Ashur Etwebi is one of Libya’s best-known authors. Etwebi played an important role in establishing a cultural scene in Libya after the fall of Muammar Gadafi, co-organizing cultural and literary festivals and conferences showcasing both Libyan and international poetry and music such as the Tripoli International Poetry Festival in 2012.
Ashur Etwebi earned a Bachelor’s degree in medicine from Tripoli University in 1980 and a doctorate from the University of Dublin in 1990. He has played an important role in the Libyan national health service and is an outspoken proponent of women’s liberation, democracy and the secular state.
Etwebi’s poetry is widely anthologized in both the Arab and the European literary world. His works have been included in, amongst others, Literature from the Axis of Evil and Poems for the Millennium. His books of poetry include Balcony Poems (Qsaed Al-Shorfa), Your Friends Passed Along This Way (Asdiqaoka Maro Min Hu), River of Music (Nahr Al-Mosika), Box of Old Laughs (Sundok ADhahikat Al-Qadima), and On the Knowledge of Creatures and Things (Fi MaaRifat Al-Ashyaa Wa Al-Kaena). Ashur Etwebi's English poetry compilation Poems from above the Hill: Selected Poems of Ashur Etwebi was translated by Brenda Hillman and Diallah Haidar.
Etwebi took the step into prose in 2001, publishing his first novel, Dardaneen. He has also published several volumes of international poetry translated to Arabic, and is already busy translating Norwegian poetry into Arabic from his new home in Trondheim.