Samuel Beckett in the UAE – Conference

Date: Thursday 26 October 2023
Time: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Venue: Robert de Sorbon Amphitheatre, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi Campus

Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is happy to invite you for the 70th anniversary of Waiting for Godot’s world première, a play by the Irish Nobel-Prize winner Samuel Beckett. This is a bilingual conference in English & French.

Waiting for Godot has given birth to millions of conjectures and research works throughout the world. Celebrating the 70th anniversary of its world première in the UAE gives the opportunity to our speakers – academics, writers or directors:

  • to remind us the universal scope of this masterpiece that was written in French then in English by Beckett, who was genuinely concerned with the musicality of both languages;
  • but also to put this play through the riddle of the local culture and the Arabic language: What is Beckett’s theatre legacy in the Middle East countries ? How is it to translate Waiting for Godot into Arabic? 

About the speakers

Alexandre Najjar
Alexandre Najjar Born in Beirut in 1967, Alexandre Najjar is a recognized French-speaking writer. He has translated around thirty books into twelve languages, including The School of War, The Roman of Beirut, Berlin 36, Dictionary of Lovers of Lebanon and Harry and Franz. A lawyer by profession, winner of the Grand Prix de la Francophonie from the Académie française and the Writer’s Grant from the Lagardère Foundation, he directs the supplement L’Orient littéraire. Deeply influenced by the work of Samuel Beckett, he published L’Amour ne se commande pas (L’Orient des livres, 2020), dedicated to the life of the Irish writer.

Dr Karine Germoni
Dr Karine Germoni is Associate Professor in French Language and Literature at Paris-Sorbonne Université (School of Arts). Since 2021, she’s been heading the French Studies and the French as a foreign language Departments at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. A Beckett specialist, and a member of STIH and Textyle group, her research focuses on several fields: French language (orthography and punctuation) and French as another language; 20th and 21rst writers’ style (namely Mauvignier, Kerangal, Bertina, Darrieussecq); the poetics of genres and palimpsestic writing in the contemporary novel and drama; editorial genetics and enunciation (Les Éditions de Minuit and Verticales).

Dr Hana Subhi
Dr Hana Subhi has been teaching French as a Foreign Language and Literature at the University for many years, and since 2006 at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi. Holder of a doctorate in Modern Literature (Sorbonne University Paris), she has published numerous articles in French literature and translation studies. As a translator, she has also translated numerous works in literature, philosophy and sociology from French into Arabic. She is the winner of the 2014 Senghor-Ibn Khaldoun Prize, awarded by the OIF, for the translation of Edgar Morin’s book, The Humanity of Humanity.

Padraig Downey
Padraig Downey With more than 20 years in global theatre, education and governmental work was the first theatre director to be awarded a UAE Golden Visa for significant efforts in building theatre in the UAE. Recognized as an “agent of tolerance,” he is a multi-award-winning director and Theatre Educator. He is founder of Danú Dubai Theatre, renowned for promoting Arab and Irish theatre. His work has been featured in global media including BBC and The Irish Times. He holds various degrees in Politics, Theatre, Education and Literature.  Currently, he is involved in cultural and educational initiatives for KSA’s Vision 2030.

Sponsors and Partners

This event is sponsored by the Irish Embassy and is organized in partnership with the French Embassy, the Lebanese Embassy, Lycée français Louis Massignon, Lycée français International Théodore Monod and Brighton College Abu Dhabi.

Kindly note that this event will be photographed and videographed

Download the conference Programme

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Bookings are closed for this event.