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Culture Resource in solidarity with authors and editors of “Sun on Closed Windows”

Out of its dedication to the advocacy of freedom
of thought and creativity, and its rejection of all forms of ideological tutelage, Culture Resource declares its solidarity with the authors and writers of Sun on Closed Windows who have become the victims of a massive campaign of slander and vilification in Libya. The book is a collection of literary works, written after the year 2011, by 25 young Libyan poets and short story writers. It
also includes essays by two young literary critics.

A group of Arab writers released a declaration of solidarity, stating that the authors and editors of the texts in the anthology have been targeted
by a defamation campaign of unprecedented
scope and vehemence. Among those who have come under the crosshairs of this campaign is Khaled Mattawa, a member of Culture Resource's Artistic Board and one of the co-editors of the anthology. The Arab writers, in declaration, state, “The situation reached a point where some of the authors and editors have been threatened and interrogated against a backdrop of violent
criticism at both the official and popular levels. Indeed, the campaign went further to demand
the prosecution and the harshest penalties
against of the authors of the texts published in
the book, who were described as ‘foreign agents’. The Arab writers’ statement added that
a militia group forcefully closed the Dar Al-Fagih Hassan arts and cultural centre in Tripoli after
the book signing event for the anthology.

Sun on Closed Windows is not the first anthology
of Libyan literature”, Mattawa told Culture Resource, “However, it is the first anthology in a long time dedicated to the works of the young Libyan authors who have begun to write and publish their works in the period after the end
of the Qaddafi regime. It is therefore representative of the innovativeness of a new generation of Libyans at the beginning of
a new and entirely different historical era
and it could lay the bases for literary
aesthetics and concerns unlike those that
had previously prevailed in Libya.”

According to Mattawa, the attacks against the
book and its contributors reflect how remote
the social situation in Libya is to developments
in the arts and modes of artistic expression.
He urged that the highest priority be given to protecting the safety and wellbeing of all who contributed to the book. “It is praiseworthy
that several parties took action toward this
end from the outset,” he stressed.

Mattawa believes that the crisis surrounding
Sun on Closed Windows has its origins in a much deeper and broader phenomenon. “The problem
in our region is that the idea of freedom of opinion and expression is not firmly rooted in society, at both the grassroots and the governmental levels. In addition, there is a religiopolitical deterrent to wield against these freedoms”. He adds, “There is an ethical dilemma which inclines many people to support punishing writers, banning some books and suppressing publication and the press.”

Mattawa observes that many Libyans were more disturbed by the attack against the book than by the few paragraphs that sparked the whole controversy. At the same time, the incident has generated a frank exchange among various circles about freedom of expression as well as about the responsibility of the writer. “This indicates that there is a trend in society that supports the freedoms of opinion, expression and publication, but unfortunately, this trend does not have any political representation of note to defend it”.


For more information contact
English and Comparative Literature Department 2.02.2615.1630/28


    March 21, 2018
    5 or 7 pm
    Malak Gabr Arts Theatre


    A Greek comedy adapted by

    Ellen McLaughlin

    inspired by the play by Aristophanes (411 BCE)


    Directed by Jillian Compana

    Scenery and Lighting by John Stephen Hoey

    Costumes by Jeanne Arnold

    Technical Direction by Mohammed Tallat


    March 21, 22, 25, 26 at 7 pm

    March 24, 27 at 5 pm

    Comedy and Politics: State Violence in the Lysistrata
    March 21, 2018
    5 - 6 pm
    Gerhart Theatre

    Marina Marren, Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow and Assistant Professor, AUC​ 

    This event is a collaboration between the Department of the Arts and the Department of Philosophy

    Doris Enright-Clark Shoukri: The Diamond Jubilee
    March 24, 2018
    6 pm
    Oriental Hall, AUC Tahrir Square

    ​Doris Enright-Clark Shoukri: The Diamond Jubilee​

    Master of CeremonyMahmoud El Lozy
    Speakers: Robert Switzer and Leslie Croxford
    Testimonies: Sania Sharawi, Samia Mehrez, Tahia Abdel Nasser & Basma Bishay 

    Annual History Seminar
    March 30, 2018
    9:30 - 3:45 pm
    Oriental Hall, AUC Tahrir Square

    “Working in Egypt in the 19th Century”​ 

    Così fan tutte MET Opera Live Streaming in HD
    March 31, 2018
    6:30 pm
    Malak Gabr Arts Theatre

    A performance of Così fan tutte will be transmitted live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City at The American University in Cairo. ​

    Luisa Miller MET Opera Live Streaming in HD
    April 14, 2018
    6 pm
    Malak Gabr Arts Theatre

    A performance of Luisa Miller will be transmitted live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York City at The American University in Cairo. ​​​

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    Faculty Announcements

    Graham Harman Among 50 Most Influential Living Philosophers
    Nov 1 , 2015

    AUC’s own Graham Harman, distinguished university professor of philosophy, has been named one of the 50 most influential living philosophers by and magazine, a leading resource for campus and online education. Other members on this very impressive list include Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Daniel Dennett, Peter Singer, Cornell West, Thomas Nagel and Jurgen Habermas.

    In the words of the list’s editors, “Philosophy, one of the oldest areas of intellectual endeavor, is as significant today as ever. This list collects together the 50 most influential philosophers working, thinking, writing, and teaching in the world today.”

    To see the list of most influential living philosophers, click here.

    Congratulations Professor Harman.​

    AUC Professor Ferial Ghazoul receives Sheikh Hamad Award
    Jun 29 , 2016

    ​At AUC’s June 2016 commencement, Ferial Ghazoul, professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature, was presented with the Excellence in Research and Creative Endeavors Award.

    Ghazoul is the founding editor of Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics, an annual interdisciplinary publication that is published in Arabic, English and French at AUC. She is currently on the advisory board of several journals and foundations, including Thaqafat, Fusul, Kitab-fi- jarida and The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture. Ghazoul has published extensively on the medieval comparative literature and postcolonial studies, and received numerous international awards and honors for her literary and translation work.

    She was recognized for her distinguished record of past and continuing excellence in research. “Ferial Ghazoul has made an impact on shaping the comparative literature field by her continuity of research productivity since the 1980s and the volume of works published annually, including journal articles, book chapters and translations,” said Vice Provost Abdel-Rahman.

    Congratulations professor Ghazoul.