The publisher Saqi Books have sent me a press release about Mai Ghoussoub -- I'll quote it in full:

Our dear friend Mai Ghoussoub, artist, author, playwright and founding director of Saqi died suddenly on 17 February 2007 in London.

Mai was born in 1952 in Lebanon. She studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts/Lebanese University and graduated from the American University of Beirut with a BA in French Literature, before moving to London in 1979, where she studied sculpture at Morley College and the Henry Moore Studio. That same year she and her childhood friend, André Gaspard, founded the Al Saqi Bookshop, which has become a beacon of Arab culture in London, occupying 26 Westbourne Grove for the past twenty-eight years. They ventured into publishing in 1983, founding Saqi, and in 1990 started the Arabic publishing house Dar al-Saqi in Beirut. Since the 1980s Mai combined her activities as an artist, writer and publisher: ‘I write for my sculptures and I sculpt for my words.’ Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally. She wrote numerous articles on culture, gender, aesthetics and the Middle East, and is the author of many books in English, Arabic and French. Her short stories have appeared in various anthologies, including Hikayat: Short Stories by Lebanese Women and Lebanon, Lebanon. In 2005 she wrote, directed and performed Texterminators at the Lyric and Dominion theatres in London, the Unity Theatre in Liverpool, and the Marignan Theatre in Beirut. It was described as ‘outstanding theatre’ by Time Out. Most recently, her work was featured in the exhibition Beirut Out of War, which she curated with Ara Azad, Suheil Sleiman and Rana Salaam, at the MAN Museum in Liverpool.

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