Beirut39

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Beirut39 is a collaborative project between the Hay Festival, Beirut UNESCO's World Book Capital 2009 celebrations, Banipal magazine and the British Council among others in order to identify 39 of the most promising Arab writers under the age of 39.[1] The project was carried out during 2009-10 and followed on the success of Bogotá39, an earlier contest held in 2007 to identify the most promising young Latin American writers. In connection with Port Harcourt being World Book Capital 2014, Africa39 was launched by Hay Festival, featuring 39 writers under the age of 40 from sub-Saharan Africa.

Beirut39's requirements for eligibity stipulated that the author be born in or after 1970, be of Arab heritage and have at least one publication. The judges for the contest included Egyptian literary critic Gaber Asfour, Lebanese poet and journalist Abdo Wazen, Lebanese writer Alawiya Sobh and Omani poet and journalist Saif Al Rahbi.[2] The project resulted in a literary anthology called Beirut39: New Writing from the Arab World, edited by Samuel Shimon of Banipal magazine and published by Bloomsbury in 2010. The book was published in both English and Arabic.

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