Banipal

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Banipal is an independent literary magazine dedicated to the promotion of contemporary Arab literature through translations in English. It was founded in London in 1998 by Margaret Obank and Samuel Shimon.[1] The magazine is published three times a year. Since its inception, it has published works and interviews of numerous Arab authors and poets, many of them translated for the first time into English. It is also co-sponsor of the Saif Ghobash–Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

As of November 2012, 45 issues of Banipal have been published. Each issue usually centres on a specific theme, recent issues focusing on Libyan fiction, Arab American authors, Iraqi authors, Literature in Yemen Today, Writing in Dutch, etc. The magazine has been praised both by non-Arab and Arab commentators - Gamal el-Ghitani, James Kirkup, Anton Shammas among others - for its role in diffusing Arab literature to a wider audience. The Iraqi poet, novelist and translator Fadhil Al Azzawi has said:

What Banipal has achieved for Arab literature and culture in its 21 issues is more important than all the work of all the Arab ministries of culture, which have almost completely failed to do anything for Arab culture. Banipal has enabled the English reader not only to read the works of Arab writers, but also to discover the real craft of modern Arab literature. We have only one real minister for Arab culture: Margaret Obank.[2]

Contemporary authors featured in Banipal[edit]

References[edit]