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What is the Point of Books in the Midst of Wartime Chaos?

Illustration
  • Where: Václav Havel Library, Ostrovní 13, Prague 110 00
  • When: September 22, 2017, 19:00 – 21:00

For Ghias Mousli to reach Prague, he has to leave Homs by taxi, cross a war zone and hope that he doesn’t miss his flight from Beirut due to holdups at the border. He is one of the few citizens of the war-torn city who can travel to Europe freely – thanks to having Slovak citizenship.

As well as his work as a doctor, surgeon Ghias Mousli, who studied medicine at Charles University in the late 1960s, is a literary translator. Over almost three decades he has translated numerous Czech and Slovak works of literature into Arabic.

He is coming to Prague for a residency at the Czech Literary Centre.

The evening will be hosted by Jáchym Topol, whose novel Noční práce (Nightwork) is currently being translated by Mousli.

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Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter

„If I consider the problem as that which the world is turning me into – that is, as a tiny screw in a giant machine, deprived of human identity – then there is really nothing I can do. Obviously I cannot put a stop to the destruction of the globe, the growing stupidity of nations and the repoduction of thousands of new thermonuclear bombs. If, however, I consider it as that which each of us originally is, or rahter what each of us – irrespective of the state of the world – has the basic potential to become, which is to say an autonomous human being, capable of acting responsibly to and for the world, then of course there is a great deal I can do.“

Václav Havel:
Letters to Olga – essays written in prison, letter, March 6, 1982

What Price Human Rights?