Index on Censorship’s’ annual Freedom of Expression Awards saw the T.R. Fyvel Book Award given to Samir Kassir’s Being Arab supported by English PEN’s Writers in Translation programme. There to collect this prestigous award was the author’s friend George Asseily, Director of the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. Also nominated for the award was In the Name of Honour by Mukhtar Mai, What is the What by Dave Eggers and In The Country of Men by Hisham Matar.
Being Arab explores an incredible political and intellectual incarnation of an Arab world. In searching to understand how the region arrived at this point, Kassir turns to the past, recounting the Arab “golden age”, the extraordinary flowering of cultural expression in the nineteenth century which continued to the twentieth. Kassir suggests that the current crisis in Arab identity lies in the failure to come to terms with modernity and embracing false solutions such as pan-Arabism and Islamism.
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/news/_1626