Last week marked the conclusion of the first workshop from the third edition of AFAC´s Novel Writing Program, under the supervision of the Lebanese novelist Jabbour Dweihi.
Eight writers from six Arab countries gathered in the Lebanese mountain-town of Ehden to discuss their narrative projects which are currently in the first phase of writing. After having read the introduction chapter for each novel, each project got its share of feedback through a series of group discussions between the author of the text, the other writers, and the supervisor Jabbour Dweihi. The group discussion was followed by an individual meeting between each of the writers and novelist Dweihi. The discussions addressed all aspects of the submitted projects: Characters, events, methods and possibilities of narration, etc.
From Morocco to Egypt, passing through Tunisia, Palestine, Lebanon and Yemen, eight writers have joined this edition of the program. The themes have varied, although the element of “the individual” was dominant, not leaving out the social and political reality of the region as a background to the majority of the novels involved. The participants have expressed their satisfaction with the experience and with the opportunity of subjecting their novels to this kind of “inquiry” at that early stage of writing.
This workshop is the first of three workshops that will be held respectively in November 2016 and March 2017, before concluding the edition in June 2017. By the date of the second workshop, the writers will have completed the work on their novels, and would follow up on their development with novelist Mr. Dweihi and the rest of the participating writers.
The participating projects are: “Bye Bye Saddam” by Nazih Bahraoui from Morocco, “Sons of Mimosa” by Inas Abbasi from Tunisia, “Rain in the Heat of August” by Nabil Gueddiche from Tunisia, “Leaving Home” by Hoda Omran from Egypt, “Between Blindness and Insight” by Mahmoud Hosni from Egypt, “Five Memories for Esther” by Asma Alatawna from Palestine, “Fifteen Hours in Prison” by Rula El Hussein from Lebanon and “Hélène” by Jamal Gubran from Yemen.
AFAC has also supported 8 projects from the first edition of the program, and 9 projects from the second edition. Until now 4 projects from the first edition have been published: ”The Morgue” by Sumaya Taha from Yemen, "Haute-Majeur" by Wassim Shrqi from Syria, “Before The Dawn Prayer” by Zeinab Sharafeddine from Lebanon and “All the Battles” by Maan AbuTaleb from Jordany. Currently, 3 novels from the same edition are set for publishing before the end of this year. On the other hand, the second edition´s novels will be released within the frame of the “Beirut International Book Fair” by the end of this year as well.
View the pictures of the worshop here