Ana Rahbari (Legal counsel) spoke about the Union’s legal department, agreements, Swedish copyright, about the union’s membership service, courses and other activities for members. Cecilia Jonsson from Fria Ordets Hus in Växjö introduced ICORN and the Free Haven.

Literary presentations by Iman al Ghafari, Jude Dibia, Housam al-Mosilli och Naeimeh Doustdar.

Guest speakers

Iman al-Ghafari, Sigtuna/Syria, is an academic researcher, university professor and freelance writer. Her main interests are in gender and sexuality, particularly in the Arab culture. She holds a PhD in English Literature and Gender Studies and an MA in English from Cairo University, Egypt. Her PhD thesis focused on identity in the poetry of Sylvia Plath, and in her MA she studied expressionism and alienation in the poetry of T.S. Eliot. Al-Ghafari has written and published extensively, her work ranges from academic articles, to translations, poetry and short stories.

Jude Dibia, Malmö/Nigeria, is the author of various short stories and three well received novels: Walking with Shadows (BlackSands Books, 2005), Unbridled (2007), and Blackbird (2011). Walking with Shadows is said to be the first Nigerian novel that has a gay man as its central character, treating his experience with great insight, inviting a positive response to his situation. Dibia’s novels have been described as daring and controversial by readers and critics in and out of Africa. Unbridled went on to win the 2007 Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Prose and was a finalist in the 2007 Nigeria Prize for Literature. Jude is also a recipient of the 2016 Kulturpris administered by Natur & Kultur.

Housam al-Mosilli, Linköping/Syria, is a journalist, translator and poet. In his writings, al-Mosilli deals with political and human rights issues regarding the current situation in the Middle-East region, particularly the rise of extremism in northern Syria. Al-Mosilli continues to write a novel in Arabic, and a book on film and politics. As a journalist he continues to write political articles for magazines.

Naeimeh Doustdar, Malmö/Iran, is a journalist and writer who has received several national honours in Iran although much of her work has been nationally banned from publication. In 2009 Doostdar was imprisoned because of her blog and other journalistic writings. Since 2012 she lives in Malmö, and is currently responsible for the ICORN Free Haven writer in Malmö. Among other books she has published Blue Swedish for Nowruz: Short Stories from Sweden together with Azita Ghahreman and Nasrin Madani.  She has written “Så småningom gick jag inte hem”, translated to Swedish, which is a collection of her works, Smockadoll publishing house, 2013.