Inam Bioud was born in Damascus in 1953, the daughter of a Syrian mother and an Algerian father. In 1966 the family moved to Algiers, where Inam attended the Egyptian high school and had her first poems published in the Algerian press. She went on to study architecture and art in Damascus and Algiers, completed her studies as an interpreter (English, French, Arabic) and graduating in translation studies. She taught translation studies at the universities of Algiers and Oran, and in 2004 became the founding director of the Higher Arab Institute for Translation of the Arab League in Algiers. The Algerian newspaper »L’Express« named the creative author and artist one of the one hundred most dynamic national personalities in 2002. Due to her professional status, but also on account of her translations of children’s literature, art books, poetry, novels and scripts, she acts as a ‘bridge’ in multi-lingual Algeria. She has translated works by Yasmina Khadra, Rachid Boudjedra, Nadira Laggoune and Abderrahmane Djelfaoui into Arabic.
Her first own collection of poetry, in a bilingual edition, was translated into French by Samira Negrouche: »Rasâ’il lam tursal / Poste restante« (2003, tr.: Unsent Letters). The themes and cadences of around thirty poetic »Letters« in the collection are poignant in their force. The melancholy, rebellious poems deal with female insurrection in a male world (»The past has cut its veins/ and the present no longer belongs to me/ go back/ from whence you came/ your path/ was never my path«), solidarity with Palestine (in »A Letter to Jesus« she asks, »How he permits love to die/ in his country/ with a quiet conscience«), and also with a synaesthetic celebration of the love of life in the face of all temporal pessimism: »Our life is no sentence/ this bitter-sweet taste/ embraced by clouds/ will brighten / and our breathless search/ on the trail of miracles / is just a return«.
In her first novel »Assamek lâ yubâlî“« (2004, tr: The Fish Don’t Care), which was awarded the Prix Malek Haddad, Bioud deal with her memories of youth in the bolder style of contemporary Arabic-language women’s writing, yet maintains discretion when it comes to the intimacy of amorous experiences. A young painter who leaves the tolerant milieu of her childhood world in Damascus for Algeria inf the 1990s; this country is fraught with terror and death, but she finds refuge in love and art. A second collection of poetry will be published soon, »She is not blonde, but she is trying«. The author lives in Algiers.
© international literature festival berlin