Things that start with "women's" really bother me. Women's rights. Women's literature. Women's issues. It's setting women apart from the human race. It's saying - by default - that women are extras, intruders, 'things' we should think about, take into consideration, in the world automatically assumed as a "man's" world as opposed to a world full of people. Things whose quirkiness (when compared to men) we need to find a way to tolerate, because man's way is the benchmark.
Don't trap women with superficial talk, everyone has a role to play in life, in society - they may be different roles, and roles may be interchangeable, and different people may be better playing different roles - but this should not be an excuse to deprive people of rights, justice, equity (things which are not absolute anyway).
Look for similarities and celebrate differences.
Fadwa Al Qasem
تشبه رجلاً أحببته..
أو رجلاً سوف أحبه
تكاد الصورة تفوح بك
وكأني ذات يوم عشتك
وكأني ذات ليلة
أكانت أمس أم غد
كأني كنت فيك
وغفوت على جفنك
أو كأني سأغفو
كأن النجوم سئمت
ونحن نعدها ضاحكين
نفترش رملاً ما
على شاطيء ما
كأن الأكيد الوحيد
أنك تشبه رجلاً أحببته
أو رجلاً ..
سوف أحبه ..
ري عبد العال
Hunna Ladies a group of 16 creative writers and illustrators is founded by Sahar Naja Mahfouz. This new group’s aim is: “established to support and promote talented writers and illustrators in UAE. We gathered to have our own society of writers and illustrators, will do workshops- readings - story telling - book signings” (Hunna website).
With five members - Sahar Naja Mahfouz, Noura Al Noman, Fadwa Al Qasem, Maitha Al Khayat and Emirates Airline Festival of Literature Arabic Co-ordinator Diala Talhouk - participating in the next LitFest of 2014, the only word could be said is: Proud!
Importance of being part of a supportive group is that this gives members the feeling of “You are not alone” and is able to communicate on similar problems, and areas. This gives the opportunity for Hunna Ladies to come together and share their ideas, their coping tips, and experiences and most importantly exchange their emotions. The fact that others are facing the same type of situation may help writers to open up and discuss their feelings. Confidentiality is vital to this group, as important as creativity!
There is a great deal of interaction and discussion among the members of the Hunna Ladies group. Another important benefit of being part of a group is that it inspires to do more; make sure all budding ideas come to action. Being in a support group can also help develop new skills to relate to others, as well as relating to new ideas which inspires to give more.
Finally networking is important; whether online or offline; to be able to network and learn new tools; techniques; ideas. One simple take home message from a creative writing workshop from the Hunna Ladies group can ignite the beginning of a novel. Another message from an online debate can fire up a story. One boring session would lead to a thousand doodles that could possibly be the epiphany moment that you have been waiting for! The things learnt from people of the same interest can be as simple as “editing techniques” to other online forums and groups such as Nanowrimo. Nanowrimo makes November a feverish season online where everyone is part of a race to finish their novel in a month. All of which wouldn’t have happened without networking.
The Importance of festivals and support groups for writers is indispensable; to help fill the void, between the written word and the world out there. The sense of relief when writers come together to inspire, and aspire the community is remarkable. As our beloved prophet Mohammed says: "A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend." [reported by Abu Dawood & Tirmidhee].
So my take home message is:
Surround yourself with love, support and creativity, through groups, festivals and friendships which will only do one thing: rub off on you to be a better person.
Thank you HunnaLadies.
Note:This blog is also available on LitFest Bloghttps://www.emirateslitfest.com/myblog/importance-of-hunna-ladies/
Hunna Blog, a peek into the pages of our notebooks and our minds. Not a literacy area rather a jungle of thoughts.