultuous events. I believe there is where we find empathy and understanding and hopefully through that, a desire to help. I’m looking forward to working with Saqi to bring this project to the widest possible audience.’
About Giles Duley
Giles Duley was born in 1971 in London. After ten years as an editorial photographer in the fashion and music industries in both the Europe and the US, where he photographed the likes of Kings of Leon, Oasis, Mariah Carey, The Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz and Christian Bale, Duley now uses his camera to document the lesser-known stories of human suffering and resilience deserving of public attention and action. Working with charities such as Medecins Sans Frontiers, IOM and the UNHCR, he has made trips to war zones including Angola, Ukraine, South Sudan and Bangladesh. In 2011, whilst working in Afghanistan, Duley stepped on an IED and lost three limbs and nearly his life. Duley survived, however, and resumed his photographic work less than 18 months later. In 2015 Duley launched his most ambitious project to date, Legacy of War, a five-year assignment documenting post-conflict communities around the world. He is also making a second film for C4’s Unreported World on Acid Burns attack survivors in Bangladesh. From October 2015 until June 2016 Duley was commissioned to document the refugee crisis for the UNHCR. Duley’s work has been exhibited and published worldwide in many respected publications including Vogue, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Sunday Times, The Observer and New Statesman.