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Saqi Books

Saqi Books is an independent publishing house in London, UK, publishing titles that encompass different disciplines from politics, history and gender studies to culture, art and travel.[1] Saqi Books' sister company Dar al-Saqi is based in Beirut, Lebanon.[2]


Saqi Books was co-founded in 1984 by author and feminist Mai Ghoussoub[3] to publish academic and general interest books on the Middle East and North Africa.

More recently, Saqi Books launched two imprints: Telegram[4] in 2005 – a list for international fiction by writers including Maggie Gee, Dubravka Ugresic, Alberto Manguel, Eduardo Mendoza, Julio Cortazar, Ferenc Karinthy and Hassan Daoud – and in 2012 the Westbourne Press,[5]a non-fiction imprint that has published titles such as Reza Aslan's Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth,[6] Eric Berkowitz's Sex and Punishment: Four Thousand Years of Judging Desire[7] and Superman is an Arab by Joumana Haddad.[8]

On Saqi's 21st anniversary in 2004, The Independent praised the publisher for "issuing titles that stimulate and challenge - books with 'editorial audacity'."[9]

In 2008 Saqi Books held its 25th anniversary celebration at Kensington Town Hall featuring musician Brian Eno, Turkish author Moris Farhi and British author Maggie Gee.[3]

Saqi Books received the Arab British Culture and Society award and the British Book Industry Award for Diversity in Literature in 2008 and 2009 respectively,[10] and the IPG Diversity Award in 2013.[11]

Recent prominent Saqi titles include A Concise History of the Arabs (2014) by John McHugo and Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud.[12]

The Saqi Bookshop is located in central London on 26 Westbourne Grove.


  1. ^ Al Saqi Books at
  2. ^ Dar Al Saqi.
  3. ^ a b Lemma Shehadi, "Al Saqi Books -25th Anniversary", 1 July 2008.
  4. ^ Telegram, Saqi.
  5. ^ The Westbourne Press, Saqi.
  6. ^ "The Westbourne Press to publish Zealot by Reza Aslan", Saqi, 29 July 2013.
  7. ^ Charlotte Williams, "Saqi Books launches non-fiction imprint", The Bookseller, 12 January 2012.
  8. ^ Victoria Segal, "Superman Is an Arab by Joumana Haddad – review", The Guardian, 11 September 2012.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "About Us", Saqi.
  11. ^ Independent Book Publishing Awards 2013, UKSG News, 7 March 2013.
  12. ^ Lucy Popescu, "Syria Speaks: Arts and culture from the frontline, ed by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen & Nawara Mahfoud", The Independent, 15 June 2014.

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