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Iman Humaydan

Iman Humaydan - foto Reine Mahfouz
Iman Humaydan - foto Reine Mahfouz

(Libanon, 1956) broke through internationally in 2004 with her debut novel B as in Beirut. The story is told by four different women, who have to learn to cope with the consequences of the civil war. The most penetrating is the story of Warda, who goes crazy with grief and guilt-feelings because her father dies in a bomb attack and she loses her little daughter on top of that. In her second book Wild Mulberries (2008) Iman Humaydan describes life in a small Lebanese village in the 1930s. The main character Sarah is a young girl dreaming of a better future and a meeting with her mother, who fled the village and its patriarchal rules when Sarah was small. Iman Humaydan likewise grew up in a small Lebanese village, but in a tolerant family. Her third novel Hayawat Okhra (Other Lives) came out in 2010. It recounts the life of a woman coming back home after so many years of exile to rediscover her city and past. Hayawat Okhra will be published in English and French by the end of 2011. She studied sociology in Beirut and works as a researcher, journalist, and in launching and implementing development projects in Lebanese rural areas.

(nov 2010)

Archive available for: Iman Humaydan

  • Ways of Dialogue - Marokko 2016

    Declic: Prospects of Dialogue in Post Chaos Time

    With: Abdelfettah Kilito, Andrej Koerkov, Bejan Matur, Iman Humaydan, Nelleke Noordervliet, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Youssouf Amine Elalamy

    How were the dialogues between the antagonistic parties and ideas reconceived in the post chaotic times in the past? What are our prospects today for a post-chaotic world? How can we prepare for it intellectually?

  • Ways of Dialogue - Marokko 2016

    Chaos and Dialogue

    With: Andrej Koerkov, Bejan Matur, Iman Humaydan, Mohamed Achaari, Nelleke Noordervliet, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Taieb Belghazi

    Can the rapid changes occurring in the world since the early 21st century (financial crises, the Arab Spring and its aftermaths, the Ukrainian crisis, refugees, terrorism...) be qualified as chaos? What are the (relevant, useful, helpful, hopeful...) questions that are can be raised in this context in a cross-cultural dialogue?

  • Ways of Dialogue - Marokko 2016

    Authority and Dialogue

    With: Abdelhay Moudden, Andrej Koerkov, Bejan Matur, Driss Ksikes, Iman Humaydan, Nelleke Noordervliet, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

    A panel discussion, including readings by the participating authors. On what basis can we identify the souces of 'authority' in a dialogue across nations? Morality? Expertise? International Law? Ideologies? Esthetics? On what basis do we settle the question of right and wrong. Do such concepts as multiculturalism, pluralism, diversity, tolerance still hold? Moderated by Abdelhay Moudden. The Moroccan participants will be published later this week.

  • Ways of Dialogue - Marokko 2016

    Travelling Ideas

    With: Abdellatif Khayati, Andrej Koerkov, Bejan Matur, Iman Humaydan, Khalid Bekkaoui, Nelleke Noordervliet, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, Sadiq Rddad, Souad Slaoui, Youssef Tibesse

    A programme in Fez University. Ideas have always travelled, of course. Is globalization and glocalization impacting the nature, the content, the directions, the impact...) of the travelling ideas in a fundamental way? Or is the business of travels as usual?

  • Ways of Dialogue - Marokko 2016

    When Ideas Change

    With: Andrej Koerkov, Bejan Matur, Iman Humaydan, Khadija Merouazi, Mourad Mkinsi, Najib Bounahai, Ngwatilo Mawiyoo

    The shifts in the political positions that we are undergoing in the last few years: rise of extremisms and fundamentalisms, decline of the left, mounting nationalisms; can they be interpreted through the lenses of history, of past events, or are they unprecedented? Are these changing ideas signaling unprecedented changes yet to come?

  • Winternachten 2011

    Villa Escamp Literair: Abeer Soliman and Iman Humaydan

    With: Abeer Soliman, Djûke Poppinga, Iman Humaydan

    Two writers from the Arab World, Abeer Soliman from Egypt, and Iman Humaydan from Lebanon. Both are socially engaged, and concerned with the position of women in their countries. Abeer Soliman has been staying in the Netherlands since December, and is surprised about the Western image of women in the Arab world. Scarf or no scarf? Oppressed or not? Iman Humaydan is a writer who also works as a researcher, journalist and an environmental and human rights activist. For the months of January and February she is a writer in residence in The Hague, as a guest of Kosmopolis The Hague ( In this period she gets to know the city, and the Dutch perspective on her country. Is she surprised about our ideas on women in the Arab world? Iman en Abeer will read from their work. They will talk with each other and with the audience. The programme will be  moderated by Djûke Poppinga, a literary translator Arabic-Dutch. The conversation will be in English, when necessary translated into Arabic and Dutch.

