Saudi novelist Dr Mohammed Hasan Alwan poses for a photograph in Sharjah.
Celebrated Saudi novelist Dr Mohammed Hasan Alwan was the latest guest of the #BookTalks initiative, during which he shared the inspiration behind his novel, A Small Death, which won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2017.
In conversation with media personality and session moderator Dr Berwin Habib at Al Rawi Café in Sharjah, Alwan recounted fond memories of the invitation he received from Sharjah back in 2003, saying it was the first time he was hosted as an author outside KSA, which was special to him given the emirate’s status as a regional cultural hub.
The Saudi author mentioned renowned Arab scholar Ibn Arabi as one of his strongest influences, saying that reading letters, books and studies on him were at the core of Alwan’s research for his award-winning novel. While going deep into studying the life and history of Ibn Arabi, Alwan noted that the scholar’s life was shrouded in mystery and a lot of works attributed to him, were in fact, not his works at all.
“In the history books I read, no more than 10 per cent of what is written about Arabi’s life is true or factual. My novel’s idea came to life when I decided to imagine the remaining 90 per cent, and write a fictional biography based on factual information about him,” Alwan shared with his audience, saying the daily activities of a well-celebrated Sufi scholar were not documented.
About winning the most prestigious prize in Arabic fiction and its role in general, he said: “There are studies that reveal the impact of the prize on the Arab world’s literary landscape and the encouragement it offers Arab novelists to continually work on improving their craft. The UAE’s efforts in hosting the prize and all other cultural initiatives the nation leads, both locally and internationally, are distinguished and highly commendable.”
Dr Berwin Habib, said: “I’m happy to be here at Al Rawi Café to moderate this wonderful book discussion, which is part of the year-long Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 celebrations.”
Saudi Arabia unveiled the design of its pavilion at the Expo 2020 Dubai on Sunday. The pavilion will be second in size only to that of the UAE pavilion, covering an area the size of two football pitches.
A captivating line-up of activities, shopping and live entertainment is on offer every weekend until March 9, at “Al Basta” , in Souq Al Shanasiyah in Heart of Sharjah
Sheikh Fahim Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Department of Government Relations (DGR), has reaffirmed the strengthening relationship between the UAE with the Russian Federation, resulting from mutual interests.
Two years ago, a Dutch art dealer discovered the hand of Rembrandt in an unknown painting that had not been noticed for four centuries. Before that, a painting was languishing in a New Jersey basement that turned out to be one of his earliest creations.
‘The perfectionist’ as he is fondly called by loved ones in the fraternity, Aamir Khan, took to social media to share an adorable message for his "Laal Singh Chaddha" co-star Kareena Kapoor Khan.
Banksy, the renowned street artist who does impeccable work of art in streets all across the globe has one more of his work vandalized.