Life-threatening translations in Libya

Mamon Zaidy talks to the poet, director and literary critic Magnus Dalerus.

Uppsala Stadsteater
Friday march 22, 17.00
Language: English
Duration: 45 minutes

Uppsala is part of a network of 75 cities in the world, the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN), which offers a haven to writers and other cultural creators who are threatened or persecuted because of their activities in their home country. From 2022 to 2024, the Libyan writer, poet, veterinarian and literary translator Mamon Zaidy has his sanctuary here.

He published his first story in the Libyan Writers Union magazine The Four Seasons more than 35 years ago. In the years that followed, he also worked as a veterinarian but primarily made a name for himself by becoming one of Libya’s most prolific translators.

It can be mentioned that poetry from Jamaica and Canada, novels from the USA, Mexico and Great Britain as well as non-fiction such as Daniel Kalder’s The Infernal Library: On Dictators, the Books They Wrote, and Other Catastrophes of Literacy all received their Arabic language costume by Mamon Zaidy.

In both his work as a translator and as a writer, Zaidy focuses on themes related to human rights, freedom, justice and truth and has contributed texts to several Libyan literary publications. He has written, a novel titled Blue Sand, and has been described as ”a prominent secular writer in Libya”.

Due to the diversity and nature of the literary works he has translated and introduced to an Arab readership, Mamon Zaidy has been criticized and targeted for persecution and threats of violence by all parties to the ongoing conflict in Libya. Zaidy is accused, among other things, of blasphemy and has been attacked by Islamist groups.

Therefore, he is now here to be able to continue working. In the haven of Uppsala. He talks to the poet, director and literary critic Magnus Dalerus.

Mamon Zaidy
Mamon Zaidy
Magnus Dahlerus
Magnus Dahlerus