(Iran, 1960) is a member of the Senate of the Dutch Parliament (Eerste Kamer) since June 2019 for GroenLinks. From 2008 to 2018 she chaired the Executive Board of Oxfam Novib. Karimi is highly experienced in the field of international cooperation and human rights, and she is a strategic delevopment coach for leadership and organisational change. She came to Europe as a political refugee in 1983. She studied in the Netherlands and was a member of the Dutch House of Representatives for GroenLinks (Green Left) from 1998 till 2006. In 2007 she helped to establish the Afghan parliament as a consultant with the UN branch UNDP. As an administrator, she was involved with the advisory board of the International Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World, among other projects. She chairs the Board of Stichting Writers Unlimited since 2018. Karimi has written thee books: Slagveld Afghanistan (Battlefield Afghanistan, 2006), with co-author Chris Keulemans Het geheim van het vuur (The Secret of Fire, 2007) and In naam van de vrijheid: hoe de wereld na 9/11 steeds onvrijer is geworden (In the name of freedom: how our world has become increasingly unfree after 9/11, 2021).(WN 2023)
Archive available for: Farah Karimi
With: Aad Meinderts, Amara van der Elst, Chelsy Valentina, Dominique De Groen, Donald Niedekker, Farah Karimi, Hasan Gök, Hashem Kabreet, Hassnae Bouazza, Jeremy Jordan Rosa, Jina Sumedi, Kaja Wolffers, LUWTEN, Marion Bloem, Marjan Slob, Obe Alkema, Orchestre Partout, Saskia Bruines, Sinan Can
The Winternachten festival 2023 opens with prose, poetry, spoken word, music and the ceremony of the literary prizes of the City of the The Hague. The prize winners Marion Bloem, Donald Niedekker, Dominique De Groen and Marjan Slob will (respectively) receive the Constantijn Huygens-, F. Bordewijk-, Jan Campert-, and J. Greshoff- prizes from Saskia Bruines, alderman of Finance, Culture and Economy of The Hague.
The prize winners will each of them be honoured with performances by special guests, including research journalist and documentary filmmaker Sinan Can, singer-songwriter LUWTEN, poet Obe Alkema, The Hague student Jeremy Jordan Rosa and film and TV producer Kaja Wolffers (son of Marion Bloem).
The programme kicks off with the first official performance of Chelsy Valentina, the brand new and first Jonge Stadsdichter van Den Haag 2023 (Young City Poet of The Hague). Percussionist and handpan player Hashem Kabreet and Orchestre Partout will give music performances.
Farah Karimi, who chairs the Board of Writers Unlimited, and Aad Meinderts, director of the Literatuurmuseum will speak words of welcome. Additionally, the jubilee publication on the occasion of 75 years of The Hague literary prizes, will be presented to the alderman.
Lobby programme with Amara van der Elst, Hasan Gök and the Jonge Stadsdichter
From 14:30 hours, preceding the award ceremony in Zaal 1, spoken word artist Hasan Gök presents from the lobby stage a short interview with Chelsey Valentina, the Jonge Stadsdichter (Young Civic Poet). Spoken word artist Amara van der Elst will perform, and also Hasan Gök performs some of his poems, accompanied by Jina Sumedi on keyboard.
Bookstore De Vries van Stockum will be present in the lobby with a stand offering books by participating authors of this programme, among others including signing opportunties!
Haagse literatuurprijzen has been curated by Jet Steinz for Literatuurmuseum/Writers Unlimited. Moderator will be Hassnae Bouazza.
On the Opening Night of the Winternachten festival 2018 the focus was on freedom of speech.
Pauline Krikke, Mayor of The Hague, opened the festival followed by a word of welcome by Ton van de Langkruis, Director of Winternachten festival. Jennifer Clement, writer and President of PEN International introduced Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. His novel Exit West was nominated for the Man Booker Prize 2017. On the occasion of the Opening Night, Hamid delivers the Free the Word! speech.
The prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards, presented to the winners by Oxfam Novib director Farah Karimi, honour writers who currently risk their freedom and even their lives to seek out and publish the truth.
The winners of the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards 2018 are journalist and writer Milagros Socorro from Venezuela and journalist Eskinder Nega from Ethiopia. Nega is imprisoned in his homeland and is therefore not attending to receive his Award.
The award ceremony was followed by an introduction of the award winners during the PEN Conversation by journalist and Nieuwsuur-anchor Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal.
The Opening Night programme further included performances by Boi Akih (world jazz) and Joost Baars (poetry). The programme was hosted by Margot Dijkgraaf, literary critic who regularly publishes in Dutch national newspaper NRC, and Chair of the Board of the Writers Unlimited organisation.
The Opening Night is organized in collaboration with Oxfam Novib, PEN International and PEN Nederland.
With: Anass Habib, Celal Altuntas, Farah Karimi, Ian Buruma, Jennifer Clement, Kamal Hors, Lex Bohlmeijer, Malini Subramaniam, Michaïl Sjisjkin, Peter Abspoel, Sjoerd de Jong, Ton van de Langkruis, Vonne van der Meer
On the festival's Opening Night, the focus is on freedom of speech. The evening started with Mikhail Shishkin, one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary Russian literature, delivering the Free the Word! speech. Next, the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards were handed out. The debate ''Writing in times of super-diversity' with writers Ian Buruma, Celal Altuntas and Peter Abspoel closed the evening.
The Opening Night is an English spoken programme organized in collaboration with Oxfam Novib, PEN International and PEN Nederland.
Free the Word!-speech by Mikhail Shishkin
Shishkin is the author of four widely acclaimed novels Pismovnik (2010), Maidenhair (2005), Taking of Izmail (2000) and Larionov´s Memoirs (1994), Shishkin is admired as a refined stylist whose fiction engages Russian and European literary traditions and forges an equally expansive vision for the future of literature. Shishkin has worked as a teacher and journalist. His novels have earned him the three most prestigious Russian literary awards: the Russian Booker Prize in 2000, the National Bestseller Prize in 2005, and the Bolshaya Kniga (Big Book) Prize in 2006 and 2011. His works have been translated into thirty languages.
Oxfam Novib PEN Awards
Afterward, the presentation of the prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards honoured today's writers who risk their freedom and even their lives to seek out and publish the truth. The winners were be announced: the Palestine poetr Ashraf Fayadh, who is imprisoned in Saudi Arabia, and the Indian journalist Malini Subramaniam. The latter was able to come over to The Hague to receive the award from Farah Karimi, director of Oxfam Novib.
Debate with Ian Buruma, Celal Altuntas and Peter Abspoel
The debate 'Writing in times of super-diversity' followed, featuring writer and essayist Ian Buruma (New York Times, Guardian, NRC), writer Celal Altuntas (a.o. Het dorp van zeven broers / The Village of Seven Brothers) and anthropologist/writer Peter Abspoel (a.o. Zingeving in het Westen / Giving meaning in the West) as well as moderator Sjoerd de Jong, journalist and ombudsman with NRC Handelsblad newspaper. The subject was "Writing in times of super-diversity."
Host and music
This program was presented by Lex Bohlmeijer, with musical accompaniment by Kamal Hors (oud, voice) and Anass Habib (deff, voice).
