Winternachten Lecture by Hanan Al-Shaykh
Shame in the Arab world. Shame as part of culture and literature. On this subject Lebanese writer Hanan al-Shaykh wrote an opening lecture on the invitation of the festival. Hanan al-Shaykh is regarded one of the most important Arabic woman writers. After her lectuer Ms al-Shaykh will be interviewed by Arabist Petra Stienen, and will discuss the lecture with the Dutch writer Peter Buwalda (Bonita Avenue) and the Pakistani author Mohamed Hanif. But first there is the offical opening of the festival by the Dutch minister for Education, Culture and Science, mrs Jet Bussemaker.
'Our lives were always permeated by shame, without it ever being discussed. Shame was part and parcel of our lives like the colour of our eyes or hair, whether that shame stemmed from our personal lives or the fact that we Arabs had made such a deep fall from historic glory to domination.' In Kamila, the Story of My Mother Hanan al-Shaykh writes about her mother's courage in the face of religious pressures, the family and tradition. Her mother chose for herself and left her husband and children in order to go and live with the love of her life. To her amazement she was swamped with criticism owing to the candidness with which she had written on her grandparents' poverty and illiteracy.
Kenyan poet and singer Ngwatilo Mawiyoo provides the musical opening, accompanied by musicians Serigne Gueye and Mark Tuinstra. In English.