USA reportedly excludes artists and writers with Arab names


“Excluding important writers like Nasser from the literary dialogue punishes US readers, reduces their exposure to Arabic writing in translation, and potentially limits American literature,” writes Al Jazeera’s Marcia Lynx Qualey after the Jordanian-British poet and novelist Amjad Nasser recently was prevented from boarding a US-bound flight.

Acclaimed leftists writers like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Pablo Neruda, and Graham Greene were the previous focus of US exclusions. But in the last decade, exclusions seem to be shifting towards artists with Arab names, writes Marcia Lynx Qualey.

Few Arabophone authors travel to the US to give talks or appear at literary events. Organisers note that the visa process can be a deterrent, it is intimidating and time-consuming.

Al Jazeera – 8 October 2014:
Why banning Arab authors from US is censorship
“Excluding important Arab writers from the literary dialogue also punishes US readers.”
By Marcia Lynx Qualey

Marcia Lynx Qualey writes about Arabic literature and literary translation for a number of publications and blogs at

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