With: Alaa al Aswani, Dick van der Harst, Dilek Dundar, Farah Karimi, Guy Danel, Habtom Yohannes, Jennifer Clement, Jung Chang, Lex Bohlmeijer, Manon Uphoff, Reinier Voet, Renate Dorrestein, Toine Heijmans, Ton van de Langkruis
On opening night, the spotlight is on freedom of speech.The Sino-British writer Jung Chang knows what it means to be unable to speak freely in one's country. Years after she left Communist China, her world-famous book Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China was banned there. Tonight she delivers the Free the Word! keynote speech. With the following presentation of the prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards, the festival honours contemporary authors who seek and propagate truth at the risk of their freedom and lives. The award-winners are the Turkish writer and journalist Can Dundar (who is now in prison in Turkey and will be represented by his wife Dilek Dundar), the Eritrean poet and songwriter Amanuel Asrat, who will be represented by Habtom Yohannes, and the Egyptian poet Omar Hazek. He would have been present in The Hague to receive the award, but was stopped on his way to The Netherlands at Cairo airport by the authorities. His fellow-countryman writer Alaa Al Aswany will represent him. After the ceremony, Lex Bohlmeijer will lead a discussion on how good intentions can founder when we raise issues of injustice, such as censorship. How can we really help threatened writers? And what is the point of good intentions when they have the opposite effect? Musical interventions by musician-in-residence Dick van der Harst switch up this English-language event.
With: David Van Reybrouck, Dinar Rahayu, Farah Karimi, John Ralston Saul, Joris Wijsmuller, Karl Ove Knausgård, Leela Corman, Mano Bouzamour, Manon Uphoff, Mohammed Benzakour, Nelleke Noordervliet, Pauni Trio, Petra Stienen, Razan al-Maghrabi, Ton van de Langkruis
A special opening night featuring a keynote speech by Karl Ove Knausgård, the Oxfam Novib PEN Awards for Freedom of Expression, a debate moderated by Petra Stienen, and concluding words by David Van Reybrouck.
Freedom of speech and the power of the word are central issues on the festival's opening night. The president of PEN International, John Ralston Saul, will introduce the Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård, who delivers the keynote Free Word Speech. Farah Karimi, director of Oxfam Novib will announce the laureates of the prestigious Oxfam Novib PEN Awards for Freedom of Expression. The awards honour writers who seek out and propagate the truth, sometimes at the risk of their own lives. Razan al-Maghrabi was one of the laureates, who could be present at the festival to receive the award. After an interview with Manon Uphoff (president of PEN Nederland), there will be adebate, moderated by Petra Stienen, on religious extremism and the value of provocation. Panellists include writers Mohammed Benzakour, Mano Bouzamour, cartoonist Leela Corman and Dinar Rahayu (Indonesia). David Van Reybrouck rounds out the evening with one his poems. After the programme, Writers Unlimited chair Nelleke Noordervliet and Alderman for culture of The Hague Joris Wijsmuller adress founder and festivaldirector Ton van de Langkruis on the occasion of the 20th edition of the festival. This event was put together with the collaboration of PEN International, PEN Nederland and Oxfam Novib.
On the opening night of the festival the freedom of speech and the power of the word are highlighted. The opening speech will be held by Dutch writer and journalist Ian Buruma. With the award ceremony of the prestigious Oxfam Novib/PEN Awards for Freedom of Expression PEN and Oxfam Novib honour international writers, journalists and film makers who, sometimes risking their own lives, seek the truth and make it known. The three winners are announced in January and one of them will take delivery of the prize.
The award winning ceremony is followed by a debate on social media in the struggle against repression, with among others Dutch writers Marente de Moor and Frank Westerman. Social media form an increasingly influential stage for the cultivation of the free word. Through their own sites, facebook pages and blogs writers, journalists and other citizens can give their opinions outside official channels, expose evils and fight forms of repression and corruption. How can we, as citizens of a growing 'Global Community' guarantee this freedom of expression? How can we prevent governments from curbing that freedom? Meanwhile in many places worldwide internet papers are controlles and bloggers prosecuted and detained.
The Alderman for Culture of the Municipality of The Hague Marjolein de Jong welcomes the audience. Arabist Petra Stienen presents the evening and leads the discussion. With music by the Uighur Trio Mäshräp.
The programme is in English, and organised in cooperation with PEN International, PEN Nederland and Oxfam Novib.