    Villa Escamp is on the corner of the Leyweg and the  Melis Stokelaan, Leyweg 795, 2545 HA Den Haag, Reservation is necessary, through or +31 (0) 70 359 57 79 (Wednesdays through Sundays 12.00-17.00 hrs).

  • Winternachten 2011 – Winternacht 1

    Wintercafe 2: VPRO De Avonden Live

    Can literature help is in imagining new possibilities of becoming a better and happier 'Mensch' In VPRO's De Avonden poets, musicians and writers offer the audience a glimpse of ther own Utopia. With readings by Rodaan al Galidi and Thomas Möhlmann. The writer Iman Humaydan tells of how against the backdrop of violence, one can hold on to the belief in a better world by going deeply in people's small stories. In her narrator's performance Abeer Soliman imagines the stories of those small people. Singer songwriter Lotte van Dijck, together with Peter Akkerman, takes the audience right through performances to her own musical Utopia. Hosts: Jeroen van Kan and Catherine van Campen. Broadcast live by VPRO Radio 6. In Dutch and English.

  • Antillen/Suriname 2010

    Tori fu dya nanga abrawatra - Stories from here and overseas

    With: Alida Neslo, Annemarie Sanches, Bas Heijne, Bernice Chauly, Iman Humaydan, John Wladimir Elskamp, Paremeru, Reggie Baay, Tessa Leuwsha, Yasmine Allas

    For the fourth time Winternachten collaborates with a literary organisation in Suriname for the festival. This year Surinamese and foreign writers perform in On Stage, the drama school of actress Helen Kamperveen. The programme offers music, readings by writers from Suriname and by authors Bas Heijne, Iman Humaydan, Yasmine Allas en Bernice Chauly, representing Winternachten from Lebanon, Malaysia and The Netherlands. An evening full of prose, poetry, talks and music, around the theme 'A Sense of Belonging'.

    Except for this evening for a general audience, the writers will also visit schools, like the schools in the remote village of Brownsweg (Brokopondo). They will there perform together with the popular Surinamese poet and singer Dorus Vrede.

    A closed writer's conference brings the foreign writers together with Surinamese authors together to talk on writers' issues, like 'Writing local - writing global'.

    Performance in On Stage, Wednesday 21 April, 8 p.m., admission is free. Mgr. Wulfinghstraat #5, Paramaribo

  • Antillen/Suriname 2010

    Crusa Lama - Aruba

    With: Anthony Gario & Le Groove, Bas Heijne, Belinda de Veer, Bernice Chauly, Caresse Isings, Iman Humaydan, Luciano Milliard, Victor Mathilda, Yasmine Allas

    Crusa Lama - Papiamento for Crossing the Seas - brings a programme with foreign and Aruban authors and musicians. Belinda de Veer, Luciano Milliard en Caresse Isings - all from Aruba - perform together with the authors who have come to Aruba on behalf of Winternachten international literature festival The Hauge: Bernice Chauly (Malaysia), Bas Heijne (Netherlands), Yasmine Allas (Netherlands/Somalia) and Iman Humaydan (Lebanon). The programme consists of readings by the authors, a conversation with the writers on the theme 'A Sense of Belonging', and musical perormances by Le Groove, with singer Anthony Gario. The programme has been made by the Bibliotéca Nacional (National Library) of Aruba.

    The authors also perform for students, on Monday 19 April, at the Colegio EPI. Here they will read from their work, and have a discussion with the students, moderated by Victor Mathilda and Pancho Geerman.

    The programme starts at 7 p.m. on Sunday 18 April. Admission AFL 5,-. Adress: Hardin Arubiana/Caribiana, Bachstraat # 5, Oranjestad. Information at 00 297 582 1580 or 582 6924,

  • Antillen/Suriname 2010

    Krusa Laman - Kaminda rais a kue tera/A Sense of Belonging - Curaçao

    With: Bas Heijne, Bernice Chauly, Bòi Antoin, Diana Lebacs, Dolce Música, Iman Humaydan, Johnny Kleinmoedig, Mario Kleinmoedig, Yasmine Allas

    Debate, film and music. Three literary debates betweem two authors. One debate in Dutch, one in Papiamentu and one in English. Theme of the talks is 'Sense of Belonging'. The talented, multi-lingual publicist and activist Mario Kleinmoedig is the moderator. At the end of the evening we see a short impressive fragment from a documentary on the African writer Koulsy Lamko (Tsjaad, 1957). This will put the debates in a special perspective. During the evening, there will be music by the Curaçao group Dolce Música and pianist Johnny Kleinmoedig.

