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Following a prolonged plea by novelists and fiction enthusiasts, Tunis has finally seen the establishment of ‘Bait Al Rewaya’ (House of the Novel), the first dedicated facility for Arabic fiction. The authors describe the move as a new cultural and literary monument for fiction and a reserve for local, Arab and global heritage, as well as an ideal environment for training new writers.
Tunisian novelist Kamal Al Riahi is the head of the new institution, due to his extensive experience in book writing, journalism and translation. Al Riahi previously headed the Translation Department of the Arab Institute for Translation, an affiliate of the Arabic League, which is based in Algeria. He also worked at the Tunisian Ministry of Culture and founded the House of Culture-Ibn Khaldun in Tunis.
The House of the Novel comprises a library named after the late Tunisian writer Al Bashir Kharif, and a literary facility for workshops and intellectual gatherings. Another space, ‘Under the Wall’, inspired by the literary community founded by great Tunisian poet Abu Al Qassim Al Shabbi, will be dedicated to discussing the Tunisian past and its long history in enlightenment.