Telling stories on the page...

I began writing before I knew how to spell (my childhood stories attest.) When I was about eight years old, my father put me on a podium at Jordan university in front of the student body to recite my first poem (الزهره: The Flower.) That fed both my love for writing and performing. I began with poems and short pros in Arabic and then English. With the years, I moved on to plays, articles and books. And I started writing in Dutch!

Shabby boekcover

Shabby en het wezen van de regenboog

November 2020: The book is out!

My fabel in Dutch… A novella. 

I started writing it under the title of Kat op een Venloos dak: Cat on a Venloos Roof, as comic relief while I was working on Bint Ibrahim. I was beginning to learn Dutch, and instead of practicing grammar, I made up stories. I’d be sitting in my zolderkamer looking outside to the tops of the buildings and to the Maas river… listening to the bird’s and to the sounds of people on the streets. I felt like a cat. Not a regular cat, of course, but a cat from another dimsion… the imaginal realm. The cat didn’t stay on the roof…  

One story led to another and I ended up with a book. I began to write it for myself, so I did not decide if it was a children’s or adult book. My language grew as I continued to write it. It thus begins younger than how it ends. This kind of approach is a No-No in the writing world. You have to first decide your audience and your genre, but not everything goes by the books, and sometimes you just have to go with it. Actually, always – if it’s fun! Throughout the process, my husband continued to patiently correct my various drafts and try to get some grammar lessons in there.

Skip to autumn, 2019. I started working on the manuscript with Annemarie Staaks as editor, Isabella El-Hasan – illustrator and with Studio Denk as vormgever. 

Skip to Autumn 2020… the book is out! 

Bint Ibrahim: The daughter of Abraham

Work in progress…

I started writing this book in the late spring of 2013, with the intention of finishing it within that year. But as many writers know, a book is often a years-long journey with ups and downs, writes and re-writes… scratching it all and starting from new. This is especially true for a first book, and in my case, a book in which I had to make new meanings to events that flipped my world upside down. 

The book is inspired by autobiographical accounts of both my father and myself… fictionalised into a kind of ‘double-memoir.’ The events of the book take place in Mecca, Palestine/Israel, and Jordan. It is written in English, but is sprinkled with Arabic words and definitions (those of you who are familiar with my stage-work know about my obsession with the dictionary.) 

Bint: Arabic for girl or daughter
Ibrahim: a man’s name
The Arabic version of Abram or Avram/Hebrew-Aramaic

Abram-Abraham-Ibrahim
A prophet
Founder of monotheism
Aalleged father of Arabs and Jews
A messenger whose offspring have multiplied as promised
Defiled the earth, and disturbed the sacred balance.

Bint Ibrahim:Daughter of Abraham
A woman who goes by the name of her father 

Short stories

“De Paardenbloemkamer” In het boek: 4321… Lees: Verdwalen in Verhalen. Redactie Willebord de Winter. (2017)

Theater

The Butterfly that persisted. A short play for Climate Change Theatre Action, 2019. 

In the Lost and Found: حقيبه حمراء. A bilingual monodrama. English and Arabic. Winner of the Etel Adnan playwrights award 2011. A translation in Polish is published in Dialog magazine.

Tella Tale: My Voice My story: A training manual to use Applied Theatre as a tool to address Human Rights issues and Women’s rights. (2012) University of Jordan Press (co-written with Dr Fadi Skieker.)

Articles

“Aat & The Apple Peel” Min Fami: Arab Feminist Reflections on Identity, Space and Resistance. Ghadeer Malek and Ghaida Moussa (2014)

“Bedouin Dream Traditions” (2012) Encyclopedia of Sleep and DreamsD. Barrett and P. McNamara, Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Publishers.

“The Jinn: Companion in the Realm of Dreams and Imagination” (2009) Dreaming in Christianity and Islam: Culture, Conflict, and Creativity. Adams, Bulkeley & Davis. Rutgers University Press.

“The Typical Dreams of Jordanian College Students” [co-written with Kelly Bulkeley] (2009) Dreaming in Christianity and Islam: Culture, Conflict, and Creativity. Adams, Bulkeley & Davis. Rutgers University Press.

Several Arabic articles for the online paper 7iber.com, and Dream Jordan magazine (print)

Article in dutch for De Limburger (newspaper) 2018.

Blog

Loose leafs of thoughts, in three languages: http://arabwomantalking.blogspot.nl/

(perhaps one day to be re-housed here on WP)