In a country like Jordan, with an area of almost 9000 km2 but with a dense population, which in recent years has become very diverse with the arrival of many people or, as I like to call them, ‘guests’ from neighboring Arab countries who fled war or harsh circumstances in their homelands, it can be hard amongst this crowd to see or notice a young generation of creatives who are thriving to find a place and distinguish their existence in this universe, especially in this small geographical area. Amman Writing Club seems to offer a venue for not just young college students to express their ideas and thoughts but to well-established professionals as well.
This is a sneak peek into this world of thriving creatives.
If you ask: What do they write about? What language do they use? What topics interest them? All these pose a larger question about who we are and what we want. At a recent meeting where a very energized discussion took place about our identity, where almost all of us had excellent command of English, we went through a discussion which was provoked after one writer read her piece about where she felt she belonged, we started sharing our thoughts about who we are.
Are we Arabs or more western, or westernized Arabs. Some of us expressed how they prefer to speak in English most of the time but when they cursed, somehow, it was so natural to them to curse in Arabic, someone talked about how they liked to read English books but still, she saw herself as an Arab. I asked the question, can we be considered bilingual?
The answer to this can be No and Yes at the same time. It is a mixture of diverse opinions with great complexity in a globalized world, in a region trying to reconcile religion and tradition in a modern world context.
What I see in this club is a potential to shape our artistry in constructing words so we can one day contribute to the world around us, if not, our small surroundings. But wait, perhaps one can reach the world, the world is accessible after all ‘online’, despite that what gives Amman Writing Club an advantage, in my opinion, the meetings that are taking place every month where we actually get to meet and know each other in person.