Over the last few weeks, students studying Arabic literature have been hosting a number of guest speakers for Zoom discussions on topics related to material they are studying in their Arabic courses The Art of Nonfiction and Women in Arabic Literature.
Among the speakers was Mona Al-Shrafi Tayim, a Lebanese professor of creative writing and author of the Arabic novels مشاعر مهاجرة (Feelings of an Immigrant) and وجوه في مرايا متكسرة (Faces in Broken Mirrors) that the students are reading in their Women in Arabic Literature course. Students discussed with Tayim issues such as equality between men and women, the role of women in society, and society’s role in supporting women and girls.
Another guest speaker, news editor Baker Zoabi who works with Palestinian news agency Bokra, spoke to students about his experience in journalism, the difference between press articles and news stories and their respective characteristics, the role of journalism in society, and how to distinguish between real and false news.
Ali Al Nobani, author and president of the Jerash Cultural Forum was also invited to talk to students about his experience as a writer and about the short story genre in particular, and he also led a discussion about the literary techniques used in his book ملح إنجليزي (English Salt). The class also presented their own works of fiction to Al Nobani, who provided a critical review of them.
Jordanian lawyer and human rights activist Asma Khader, journalist Ali Al-Dabbas from Khaberni news website, and journalist Hazem al-Khalidi from Petra News Agency were among the 11 guest speakers that have taken part in discussions to date.
“What is unique about this series of talks is that it is mainly student-led,” said the Department of Communication, Rhetoric and the Literary Arts (CRLA) Head of Arabic Dr. Mohammad Al-Ashkar. “Our students took the initiative of choosing most of the speakers based on their work in class and reaching out to them to invite them to talk to the class. All of the speakers were happy to participate, and were impressed by the level of the students’ engagement and interest, particularly taking into consideration the online nature these days of most of their classes as well as the talks.”
- Arabic Literature