Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin is one of Sudan's most prominent and popular authors. He was born in 1963 in Kassala, East Sudan; his family is originally from Darfur. He studied business administration in Assiut, Egypt. Upon returning to Sudan, he worked as a secondary school teacher, and, from 2000 to 2007, for the NGO Plan International Sudan. Sakin has written many novels and collections of short stories, including al-Jango (2010), which won the al-Tayyib Salih prize and was, shortly after, banned by the Sudanese government. In 2012, his books, including Woman from Campo Kadis (2004), were confiscated from the Khartoum book fair and banned. In 2012, Baraka Sakin left Sudan, seeking exile in Austria, where he has lived since. He publishes his books in Cairo.
Sinan Antoon is a poet, novelist, translator, and scholar. He was born and raised in Baghdad where he finished a B.A in English at Baghdad University in 1990. He left to the United States after the 1991 Gulf War. He was educated at Georgetown and Harvard where he obtained a doctorate in Arabic Literature in 2006. Antoon has published three collections of poetry and four novels in Arabic. His work has been widely translated, and he is the translator of works by Mahmoud Darwish, Saadi Youssef, and Ibtisam Azem. Antoon is an Associate Professor at New York University's Gallatin School and co-founder and co-editor of Jadaliyya.
This conversation will be held primarily in the Arabic language, with English language interpretation provided by Asmaa Abady, a linguist with over seventeen years of experience within language based roles. Asmaa Abady's working languages are Arabic and English. She has worked as an interpreter with the International Criminal Court, Al-Araby TV Network, and The Ministry of Justice, UK.