I’m ridiculously excited to share that I’ve just started working with Penguin on a book of essays by some incredible Arab women journalists who will reflect on their personal experiences covering the region and its many conflicts.
This is a project that’s very dear to my heart, mostly because (as followers of my blog already know) I’m a massive fan of strong, Arab women who tirelessly work to raise awareness on the Arab world and who dispel the many myths swirling around it. The book will hopefully help shape the narrative on the region, one that’s often dominated by men or non-Arabs.
The book will feature the works (personal essays and photography) of women who I’ve admired for years. The women are of different backgrounds, generations and nationalities, and they work in photo, print, broadcast and digital journalism. I’m thrilled I’m going to be working with so many creative minds, and can’t wait to hear their stories.
The as yet untitled anthology will give voice to a rich array of rarely-heard and behind-the-scenes perspectives from women who have cultural, linguistic and personal ties to the regions they cover, journalists whose access and understanding are often quite different from that of their colleagues. Not surprisingly, these reporters confront unique challenges as well, issues surrounding gender, nationality, tradition and authenticity.
The contributors’ stories are varied as the writers themselves, casting new and much needed light on the roles of women in the Middle East and the Arab world, the vital–and often threatened–place of journalism and the importance of not only of the tale, but of the teller. The idea that the publishing industry needs diverse voices is a welcome development, and a book written by women who hail from a group more often vilified, exoticised or pitied is well overdue.
It’s early days yet — the book won’t be out for a while — but we’ve just announced the deal and hope you’ll join us in our giddiness (and in spreading the word). 🐧