The Middle East has always been a land of poetry with rich and diverse cultures yet whenever it is mentioned stories of political conflicts and images of destruction are immediately brought up. The media is often blamed but their task is to report the daily political events of a region that has often been unstable and contentious.
The Levant Notebook introduces different stories and images from those of the media. Focusing on the varied personal and universal concerns that shape artistic endeavours in the region, this site sees its task as a way to provide insight for the English reading public into those who work and produce in the fields of art and culture in the region itself and beyond.
The Levant Note Book is an independent site that hosts writing translated from Arabic, Hebrew, Kurdish and any other Middle Eastern language used for creative writing and art. It will also host essays and reviews about various forms of literary and artistic production from the region.
The editor, Samir El-Youssef, is a Palestinian writer who was born in Rashidia Refugee Camp in south of Lebanon and since 1990 has been living in London. He is the author of seven books of fiction and non-fiction in Arabic and English, and has contributed to various publications including The Guardian, Al-Hayat, and the Jewish Chronicle. In 2004 he published Gaza Blues a book of stories co-authored with the Israeli writer Etgar Keret. In 2005 he received the Swedish PEN-Tucholsky Award for promoting the cause of peace and freedom of speech.
The Levant Notebook’s contributors are writers, scholars, and artists who live in different countries of the Levant and beyond; they, like their texts, represent the plurality and diversity of the region.