Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship

*** BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week from 29 May! *** *** Sunday Times History book of the year 2017 *** “Farewell to the Horse is an engaging, brilliantly written and moving discussion of what horses once meant to us. Cities, farmland, entire industries were once shaped  as much by the needs of horses as humans. The intervention of horses was fundamental in countless historical events. … Continue reading Farewell to the Horse: The Final Century of Our Relationship

The Prehistory of the Turkic-Speaking Peoples

Slavic and Turkish languages have been studied separately for many years. This book offers scientific and theoretical hypotheses on the roots of the two cultures, which historically were in close contact with each other, as well as on the interrelated development of the Slavic and Turkic ethnic groups. This work also contains valuable information and perspectives on the development of grammatical rules shared by the … Continue reading The Prehistory of the Turkic-Speaking Peoples

Shortlisted for an Arts Foundation fellowship 2016

My head is still reeling after attending one of the most exciting arts events I’ve ever been invited to. There were children’s theatre entrepreneurs, people who stage symphonies in unusual locations, innovative jewellery designers and the creator of the world’s first sustainable fabric made from pineapple leaves, Pinatex. A truly inspiring celebration of young people in the arts. And not only was I wined and … Continue reading Shortlisted for an Arts Foundation fellowship 2016

The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria

By: Samar Yazbek Translated by: Nashwa Gowanlock and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp Published: Rider Books (Penguin Random House) 2015 Reviews ‘The Crossing is not simply reportage or political analysis. It bears comparison with George Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia as a work of literature. Yazbek is a superb narrator who knows how to pace her text, craft dialogue and convey a universal sense of grief; this is how she crosses … Continue reading The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria

The new divide: why the world didn’t get better

The fall of the Berlin Wall created a bigger gap between rich and poor than there was previously in eastern Europe, and discrimination against minorities continues today, argues award-winning German author Thomas Rothschild The latest edition of Index on Censorship includes an article I translated by Thomas Rothschild on the resurgence of nationalism across Europe and the worsening economic divide since the fall of the … Continue reading The new divide: why the world didn’t get better

Political satire from Lucien Bourjeily and a short story by Samar Yazbek

I had two translations in this edition of Index on Censorship magazine. Lebanese political satire When writer Lucien Bourjeily made censorship the theme of his latest play, he knew he was in for a battle. And he was right. His play about censorship ended up being banned. Not surprisingly, he thinks this decision tells its own story about Lebanon today. In this extract from Will It Pass or … Continue reading Political satire from Lucien Bourjeily and a short story by Samar Yazbek

Samar Yazbek in The Washington Post

I am two women. They stand head to head, at loggerheads.  The revolutionary in me joined what started as peaceful demonstrations against the Syrian government in March 2011.  The novelist in me fled to France that July.  The revolutionary, who has several times since then furtively crossed the border back into her country, is steeped in the smell of blood. She wipes the dust off … Continue reading Samar Yazbek in The Washington Post