What is LEILA

LEILA is a European cooperative project, which aims to promote the translation and dissemination in Europe of contemporary Arabic literature.

The 2011 Arab Spring gave rise to an extraordinary artistic effervescence, driven by freedom of speech and the fall or questioning of oppressive regimes. This led Europeans to see and listen to the Arab world differently.

While the performing and visual arts have gradually found their place on the European art scene, new voices in Arabic literature are not read or heard enough.

LEILA was founded with the common desire to promote the translation and dissemination of these voices.

Funded by the European Union program Creative Europe, designed and implemented by iReMMO (France), in partnership with ATLAS (France), BOZAR / Mahmoud Darwish Chair (Belgium), and Fédération Tunisienne des Éditeurs (Tunisia), the LEILA project is threefold:

  • to promote the visibility of the new Arabic-language literary scene in Europe with a selection of books and authors; 
  • to structure a network of actors and organisations in the field of Euro-Arab literature and publishing through professional meetings and workshops;
  • to strengthen the capabilities and visibility of a new European generation of translators from Arabic.

The project lasted from 2021 to 2023. In December 2023 the jury members gathered at the Collège International des Traducteurs Littéraires (Arles) to write the “LEILA Manifesto : For the translation of Arabic literature“.