Atef Alshaer is a lecturer in Arabic Studies at the University of Westminster in London and an expert in Arabic language and literature. He is of Palestinian background, which partly explains his latest book, ‘A Map of Absence’, an anthology of prose and poetry written by Palestinian authors, including Mahmoud Darwish, Elias Khoury, Edward Said and many others. The book is about the Nakba, in English, ‘the catastrophe’, referring to the displacement of many Palestinians in 1948 after the recognition of Israel as an independent state. The experiences, movingly described in poetry and prose, speak to migrants, refugees and displaced people all over the world. In his interview with 7Dnews, Atef describes his own sadness at being separated from his family in Palestine, the difficulty of the search for a new identity and career faced by all migrants and the wonder of Arabic style and rhetoric in prose and poetry. Who is his favourite author in ‘A Map of Absence’? Watch the interview!