July 7, 2014 Sudanese Author al-Tayyib Salih Subject of Symposium at the Library Aug. 4
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Sudanese author al-Tayyib Salih (1929-2009) is the subject of an international symposium to be held at the Library of Congress 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 4. The symposium will be followed that evening by a musical and theatrical program focusing on al-Tayyib Salih’s work and Sudanese traditional culture.
The event, which is free and open to the public, is presented by the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division (AMED); the Mahdi Art Center of Khartoum, Sudan; and the Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan in Washington, D.C. Reservations are not required. This event is part of AMED’s annual conference series celebrating writers from the Middle East and Central Asia—regions that are the responsibility of the division’s Near East Section.
Al-Tayyib Salih was born in the Northern Province of Sudan and educated at Khartoum University and the University of London. His literary works put him in the forefront of modern Arabic literature. His most important and well-known literary works are the novel “The Season of Migration to the North” (1966), in which he explores the complexities of being educated in Europe, and the novella “The Wedding of Zein” (1969), a humorous critique of the betrothal and wedding customs of the region of his childhood. Outside of his literary life, he worked for the BBC’s Arabic Service, became director general of the Ministry of Information of Qatar and later worked for UNESCO, including representing that organization in the Gulf States.
The symposium, featuring three panels of scholars moderated by AMED staff, will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Montpelier Room of the Library’s James Madison Building located at 101 Independence Ave. S.E. The presenters will include Valerie Anischenkova, University of Maryland; Khalid Mohamed Farah, Sudanese Foreign Ministry; Osman al-Badawi El-Haj, Gadarif University, Gadarif, Sudan; Shams al-Din al-Haggagi and Abd al-Sattar Halwagy, Cairo University in Egypt; Al-Fatih Hamad, former UNESCO ambassador in New York; Abdallah Ibrahim, University of Missouri; Khalid Musa, the Sudanese Embassy in Germany; and Nur al-Din Satti, the National Library of the Sudan.
The evening program will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium of the Thomas Jefferson Building at 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The Al-Buggaa theater group, directed by Ali Mahdi, the UNESCO Artist for Peace, will perform scenes from Salih’s works. Further musical entertainment will be provided by the well-known Sudanese singer Abd al-Karim al-Kabli and the Nile String Ensemble.
The Near East Section of the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division holds the works of al-Tayyib Salih in Arabic in several editions. Salih’s works in European languages are held in the general collection of the Library of Congress. Selected items will be on display in the in the symposium venue.
The symposium and the theatrical event are made possible through the generous support of Mohamed Al-Mardi al-Tijani, the Kenana Sugar company; Abd al-Rahman Dirar, the Sudan Telecommunication Company; and Hassan Satti, the White Nile Sugar Company.
The Mahdi Art Center was founded by Ali Mahdi Nouri, and functions as a locus for Sudanese and other visual, dramatic and musical artists to perform. The center is also interested in preserving the traditional musical and dramatic arts of the Sudan and surrounding regions.
The African and Middle Eastern Division was established in 1978 as part of a reorganization that combined the Near East Section, the African Section and the Hebraic Section. Together they cover some 78 countries and regions from Southern Africa to the Maghreb and from the Middle East to Central Asia. For more information on the division and its holdings, visit the African and Middle Eastern Division at www/loc.gov/rr/amed/.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.