23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Muhsin Al-Ramli
© Ali Ghandtschi

Muhsin Al-Ramli

Muhsin Al-Ramli, also known as Muhisin Mutlak Rodhan, was born in 1967 in northern Iraq. In 1988, he began working as a journalist and newspaper editor in Iraq and Jordan and wrote columns and reportages for various magazines in the Arabic-speaking world. He has lived in Madrid since 1995. He taught Arabic at the Iraqi school and earned his doctorate in philosophy and philology from the Autonomous University of Madrid with a thesis on the imprint of Islamic culture in »Don Quixote«. Al-Ramli has translated many texts into Arabic, including works by Miguel de Cervantes and Lope de Vega, and writes in both Arabic and Spanish.

In 1993, his play »In Search of a Live Heart« was staged at a theater festival in Jordan and later in other Arab countries; it received a total of four prizes in Kuwait in 2005. Al-Ramli débuted as a storyteller in 1995 with the short story collection »Gift from the Century to Come«. The English translation of his first novel »Scattered Crumbs« (2000; Eng. 2003) is award-winning. His novel »Thi’bat al hob wal kutub« (2015; tr: The Wolf of Love and Books) was a finalist for the 2016 Sheikh Zayed Book Award, while the novels »Dedos de dátiles« (2008; Eng. »Dates on My Fingers«, 2014) and »Hdaa’k alra’is« (2012; Eng. »The President’s Gardens«, 2017) were longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, also known as the Arabic Booker. Al-Ramli has also emerged as a poet with collections such as »Todos somos viudos de las respuestas« (2005; tr: We Are All Widowers of the Answers), »Dormida entre soldados« (2011; tr: Asleep among the Soldiers) and »Pérdida ganadora« (2013; tr: Winning Loss). »In my country, poetry isn’t considered a luxurious complement but a need. It is not just a means of expression but it becomes a vivid experience and furthermore an expression for life itself. Thanks to poetry, the individual lives what he wasn’t allowed to live. Poetry enriched Iraq more than oil, which has rather brought catastrophes to the nation. The Arabic Peninsula and Iraq are the only places in the world where the birth of a poet was celebrated because he was going to be the spokesperson of the tribe.«

Many of his works have been translated into languages such as English, French, Turkish, Italian, Russian, Albanian, Catalan, and Kurdish. He is a member of the Commission on the Modernization of Arabic Language, which was founded in 2013 in Dubai, as well as the Spanish association of writers and translators. In 2016, he was named an honorary member of the board of the Círculo Intercultural Hispano Árabe. In 1997, Al-Ramli helped found the Arabic literature magazine »Alwah«. Several documentaries have been made about his life and work, among them a 2009 documentary for the Arabic channel Al Jazeera. Since 2004, Al-Ramli has taught at Saint Louis University in Madrid, where he also lives.


Scattered Crumbs
University of Arkansas Press
Fayetteville, 2003
[Ü: Yasmeen S. Hanoosh]
Dedos de Dátiles
El Tercer Nombre
Madrid, 2008
Todos somos viudos de las respuestas
Vision Libros
Madrid, 2008
Thi’bat al hob wal kutub
Dar Al-Mada
Bagdad, 2015
The President’ Gardens
London, 2017
[Ü: Luke Leafgren]