Writing Sabbatical Grants
Witnessing the recent flourishing of literature in the Arab world, Mophradat’s Writing Sabbatical Grants program has been set up in 2019 to support emerging creative writers from the Arab world of contemporary fiction, nonfiction and poetry. These grants support three-month sabbaticals dedicated to the completion of new writing projects.
Ahmed Kamel (b. 1981, Egypt) for the completion of a collection of short stories exploring disappearing professions in Egypt. Titled Ayyam min Hadid (Days of Iron), the book explores the lives of people still practicing these professions as a family tradition.
Hanaa Metwely (b. 1990, Egypt) for the writing of Al Ghariqat, a novel dealing with oppression and discrimination against women based on popular myths in the patriarchal Egyptian rural society. The story takes place in a village where the protagonist witnesses suspicious drownings of women and the trafficking of pharaonic antiquities, weapons, and white slave trading.
Mina Nagy (b. 1987, Egypt) for writing a project in two parts: Writing to Deal With Phobia and Loss and Heaven Is the Place Where Mama Is. The first part reflects on the writer’s long-term experience with agoraphobia including how he coped with it through writing and an exploration of works by Beckett, Kafka, C. P. Cavafy, and others. The second part takes the form of a diary that overlaps memories, thoughts, reflections, and poetry in an attempt to deal with grief after Mina’s sudden loss of his mother.
The projects were selected from over 95 applications from across the Arab world with the advice of Ahmed Nagy (writer, Egypt) and Hussam Hilali (writer, Sudan), Meriam Bousselmi (playwright and researcher, Tunisia/Germany), and Samar Yazbek (writer, Syria).
This program is part of our project “Distinct Voices”, which is partially supported by the Federal Foreign Office, Germany.
Abdelmajid Sebbata (MA) working on Fi Riwaya Oukhra (working title) – a novel comprised of three stories taking place in different time and space, including that of the author in 2018 who forgets his laptop containing his novel’s manuscript in a rental car, an American author traveling to Morocco in 2002 where her father was stationed during WWII, and a Morrocan teenager studying in Moscow who finds himself inside the Moscow theater during the hostage-taking events in 2002.
Mira Sidawi (LB/PS) working on Qol Lil Naoum An Yanam, a novel on the daily life in the Borj El Barjneh Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon revolving around a central character, “Nasr” a nightingale introduced into the camp.
The two recipients of the first edition were selected from over 190 applications from across the Arab world with the advice of Golan Haji (poet, Damascus/Paris), Lina Mounzer (writer, Beirut), and Nisrine Al Zahre (linguist, Damascus/Paris).