Ali THAREB, Iraq/Sweden

Born in 1988 in Babylon, Iraq. Lives and works in Jönköping, Sweden


Ali Thareb is an Iraqi poet and performer born in 1988 in the city of Babylon. Thareb has published three books of poetry in Arabic and another book in both Arabic and French issued in France in 2018. His texts are included in poetry anthologies, including in French, Turkish and Arabic.

In 2014, Thareb co-founded the poetry and artistic group Cultural Militia along with friends, Iraqi poets and performing artists, Mazen Mamouri, Muhammad Karim, Kazem Khanjar. Seen as pioneers of a new artistic movement in Iraqi cultural life, the Cultural Militia is a poetic cultural project that takes a stand against violence in all its forms in Iraq and consisted of artistic readings in some of most dangerous, but also significant places in Iraq: in cemeteries, border points, landmine fields, car bomb ‘graveyards’ and even while floating on water, depicting drowned refugees.

Thareb’s first poetry book was published in 2015 and was titled A Bright White Emptiness (Akad Publications, London). It was followed by I’d Remember that I am a Dog and Bite you, World (Machtotat Publications, The Netherlands 2016) and So My Toes Will not Appear from my Worn-out Shoes (Al Daraweesh Publications, Bulgaria 2018). Thareb has published a book of poetry in Arabic and French entitled Un homme avec une mouche dans la bouche (A Man with a Fly in his Mouth), published by Editions des Lisiere in 2018. His fifth collection in Swedish and Arabic is titled Ömsint man från knivarnas rike (Gentle Man from the Kingdom of Knives) was published by Magnus Grehn Förlag in 2021. His poetry has been selected in a number of anthologies including the anthology entitled Poetry in Landmines published by Cultural Militia in 2015.

In 2020, he became an ICORN writer in residence in the Swedish Region of Jönköping county. To learn more about Ali Thareb’s recent work, please visit his Facebook page.