  • Antillen/Suriname 2010

    Krusa Laman - Curaçao

    With: Bas Heijne, Bernice Chauly, Dennis Aalse Ensemble, Diana Lebacs, Elia Isenia, Frouwkje Smit, Iman Humaydan, Roland Colastica, Roy Evers, Shrinivási, Yasmine Allas

    On Curaçao the Fundashon pa Planifikashon di Idioma (Foundation for language planning), is the organisational partner for Winternachten. During the festival Krusa Laman on Curaçao all writers and performers will use their own language. Their words will be projected in the local language, Papiamentu. The translations have been taken care of by the FPI. This year's theme 'A sense of belonging' has been translated as the metaphor Kaminda rais a kue tera.
    This theme is leading for the festival in Curaçao, and will be dealt with from different perspectives. A substheme is migration, and migration in literature. For FPI, the Curaçao anthropologist Richenel Ansano wrote a sensitive essay, Between Love and Terror: Having a Sense of Belonging is no Joke. This essay is available for free for the audience.

    The public library of Curaçao also gives special attention to the theme Kaminda rais a kue tera. On 9 April there will be a festive opening of an exhibition on Krusa Laman and the theme, with all sorts of information on the participating writers and artists, their work, countries of origin, etc..

    Then there are the workshops for secondary school pupils, at the schools that will be visited by the authors. Creative writer Elodie Heloise is preparing the children and students for the festival in workshops. During these workshop the pupils will deal with the theme, and deliver materials for the exhibition in the library.

    Of course the theme A Sense of Belonging is also present in the public performances. There are the readings of the authors, but besides this the visual artist Frouwkje Smit has made an artistic slideshow with pictures of a number of well known and lesser known people from the island, including writers and artists. Al the authors were asked to choose their favourite spot on Curaçao, where they feel most at home. They also chose a text with the spot. The slideshow is combined with music, and will be shown on Friday 16 April in Villa Maria, Scharloo. The versatile artist Roland Colastica will be the M.C. of that evening.

  • Antillen/Suriname 2010

    Crossing the Seas - Sint Maarten

    With: Bas Heijne, Bernice Chauly, Changa Hickinson, Clara Reyes, Iman Humaydan, Lenworth Wilson, Lucinda Audain, Mathilda Richards, Peter Lake, Yasmine Allas

    On Sint Maarten, Winternachten collaborates with the Philipsburg Jubilee Library. Crossing the Seas - as the event is called here, is an evening with readings by writers and poets. The participating authors from Sint Maarten are Peter Lake, Lucinda Audain, Lenworth Wilson Jr. and Mathilda Richards, with music and song by Amin Bouabdelli, Changa Hickinson, Donovan Froston, Erika van Putten and Shanella Romey James. The foreign authors in this programme are Bas Heijne (Netherlands), Yasmine Allas (Netherlands/Somalia), Bernice Chauly (Maleysia) and Iman Humaydan (Lebanon). All texts read by the foreign authors will be projected simultaneously in English translation. The M.C. is Clara Reyes.

    Except for this public programme, the library also organises peformances of the writers in high schools and at the Sint Maarten University.

    Philipsburg Community and Cultural Center, Backstreet. Wednesday 14 April, 7 p.m. Admission is free.

  • Winternachten 2010 – Winternachten 2

    Wintercafe 3: New Etiquettes, please!

    It is back again! Etiquette! As if it had never gone. The shops offer us a wide range of books that answer questions on how to pick up or put down your fork or knife, how to court a person, and when to sit down or stand up. Etiquette expert Beatrijs Ritsema explains how you pass a real Dutch six course dinner. This crash course is accompanied by a tasteful Moroccan version. Esma Abouzahra lets you taste the rules of the Moroccan meal in word and action. It is up to you to select the ingredients from this hodge-podge of rules. Enjoy the meal! Host: Sanna Andréa-Dia. At the end of this hour there is a performance by saxophonist and composer Maarten Ornstein and Joshua Samson (percussion). Ornstein composed music to texts of the Lebanese writer Iman Humaydan. Programme in Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2010 – Winternachten 1

    The tone and the Music

    The Lebanese Iman Humaydan is a sociologist, writer, journalist, conservationist and human rights activist. In her novels there is not much explicit that reminds one of her activism. Her commitment is packed in stories about people trying to save themselves against the backdrop of her troubled fatherland. But as a journalist she lets loose, distancing herself easily from her poetic, sometimes dreamy style. What's behind that? Does she think literature is not meant to change the world? And what does The Dutch writer Gustaaf Peek think about that? He shows his commitment by writing about current affairs in his novels. In English