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TMR 41 • FORGETTING Roundtable Discussion

May 16 @ 19:00 - 20:00


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Join us online on Thursday, May 16th at 1pm EST/ 7pm CET/ 6pm UK for our May roundtable discussion which invites four contributors to TMR 41, FORGETTING, to a conversation around the culture of memory and forgetting in the Arab world.

As Mai Al Nakib asserts in her essay, “Writing is a memory archive, [providing] a portal to lost time, to fading traces of existence.” And this archive created and maintained by writers is often preserved against/in contradiction to/in defiance of/in resistance to and in spite of the approved narratives of the State. And so, four writers from four different Arab countries, each with its own traumatic and turbulent relationship to memory and forgetfulness—Nabil Salih, from Iraq, Mai Al Nakib, from Kuwait, Saleem Haddad, from Palestine via Lebanon, and Asmaa El Gamal, from Egypt—sit down with senior editor Lina Mounzer, from Lebanon, to talk about those relationships and to discuss how personal memory might act upon the historical record.

Read this month’s editorial by Malu Halasa and Jordan Elgrably, “Why FORGETTING?”.

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About the speakers:

Lina Mounzer is a Lebanese writer and translator. She has been a regular contributor to the New York Times and her work has appeared in the Paris Review, Freeman’s, Washington Post, and The Baffler, as well as in the anthologies Tales of Two Planets (Penguin 2020), and Best American Essays 2022 (Harper Collins 2022). She is a senior editor at The Markaz Review.


Mai Al-Nakib was born in Kuwait and spent the first six years of her life in London; Edinburgh; and St. Louis, Missouri. She holds a PhD in English literature from Brown University. She was an Associate Professor of English and comparative literature at Kuwait University, where she taught for twenty years; she recently left this position to write full-time. Her research focuses on cultural politics in the Middle East, with a special emphasis on gender, cosmopolitanism, and postcolonial issues. Her short story collection, The Hidden Light of Objects, was published by Bloomsbury in 2014. It won the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award. Her debut novel, An Unlasting Home—published by Mariner Books in the US and Saqi in the UK—came out in paperback in April 2023. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in various publications, including Ninth Letter; The First Line; After the Pause; World Literature Today; Rowayat; New Lines Magazine; and the BBC World Service. She divides her time between Kuwait and Greece.

Read her centerpiece essay in this month’s issue, “Memory Archive: Between Remembering and Forgetting.”


Saleem Haddad is a novelist, screenwriter, and essayist currently based in Lisbon, with roots in Amman, Beirut, and London. His award-winning debut novel, Guapa, was published in 2016.

Read his book review of “My Brother, My Land: A Story from Palestine” in our May issue.


Asmaa Elgamal is a writer and scholar from Alexandria, Egypt. She earned her PhD in International Development and Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where her research explored the colonial and military histories of spatial planning in the Middle East and North Africa. Her writing has appeared in New Lines Magazine, Contingent Magazine, and Insider. She was also longlisted for the 2021 DISQUIET International Literary Prize for Non-Fiction.

Read her essay, “The Elephant in the Box” in this month’s issue.


Nabil Salih is a writer and photographer from Baghdad who holds an MA in Arab Studies from Georgetown and is pursuing a second MA in Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College. His writings appear in Jadaliyya, Allegra Lab, Al Jazeera English and LeftEast among others, and have been translated to Italian, Spanish, French and other languages.

Read his essay, “Regarding the Photographs of Others—An Iraqi Journey Toward Remembering” in our latest issue.


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May 16
19:00 - 20:00
Event Category:


The Markaz Review
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