Book Launch
On Bookmaking and Self-publishing Practices
Book launch and talk by Omar Zakaria and Hussein Alazaat

Tuesday 20 June 2023 | 6:00 pm | Beit al Beiruti

How can we reimagine book making as a visual continuation of its content? How can self-publishing initiatives go beyond the traditional frameworks and move towards a more liberal and collaborative artistic practice?

In this talk, writer Omar Zakaria and designer Hussein Alazaat will talk about their new self-published book, The Eccentric Book Collector, in collaboration with ElHarf Publications, a project of  Alazaat Studio. The novel presents a fantastical journey that relies on Arabic literature from the Middle Ages to narrate similar stories and events occuring in the Levant in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The talk will be in Arabic. Copies of the novel will be available for purchase.

Omar Zakaria: A novelist and non-fiction writer. His first published novel Al-Qurtubi, Wakes Up in Alexandria made it on the long list of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award/ the Young Author category. Zakaria is also a voice-over artist who works on audiobooks and has previously worked on documentaries and animated shows. He recently launched the Kitabologia audiobook channel, after working on a podcast specialized in short stories, entitled Story of the Week with Omar Zakaria.

Hussein Alazaat: A multidisciplinary designer, bookmaker, curator,  and Arabic calligraphy artist, dedicates his skills to showcasing Arabic culture and revitalising heritage. His contemporary creations have gained global recognition through exhibitions and publications, while his workshops and ideas inspire budding Arab designers.

Alazaat aims to make a profound creative impact through his initiative including ElHarf; a cultural platform facilitating knowledge exchange through archives, publishing, and education, and Wajha; a transformative social design experiment originating from Amman, with a passion to elevate the Arabic visual landscape.