He was also the translator of Alaa al-Aswany’s bestselling The Yacoubian Building. His most recent translation for MacLehose press is Elias Khoury’s As Though She Were Sleeping.
André Naffis-Sahely is a poet and translator who writes for The Times Literary Supplement, PN Review, Banipal and Wasafiri, as well as for Words Without Borders. He was originally meant to chair an event celebrating Davies’ second Banipal award earlier this year, but as Davies felt unable to leave Egypt on the eve of revolution, they had to wait until June to finally meet each other. Here they discuss the Arab Spring as it played out on the streets of Cairo, Khoury’s latest novel in translation and the growing market for Arabic translations into English.