Beirut 39

The winners of the Beirut 39 competition (to select 39 talented Arab writers under 39) have been announced. But already there is a problem: two of the winners are Arab Israelis (Alaa' Hlehel and Adania Chibli) and since Israel and Lebanon are still technically at war, they are banned from traveling to Beirut. Hlehel told the Egyptian literary magazine Akhbar Al Adab that he is still deliberating whether to break the ban or not. Yet another example of how culturally cut-off Arab Israeli writers, whose publishers and audiences may reside in countries they can't visit.

Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.