Iman Humaydan

2022 Judge

Judge Profile: 

Iman Humaydan is a Lebanese writer, researcher and academic. She is the co-founder and current President of PEN Lebanon, and a board member of PEN International. She has worked in the field of cultural journalism and published four novels: B as in Beirut, Wild Mulberries, Other Lives and The Weight of Paradise. These have been translated into many international languages; most recently, Armenian and Georgian. Her last novel, The Weight of Paradise, won the Katara Prize, and its French translation was shortlisted for the 2017 Prix de la littérature arabe awarded by the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Her writings tackle post-war and gender issues, memory, identity, language and migration. She aims to make women writers’ voices audible. Humaydan has also edited a collection of 15 short stories about Beirut entitled Beirut Noir, translated into English and published in 2015 by the New York publisher Akashic Books. She collaborated in writing the screenplay for the film “Here Comes the Rain”, which was based on her academic research on families of those who disappeared during the Lebanese civil war. The film won numerous Lebanese and international awards. Another screenplay, “Asmahan, Une Diva Orientale”, focused on the life of the Lebanese singer Asmahan. Between 2007 and 2014, she taught creative writing at the University of Iowa and since 2015, has taught creative writing in the Paris 8 University Saint Denis, France. She lives between Paris and Beirut.