Conference in London

I envision a Conference in London in the coming year entitled: “Networking among Women Writers from the Middle East and the West”. All those women writers interviewed and videoed by me will be invited. Others who are writers and thinkers on this issue will be included (in the USA, in Europe, and in the Middle East). The Advisory Board has been chosen because of members’ involvement with writers around the world.

What would happen at a conference?

  1. Women of both cultures (West and East) will meet.
  2. Events will take place in a hotel or a decent hall where seats will be provided for listeners.
  3. Topics of discussion might include:
    • How do you see the responsibility of a writer to society?
    • What do you think the impact of politics will be on writers in the Middle East?
    • How can we continue to move forward with bridging a gap between the East and the West?
    • How much an influence on you is reading foreign writers at an early age – translated? Does the foreign culture (of the material) mean your understanding is more difficult?
    • How does one create a voice for his/her own culture? Is it something intangible or concrete?
    • When a translation is finished, does this final product reflect the personality of the translator? Should it?
    • Can one understand sorrows and pain of a narrative that might involve war if one has never experienced it?
    • To what extent do Middle Eastern women writers view themselves as women writers or women who write – in contrast to just writers? Is the answer to this question the same with Western women writers? And if so, what does that imply?
    • How do Arab women writers react when ‘foreigners’ feel that they are repressed or suppressed?

Advisory Committee:

Michael Meltsner is the Matthews Distinguished Professor of Law at Northeastern University. A constitutional lawyer and author, he has taught in Egypt and given a public lecture to Jordanians sponsored by the US embassy in Amman.

Richard Roth – Ambassador of the United States of America to the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of Guinea-Bissau in 2002, Ambassador Roth has been: the foreign policy advisor to the U.S. military’s Central Command, which was responsible for the Middle East, southwest Asia, including the Asian republics of the former Soviet Union, and the Horn of Africa. From 2007-20009; Senior Vice President of the National Defense University located at Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C.; and upon retirement the Senior Advisor for the Bureau of African Affairs at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. where he currently works.

Rula Qawas – Dean, Faculty of Foreign Languages, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan. Involved in the JNCW (Jordanian National Commission for Women). Professor, English Department, University of Jordan.

Shakir Mustafa – Iraqi native. He has degrees from Baghdad University. He taught at Baghdad and Mosul Universities until 1990, as wells as at Indiana University, Boston University, and Northeastern University. He published, among other works on translation, Jewish American fiction, Irish Drama, the work entitled “Contemporary Iraqi Fiction” (Syracuse, 2008). Many radio and television interviews and public talks on Arab and Muslim literature, art, and culture.

Nawal Nasrallah – An Iraqi native who taught English language and literature at the Universities of Baghdad and Mosul. Her recent publications as an independent scholar include: Delights from the Garden of Eden: A Cookbook and a History of the Iraqi Cuisine, award-winning Annals of the Caliphs’ Kitchens (English translation of tenth-century Baghdadi cookbook), and Dates: A Global History. She presently lives in New Hampshire.

Rosanna Warren – Professor of Comparative Literature at Boston University; editor and literary translator. She has published four books of poetry. She has received many awards and grants, including a grant from the Guggenheim and the Ingram-Merrill Foundation.