On the healing powers of fiction in times of war

*This essay is based on a talk I gave on art in times of conflict. I would like to start by paying tribute to all the artists currently living in conflict areas, breathing life into spaces filled with blood. I’m in awe of their work and inspired by the opportunity they carve out in the… Continue reading On the healing powers of fiction in times of war


The Sitara

 First published on Laformoisie. This sitara decorated our wall in Sana'a, then Tunis and now Lille.  It desperately needs to be washed but I don't want to lose the bukhoor scent of a 'once upon a time' qat filled room.  I'm afraid that if the smell disappears or the colors lose their vibrancy, then I would be deprived of a lifeline… Continue reading The Sitara


Inspiring quotes about writing

These authors and poets have helped me overcome my doubt, especially on those dreadful days when it all seems utterly fruitless. A good reminder of the importance of perspective: “You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world... The… Continue reading Inspiring quotes about writing