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

Key Global Events to Watch in October
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

September 25, 2014
Estonian President: Russia’s Actions Threaten International System
On September 25th, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia warned that Russia’s recent aggression in Ukraine is a threat to the norms of the international system as we know them, and that it may lead to a drastic reassessment of foreign policy priorities in Europe.

September 22, 2014
Kevin Rudd, Former Australian PM, to Chair Independent Commission on Multilateralism
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, will chair the newly launched Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM). The Commission will be co-chaired by Børge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway, and John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada.

September 22, 2014
IPI Hosts Ministers, Officials at Annual Mideast Dinner
On Monday, September 22nd, IPI held its Ninth Ministerial Dinner on the Middle East in its Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. The working dinner saw the participation of foreign ministers and other high-level representatives from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and beyond.

View More