worldconWorldcon 76 (the World Science Fiction Convention), is running from 15-20 August, and includes several panels on world SF, including one specifically on Arab literature with the somewhat wince-worthy title “1001 Years Later – What Happened to Arabian Fiction.”

The youtube channel of Yatakhaylon (They Are Imagining), a group which seeks to promote Arab fantasy and sf, has recently posted some live-streamed events from the conference, including the Arab fiction panel.

As advertised, the panel had three speakers: Novelist Shayma Alshareef, author of بعد الحلم (After the Dream) and أنصاف مجانين  (Half-Crazy) , and both founders of Yatakhaylon, Yasser Bahjatt, who wrote the alternative history novel Yaqteenya (2015), and Ibraheem Abbas who together with Bahjatt published two works blending fantasy and sf, HWJN (2014) and Somewhere (2014).

However, in the actual event, only Bahjatt joins Alshareef to discuss the broad topic of “Arabian fiction’s past, present and future.”

Three bestselling Arabian fiction authors will discuss Arabian fiction’s past, present and future, how it influenced fiction worldwide, what happened to it, where it is going, and most importantly what this all means to the rest of the world.



Also posted is the video of a more broad-ranging discussion of sf in world literature:


The panel on Arab literature from last year is also posted on the channel, with the same title (except “with” rather than “to”!), and the following description: “where three member of the League (Monther Alkabbani, Ibraheem Abbas & Yasser Bahjatt) talk about the history and influence of Arabian fiction, the causes of its hibernation, and its rise today.”


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