Sudanese Books Banned From Khartoum Book Fair

The cover of Their Story is My Story, Women and Religion, by Nahid El Hasan.

Khartoum — Last week, a book written by feminist writer Nahid El Hasan has been forbidden at the Khartoum International Book Fair without explanation. Other works have been banned as well.

The latest book by Sudanese psychologist, feminist, and poet Dr Nahid Mohamed El Hasan, Hikaytuhun Hikayati, El Mara wel Din [Their Story is My Story, Women and Religion] was published by Rafiki Press in Juba, South Sudan, in 2017.

El Hasan told reporters on Friday that members of the Ministry of Culture came to the stand of the publisher at the beginning of the fair. "They asked us to withdraw the book and not to exhibit it until it has been reviewed. Yet, they did not come back to us until now. For sure, this will remain the case until the end of the fair."

A number of works have been banned from the fair, including the Sudanese novels El Andaya Gisset El Agnan wel Abeed [The Bar is the Story of Cracks and Slaves] by Salah El Bashir, and Jumjumatein Leshams [Two Skulls for the Sun] by Mujahid Bakhous, as well as a novel by the Jordanian-Palestinian poet and writer Ibrahim Nasrallah.

The annual Khartoum International Book Fair opened on October 16. According to the fair's leaflet, "More than 24,000 books in various branches of knowledge are presented at the Khartoum International Book Fair, in which 250 publishers from Sudan and 20 other countries participate."

This year, the Ministry of Culture ordered the Sudanese publishing houses participating in the fair to submit their publications for "prior evaluation". In past years, security officials seized publications presented at the fair after the opening of the event.

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