Dr. Al-Ramli Exhibits his Award-Winning Works
Professor Muhsin Al-Ramli, Ph.D. (Modern Languages) presented his award-winning novel, "The President's Gardens" and "Naranjas y cuchillas en Bagdad," a collection of short stories, at a multilingual ceremony on campus.
Hames Bitar, a well-known Syrian musician in Madrid, set the mood for the evening with live oud music as the attendees arrived. Master of Ceremonies Jaime Ortiz (Assistant Dean) introduced Al-Ramli's works and named the various awards that The President's Gardens received, including the English PEN Award in 2016, The Guardian's Book of the Day for Fiction in April 2017 and finalist for IPAF International Prize for Arabic Fiction. Originally published in Arabic in 2012, the novel has received much praise since the recent release of the English translation.
Al-Ramli then presented himself and shared his life experiences, which have had a great influence on his writing. Ortiz returned to the stage to read "Inmigrante," a short story selected from a collection of Al-Ramli's writings from various periods of his life. Professor Hamish Binns (Modern Languages) read the first two paragraphs of the English version of "The President's Gardens" and Bitar played a piece on the oud. As Bitar played, Al-Ramli read the Arabic version of his poem, "La casa de los amigos." Al-Ramli's students Karelin Torres and Ivan Ozaruk then read the translations of his poem in both Spanish and English.
At the end of the event, Ortiz asked for questions and comments from the group, which he says were "deep reflections and comments from the audience on the relevance of Al-Ramli's works." As Bitar closed the ceremony with oud music, attendees were invited to enjoy baklava at the book signing reception held in the Student Lounge.