Former Iméra/Mucem resident Coline Houssais has just published Paris en lettres arabes with Actes Sud (Sindbad). This fascinating book overturns the traditional Western perspective on the East by exploring the unique relationship that Arab authors have with France, and especially with Paris.

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This book delves into the intricate, rich, and sometimes ambivalent relationship woven between these foreign writers and the City of Light. How do they perceive Paris, this city that alternates between being a refuge for exiles, a laboratory for adventurers, and a source of disillusionment for some? The book traces historical and contemporary interactions, from the first Levantine translators to today’s binational authors. What role has this city played in their lives and work?

Coline Houssais reveals the many faces of this city through their writings, thus highlighting its crucial place in a literature rooted on the other side of the Mediterranean. Little-known anecdotes, poignant quotes, and insightful analyses shed new light on the relationship between Paris and the Arab world. Paris en lettres arabes is an invitation to intercultural dialogue, an exploration of multiple identities, and an ode to the power of words to transcend borders.

Available in bookstores and as an e-book:
Paperback : click here
E-book : click here
To learn more:
Listen to the podcast series “Paris arabe” hosted by Coline Houssais, here.

About the Author
Coline Houssais is a journalist, translator, and independent researcher specializing in Arab world music and the cultural history of Arab and Berber presence in France. She teaches at Sciences Po and founded Ustaza, the Arab cultural agenda for the Île-de-France region. She is also the author of Musiques du monde arabe, une anthologie en 100 artistes.

In addition to her book, Houssais hosts the podcast series “Paris arabe” produced by the Institut du Monde Arabe. This ten-episode series offers rich sound journeys filled with music, archives, and historical anecdotes.