Although every day is the right day to celebrate and acknowledge creative and intelligent women, there’s nothing wrong with dedicating a day entirely to them! On March 8th, International Women’s Day, we honor strong women across the globe. Women from different cultures and backgrounds have been thriving, whether in science, arts, business or medicine.
In honor of this day, we at The8Log have decided to showcase our Jordanian women leaders in the literary world. Read on below as they share and reflect on what it feels like to be a female writer.
“Most of what we read and most of the films and series we watch were written by men. It’s really important to contribute to culture as a female writer. Our voices aren’t heard enough.”
The first woman on our list is Tala Al-Husary. If asked about her first love, she would probably answer: storytelling. This notable scriptwriter has worked on shows like Petra Rocks and JINN.
Husary is now in her pre-production phase for two exciting upcoming projects. She is working on a feature film that will be set in New York and a Jordanian romantic comedy.
“The Arabic language does not differentiate between the woman writer and the man who writes, but it’s the word who ignites them like embers on the tin of paper. Perhaps the woman desires more than the man in fighting on the fronts of writing, because her battle with the earthly texts requires her to navigate more in the corridors of the language and overcome the barriers of silence. Indeed, Arab women do not need to be familiar with the language, because they live in their hearts, unite in their conscience; language with its universality is female, freedom with its virtues is female, justice with its characteristics is female, knowledge of its depth is female, the sun is in its light, and the entire civilization is female and being in its womb is female.
Why do we write? We write because writing is a life cycle, we write so that we can realize through the word the value of the journey that they started in it: for as far as experience comes knowledge comes and as much knowledge comes awareness. Writing is a life in which we grow whenever we narrate it with the water of our hearts and the salt of our eyes. We are in constant need of writing to gather the insanity of our madness, to reassure the straying of our thoughts, and to calm the splendor of our memories, so that we become warmer, deeper and more elegant... writing for me is an act of life.”
As a Jordanian writer and activist, Nassraween uses writing as a means of expression to reflect on current issues and events. Her passion for words led her to become a writer on Ammon News and a published author with three books under her belt in Arabic, ‘Hakatha takoon il bidaya,’ ‘Liannaha il dunya,’ and ‘Amma ana.’
“Writing adapts like water droplets or rock hardness. It takes a lot of patience, but the outcome is always worth it. For me, writing has always been able to bring about a change to my reality, it takes me on a path where the light shines through. Since writing is a feminine word in english, from it comes a book that is masculine and together they compliment each other to bring out a life. Writing is an act of life.”
Haya Saleh loves two things in life: books and kids. She’s a Jordanian award-winning children’s book writer, a critic, and a TV drama scriptwriter. She recently won The Katara Award for her manuscript Another Color of the Sunset; this is one of the biggest awards presented to Arabic novel writers with the opportunity to have her work translated and published to English. Saleh has also participated and led various workshops and activities designed for kids, which focus on creative writing, painting, and shadow puppetry.
Salah has a series of novels coming soon that will be published by Dar Al-Manhal and Dar Al Yasmeen Publishers in Amman. She is also currently working on a novel that talks about loss and death as well as an upcoming play that will be performed at the Jordanian Childhood Creativity Festival.
Omaimah El Nasser:
“Writing chooses you, not the other way around... a bird that lands near the heart and does not leave
A passion that gives you different mornings, and opens its heart
Take care of your bird
Celebrate your passion
With Nasser’s never ending love for literature and writing, she obtained a BA in Arabic Language and Literature from the University of Jordan. She’s written several children's books and is now in the process of writing two books.
The first book uncovers the history of the city of Petra. Nasser will take us through the Nabataean Kingdom, its people, culture, and civilization. We’ll also go deeper into their creativity and imagination to build some of the world’s most historical and artistic architecture.
The second novel sheds the light on abandoned children and the psychological pressures they experience from societies around them. Nasser here raises awareness while focusing on self-acceptance, so that these children can be nurtured and considered part of society.
“When you have talent, write and add a line to the book of life. When feelings and thoughts are crowded in the soul, express yourself in writing. It is not intended for the reader only; it is a cure for the writer.”
Samiha Khreis is a Jordanian award-winning novelist with a BA in sociology from the university of Cairo. Her studies influenced her writing as particularly seen in her latest novel “Pistachio Ebeid.” Samiha’s love and dedication for writing never dies as she keeps on producing more novels, each greater than the one before.
Batoul is a former media and communications consultant for the UNDP, International Organization for Migration, and International Rescue Committee. With her ever-growing passion in cinema and writing, Ibrahim dedicated most of her time to storytelling in refugee camps. This Jordanian female writer is currently a scriptwriter and the founder and creative producer of Writers’ Cell.
This woman has a flair for creativity. Two-time national collegiate poetry slam champion in the US, and a world youth slam poetry finalist, Shamayleh was one of the key players in the development of the creative writing ecosystem in Jordan. She is a Jordanian writer, director, series creator, award-winning poet and the founder and CEO of Writers’ Cell.
“You can’t rely on talent alone when it comes to literary creativity. You have to fuse this by continuously reading and learning along the way.
Laila Al-Atrash is a Palestinian/Jordanian writer known for her documentaries on leading figures of Arabic culture. In 2007, she helped establish the 'Library of the Family' and 'Reading for All' projects in Jordan. Also a talented playwright, her “Thilal Al Hob” Script was performed during the Rum Theatre Festival at the Royal Cultural Center in 2019.
Al-Atrash has received numerous awards that include: two-state recognition awards from Palestine and Jordan, a Katara Prize, two theater awards for “Al-Bawaba Al-Khamesa” Gate Five, in addition to a Tyche Award as the Best Jordanian Novel. She's also received a number of awards from the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU), for being the first writer to raise awareness and write about honor crimes.
Last but not least, if you know any other female writer you’d like to bring our attention to here at The8Log, feel free to write her name in the comments section below.
We can’t but thank these talented female writers for collaborating with us to inspire a new generation of female writers. From all of us here at The8Log, we’re proud and thankful for having you with us.
Finally, Happy International Women’s day to women everywhere! Keep on thriving ladies, and write.