Goldster Conversations: Inside Story with Lucinda and Karim Alrawi

Date: 29 February 2024
Time: 12 Noon UK Time
Location: Online
The Book of Sands book jacket

Join Lucinda Hawksley for the final Inside Story, with special guest Karim Alrawi, who will be joining us very early in the morning his time, from Canada. Karim grew up in both of his parents’ countries: England and Egypt. His experiences of both countries’ literary heritages have made him a superb writer, able to master several genres.

Karim’s first produced work was a radio play submitted, when at university, to a BBC competition. After graduating, he became a playwright, literary manager of the Theatre Royal Stratford East, and resident writer at London’s Royal Court Theatre. His plays have won awards, including an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First and the Samuel Beckett Award for the Performing Arts.

After accepting an offer to teach creative writing at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, Karim set up the censorship monitoring unit at the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and was elected president of Egyptian Pen. Subsequently, he received an International Fulbright Scholarship to the USA and took up residencies at theatres in the US and Canada. He also taught creative writing including at the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia and the University of Iowa (home of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop). Karim also wrote articles for publications including The Guardian, the New Statesman, the Globe and Mail, the Literary Review of Canada and the LA Review of Books. He was senior editor of Inquiry magazine, managing editor of Middle East Insight magazine and editor in chief of Arabica magazine.

After 9/11, he was commissioned by the US State Department and the Canadian International Development Agency to develop and supervise media training programmes on conflict-mitigating, reporting in 14 countries from Morocco to Nepal. He was also an advisor to the United Nations, and he helped to develop a framework for a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, laying the groundwork for the Annapolis Conference (2007).

Karim’s first novel was the superb and award-winning Book of Sands and he has just completed a second novel, The Burning Book, based on his experience training Iraqi journalists during the country’s occupation by western coalition forces. Join Lucinda and Karim at 12pm on Tuesday 29 February.