Gaza: A. M. Qattan Foundation hosts Talal Abu Shawish in the fourth encounter of the Reading Club
The Educational Research and Development Programme of the A. M. Qattan Foundation, in partnership with Khuta Publishing, organised at its headquarters in Gaza the fourth encounter of the Reading Club. The event was moderated by Mahmoud Madi, Director of Khuta Publishing, and attended by 28 people.
The encounter addressed several issues related to the economy, politics, myths and their relation to religions, legitimate and illegitimate migration and the state of Arab intellectuals. It presented the writer Talal Abu Shawish under and encounter titled “A Guest and an Experience.”
Encounters include a segment called “Book Exchange,” whereby participants bring books to exchange them with others to engage in dialogue. In “A Guest and an Experience,” a writer, artist or community activist with a rich experience in reading is presented for discussion.
Teacher Attiyyeh Abu Mhadi presented his experience in reading a section from the book Creating a World without Poverty by Bangladeshi Muhammad Yunis. Abu Mhadi discussed the real-life success story in the world of economics and how the ideas addressed in the book have affected and encouraged him to think of a project along the lines of the economic philosophy of the book.
Hamdan Al Agha discussed his experience in reading the autobiography My Intellectual Journey by Abdel Wahab Elmessiri and how he was affected by it. Ghassan Al Nazli presented his experience with Mind’s First Adventure by Firas Al Sawwah, addressing legends and myths and how they control human beings. He talked about how the book provoked questions in his mind and how old civilisations interpreted the issues they faced, including, for example, the issue of human distribution.
Ahmad Al Farra presented his experience in reading 28 Letters, a book by actor Ahmad Hilmi, while Khaled Shaheen talked about Urban House by Talal Abu Shawish, the guest of the event. Shaheen said during the event: “Immigration has become the only solution for young Gazan men and women. I was one of those wanting to immigrate to Canada. However, after reading the novel, I changed my mind completely.”
In the “Guest and an Experience” segment, Mohammad Hijazi engaged with writer Talal Abu Shawish in a conversation and posed several questions. Abu Shawish talked about his professional career and experience in writing short stories and novels and referred to his latest novel, Urban House discussing it in length with the participants.
The idea at the base of the club’s activities is one that is related to the sharing of individual experiences while reading books through an open-dialogue process whereby each participant chooses a book that had an impact on them. Each participant talks about the experience of reading that book, including the associated mental and emotional relationship that evolved, and the questions the book raised and the ideas addressed.