Coverage Summary of the 2014 Gingko Library Conference
The First World War and its Aftermath: The Shaping of the Middle East



‘a remarkable weekend of discussion and debate’BookBrunch


‘Water-logged trenches, screaming shells and battlefields of mud. These are the images that have long dominated perceptions of the First World War. But what about the destruction of the Ottoman Syrian civilian population? What about the negative legacy for Iraqi women? These are just some of the interesting topics up for discussion at The First World War and its Aftermath: The Shaping of the Middle East, a conference to be held in London next month.’The National


‘At the beginning of December, best-selling Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany was in London for an appearance at the inaugural Gingko Conference, which aims to bring together the “East and West”. The author’s presence in London was not as explosive as his October 2013 appearance in Paris, where protestors advanced on the stage and Al Aswany was slipped out the back. But voices were certainly raised, both at the conference and later on BBC Hard Talk with Stephen Sackur.’Qantara


‘Like millions of people who have read The Yacoubian Building, I am a fan of the writing of the Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany and a few years ago I was pleased to have the chance to talk to him a little when he came to an event put on by English PEN. So last night I was eagerly part of a large audience assembled on the fringes of the Gingko Conference currently taking place in London to hear him being interviewed by fellow author Tarek Osman about political developments in Egypt and the wider Arab world.’Jonathan Fryer