It is a little-known secret that Arabic literature has a long and rich history of erotic writing. However, behind that secret lies another: many of the writers are women. 

Exploring the contemporary complexities of intrigue and desire, this event brings together Selma Dabbagh, editor of We Wrote In Symbols: Love and Lust by Arab Women Writers, and contributing writers lisa luxx and Sabrina Mahfouz, to celebrate the 75 female writers of Arab heritage collected within the anthology, who articulate love and lust with artistry and skill.

About The Speakers

lisa luxx

Lisa is a poet and activist of British and Syrian heritage. Her poems are published in The Telegraph, The London Magazine and by publishers including Hatchette and Saqi Books, while broadcast on Channel 4, BBC Radio 4 and TEDx. She is winner of the Out-Spoken Prize for Performance Poetry. Fetch Your Mother’s Heart is out now.

Headshot of Sabrina Mahfouz

Sabrina Mahfouz

Sabrina Mahfouz is a writer and performer, raised in London and Cairo. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and resident writer at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Her most recent theatre show was A History of Water in the Middle East (Royal Court). Her edited collections include The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write (Saqi Books, 2017) and Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen (The Westbourne Press, 2019). Her non-fiction debut is These Bodies of Water (Tinder Press, 2022). 

About The Author

Headshot of Selma Dabbagh

Selma Dabbagh

Selma Dabbagh is a British Palestinian writer of fiction whose debut novel Out of It (Bloomsbury) was a Guardian Book of the Year. Dabbagh’s BBC R4 play The Brick was nominated for the Imison Award, and her writing has been published in Granta and Wasafiri, and translated into several languages.