Maan Abu Taleb is a London-based author and editor. Through his work, Abu Taleb challenges linguistic bias, exploring the complex intersection between language and values. In 2012, he co-founded Ma3azef, which has since become the leading online music magazine in Arabic. Aiming to critically examine cultural production in the Arab world and move beyond the diminishing stakes of purely identity-driven discourse, Ma3azef has become a deeply influential publication.
Abu Taleb is an accomplished writer; his critically-acclaimed debut novel Kol El Maarek (2016) employs boxing as a paradigm through which to interrogate larger themes around masculinity, identity, courage and defeat. The English translation of the book, All the Battles, was released in 2017. The same year, Abu Taleb co-wrote the play Feeling Dubbing with Monira Al Qadiri, which was performed at the Kunstenfestivaldesarts at Villa Empain, Brussels. Abu Taleb’s numerous other accomplishments include his essay about Jerusalem, language, and resistance, A God Is All Over Me, which appeared in The White Review in 2018, and a lecture exploring the element of rhythm in music and sports, A Sense of Rhythm, delivered at the Nuqat conference in Kuwait in 2016.
During his stay at Callie’s, Abu Taleb wrote a new play centered around the First Congress of Arab Music, which took place in Cairo in 1932. The 1932 congress brought together Arab Musicians and European musicologists in the hopes of “modernizing” Arabic music. Abu Taleb used the setting of the congress as an opportunity to explore a complex set of values in conflict. He also began working on a one-act, three-character play set in modern-day Amman.