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Dubai International Program for Writing to Host ‘Creative Writing’ Workshop with Novelist Najwa Barakat

Dubai International Program for Writing to Host ‘Creative Writing’ Workshop with Novelist Najwa Barakat

Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), a leading establishment that seeks to spread knowledge and support literary initiatives in the Arab world, today announced the signing of an MOU with Lebanese novelist Najwa Barakat to conduct a workshop on creative writing.

The initiative, which comes as part of the Foundation’s Dubai International Program for Writing (DIPW) launched in October 2013, will help a select group of writers to develop their skills in creative writing through a year-long program comprising four sessions, each extending over a 10-day period.

As part of the selection process for the program, MBRF will invite interested candidates to submit a brief project. Based on the talent displayed in the project, 10 writers will be selected for a year-long program conducted by Barakat. At the end of the program, MBRF will print, publish and distribute the final projects of the candidates. An online follow up sessions between Barakat and the participants will also be facilitated through every phase of the program.

Jamal Bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF, said: "Following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of MBRF, we have compiled a list of prominent trainers and writers with experience in nurturing young talent. We are delighted to have on board Najwa Barakat as a mentor for the creative writing workshop. She will prove an important value addition in mentoring our first batch of talented participants. We look forward to a fruitful outcome at the end of the workshop."

Expressing her enthusiasm at being associated with a macro initiative like DIPW, Najwa Barakat said: "The current phase of DIPW’s ambitious drive focuses on identifying and supporting talented young Emirati writers. I’m happy to be part of the process of mining the UAE's potential talent pool.

"What distinguishes the creative writing workshop is its effort to cover the complete process of transforming a creative idea into a printed and published novel ready to be marketed and read by the region’s book-lovers. As every new writer knows, the process of taking a finished work to its target audience can be really challenging. The Foundation is doing a commendable job in facilitating that process.”

The creative writing workshop is the first of many initiatives that the Foundation aims to host under the DIPW program. Plans are already underway to organize workshops on scientific research, playwriting, and historical documentation among others.

Dubai International Program for Writing, which aims to elevate literary standards of society, will be rolled out in three phases. The first phase aims to empower 100 young Emirati writers with enhanced writing skills, while the second phase will engage young Arab authors who currently reside in the UAE. The third phase will address authors from across the wider Arab region.

The Foundation seeks to support participants by providing funds to publish and promote their literary works beyond domestic borders and make them available in the global marketplace.

The launch of the first phase of the writing program was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between MBRF and Kuttab Publishing House towards supporting 20 deserving Emirati authors.

The Foundation aims to ink similar synergies with other UAE-based publishing houses in order to benefit the targeted number of authors in the country. The program also seeks to support local publishing houses and highlight the role they play in enriching the knowledge and culture movement in the Arab world.

Jamal Khalfan Bin Huwaireb said: "Knowledge is an integral component of any country’s blueprint for development. The Foundation is committed to supporting and creating initiatives that encourage literary pursuits such as writing and publishing. It is our priority at MBRF to nurture our regional talent and help develop emerging Emirati and Arab authors. The Foundation will also focus on publishing books that go beyond literary work - such as scientific and research-based content that reflects unique thinking while adding literary value.”

Since its inception, MBRF has passed through several stages, during which it has contributed significantly to the dissemination of knowledge and supporting entrepreneurship. The Foundation is currently working to prioritize its primary goal of restoring the role and respect of thought leaders and intellectuals in the Arab world through creating an advanced knowledge environment worthy of the reputation of Dubai and the UAE.