IPI HomeEventsPanel DiscussionsLibya and Yemen: Two Arab Authors Discuss the Troubled Uprisings

 

print print  |  share share back back

Panel Discussions - Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Libya and Yemen: Two Arab Authors Discuss the Troubled Uprisings

Two Arab authors, Hisham Matar and Ali Al-Muqri, spoke at IPI on September 14th and 15th to give their artist’s perspective on the recent uprisings in their home countries.

“The way I see us is that we are sort of perched on the trees, and we watch history move, and we reflect. We hold up mirrors to our societies, which is why often we say things and show things that people don't necessarily want to see,” said Mr. Matar, an acclaimed Libyan author based in London whose most recent book Anatomy of a Disappearance incorporates autobiographical events such as the disappearance of his father, a Libyan dissident.

However, Mr. Matar said that he is sensitive to over-romanticizing the role of the writer. “I think we are perhaps less useful than a baker in a revolution,” he said.

Mr. Al-Muqri, a poet and novelist, travelled from his home country of Yemen for the event. “Literature is how we express ideology, the changes, the revolution,” he said. “I believe that it is not literature if it doesn't do that.”

The authors appeared as part of IPI’s Arab Intellectual Series launch events which included an evening panel discussion on September 14th moderated by Neil MacFarquhar, UN Bureau Chief, The New York Times, and a lunchtime panel discussion on September 15th moderated by Ambassador Abdullah M. Alsaidi, Senior Fellow, IPI.

IPI President Terje Rød-Larsen gave opening remarks at both events.

 Read transcript

Watch video of panel discussion:

The Global Observatory

Defying Spain, Catalans Vote for Independence, But What’s Next?
The unofficial Catalan referendum has raised several questions about Catalonia’s future and its relationship with Madrid.

Key Global Events to Watch in November
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

November 05, 2014
Top-Down Governance Hurts Women, Youth Participation
Governments in the Sahel and Maghreb are still using top-down approaches to governance that make it hard for women and youth to have a say in public life, even though their participation can help their governments’ struggle against instability and extremism.

November 03, 2014
Apakan on Ukraine: "To Be Present Is Important"
On November 3rd, IPI’s Vienna office hosted Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan, Chief Monitor of the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

November 03, 2014
Enhancing Women's Share in Peace and Security
“We did not want to make war safe for women; we wanted to end war for everyone,” Ambassador Anwarul Chowdhury said, recalling the goal of a new resolution he introduced as president of the Security Council in the year 2000.

View More