Colloquium: Tents in the Desert
April 28-29, 2011
The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies is proud to host a two-day colloquium dedicated to the work of Ibrahim al-Koni. The event will consist of public readings—in Arabic and English—and discussions between the author and some of his most engaged readers—that is, those critics and translators who have given the most consideration to his work and its place in modern Arab letters.
The Libyan writer Ibrahim Al-Koni is one of the most prolific and accomplished novelists working in the Arabic language. Al-Koni, a Twareg of the Kel Ajjer of southern Libya, was born in 1948 in the Fezzan. His childhood was spent among nomads in the Sahara. His mother tongue is Tamashaq, the language of the Twareg. He began studying Arabic when he was twelve years old, then went to Moscow to study at the Maxim Gorky Institute of Literature. Following that, he worked for many years as a journalist and cultural attaché in Moscow and Warsaw. Al-Koni has authored more than 80 works including novels, collections of short stories and aphorisms, critical studies and cultural histories. The scope of his literary citation is broad and ranges from old-world mythology and pre-Islamic poetry to resonances with Russian naturalism and American transcendentalism. Al-Koni’s works have been translated into numerous European languages. He has lived in Switzerland since 1993.
The Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies
The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies
Faculty of Languages and Linguistics
Program in Comparative Literature
For further information, contact the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at 202-687-5743