Alta’ir 2019

CBRL is delighted to be partnering with Durham Book Festival/New Writing North, St Aidan’s College, Durham University and UK based Jordanian author Dr Fadia Faquir on the second year of the creative literary exchange, Alta’ir. 

Launched in 2018, Alta’ir is an exchange between Durham and Amman that aims to encourage dialogue and cultural exchange between the Arab world and the UK through writing and literature as well as to help raise the profile of Arab writing and culture in the UK and British writing in Jordan.  

In September, British author Andrew Michael Hurley will spend two weeks on a residency at CBRL’s Amman institute. Andrew’s debut novel The Loney was published in 2015 and went on to win the Costa Best First Novel Award and the 2016 British Book of the Year Award. His other books are Devil’s Day and Starve Acre, to be published in Autumn 2019.  


In October, Jordanian writer Kafa Al Zoubi will spend two weeks in residence in St Aidan’s College, Durham. Kafa Al-Zoubi is a Jordanian writer and the author of six novels, in 2019, Cold White Sun, was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Kafa Al-Zoubi writes for the Jordanian and Arab press and lives in Amman.  

Both writers, Al-Zoubi and Hurley will speak at the Durham Book Festival on 12 October 2019. 

To accompany the exchange, an exhibition of Jordanian artist Ammar Khammash’s work will open to the public between 11-17 October at St Aidan’s College, Durham University. Ammar Khammash is one of the more prominent artists to come out of the Middle East in the 21st century and is a multi-talented Jordanian who has made his mark in several disciplines.