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    Sabrina Mahfouz: These Bodies of Water

    Wed 11 May, 7.45pm
    Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
    Literature & poetry
    past event
    past event
    Portrait of writer Sabrina Mahfouz wearing gold earrings and a black hat
    Greg Morrison

    Sabrina Mahfouz launches her debut non-fiction book, These Bodies of Water: Notes on the British Empire, the Middle East and Where We Meet.

    In it, Mahfouz investigates the Empire through the Middle Eastern coastlines and waterways that were so vital to its hold.

    Interwoven with her own personal experiences, she combines history, politics, myth and poetry, in a devastating examination of this unacknowledged part of Britain’s colonial past.

    Joining Mahfouz to bring the text to life are Kareem Samara, oud player and musician, and Laura Hanna, singer and performer.

    Sabrina Mahfouz is a writer and performer who was raised in London and Cairo. She works across multiple art forms, including film, TV, opera, dance and music. She is a Royal Society of Literature Fellow.

    Kareem Samara is a musician, composer, and organiser. His practice combines traditional Arabic instruments and form with electronics to create a unique soundscape of protest. He is a serial collaborator (Smoked Poets, Bint Mbareh, Ryan Harvey) and often composes for various theatres in and around the UK.

    Laura Hanna is a multidisciplinary performer, creator and singer. After training as an actor at Lamda, her career has developed to incorporate movement practises and music, collaborative theatre making and poetry. She also sings with folk-pop band Guise and sits on the steering group for MENA Arts UK.

    This event is part of Purcell Sessions

    Need to know

    Age recommendation

    For ages 16+

    Join the author for a book signing after this event in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, where These Bodies of Water: Notes on the British Empire, the Middle East and Where We Meet is available to purchase.

    Dates & times

    Wed 11 May, 7.45pm
    Approximate run time: 90 mins.
    Run times may vary by up to 20 minutes as they can be affected by last-minute programme changes, intervals and encores.


    • Standard entry£10*
    • Concessions25%**

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