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JEDDAH: Founded by Saudi author Ghaida Rafeeq in 2018, Writer Hubs supports local talent through writing sessions, workshops and community building.
The Writing Club is located at the Jeddah University of Business and Technology, where aspiring writers, authors, and students can learn the basics of writing, exchange ideas, and attend book signing events featuring well-known literary minds.
The club was created when Rafeeq, the author of the Arabic novel Behind the Shadows, noticed a lack of communication among writers in Jeddah and decided to step in with his expertise, interest and skills.
Rafeeq told Arab News: It’s a community where writers can help and support each other through the publishing process and the different stages after starting their first novel.
You need direction when you start writing, this will allow you to do so.
Although her family was initially skeptical of the viability of a writing club, Rafeeq found tremendous support from writers and from UBT, where she was studying at the time.
The club’s success and longevity is due to Rafeeq’s ability to connect with the public, aided by his public speaking skills, welcoming attitude and generosity in helping fellow writers.
Rafeeq has participated with the club in various events in Jeddah including the Jeddah Book Fair and TEDx. She plans to expand the community to include Riyadh, Dammam and other Saudi cities.
She said: I want to expand this community, so that writers from the Arab world can come to Arabia just to attend the workshops and join the community.
It’s a community where writers can help and support each other through the publishing process and the various stages after starting their first novel.
Ghaida Rafeeqsaudi writer
Currently, Writer Hubs focuses on weekly sessions that include an hour with an author, during which they discuss their book and answer questions, followed by an hour-long workshop.
An event called Revive is organized by the club every year and recently took place this year. It included remedial writing classes and workshops for authors facing writer’s block or wanting to boost their creative output.
Rafeeq said: We are giving writers the opportunity to present some of their unpublished work to the public so they can get feedback that might be helpful.
After publishing her own novel in 2018, Rafeeq continued to pursue her love of writing and also focused on earning her degree in Advertising Communications from UBT.
She added: My goal is to never stop writing because although some writers have writer’s blocks and quits, our community will help them get back to their craft.
She started another community project called Womens Hub a year ago, where she meets other women authors and discusses tips on remedial writing.
She added: Womens Hub primarily focuses on topics that appeal to women. We ask questions and they answer to find out more about who they are.
It looks like a women’s circle where women can freely express their feelings and emotions. We have already had almost 16 sessions and continue to move forward with a new topic each time.
Rafeeq initially held sessions at local cafes, but later discovered a Jeddah-based creative hub called Jasmine Hub that provided support.
She said: Jasmine Hub, a talent and arts management and development center, sponsored me. Thanks to our collaboration, the community obtained a gathering place and a safe place for us.
Writer Hubs sessions were put on hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic, which made him realize the importance of writing communities.
She added: The writers missed these sessions so much that I realized how important they were to them. They started contacting me on social media to inquire about the next session.
Rafeeq shared that organizing the community brings her a sense of happiness as she is able to give back and help people start writing.
Speaking about the overall experience of her own literary career, she added: As a writer, I have gained a lot of knowledge through workshops and sessions.
I also gained many new friends, including members of the Ministry of Culture, and through these connections I was able to help and encourage many budding writers.
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An Overview of Global Events in 2023
In 2023, the world witnessed a myriad of events that left a lasting impact on global affairs. From political developments and economic shifts to environmental challenges and breakthroughs in science and technology, the year was marked by significant changes and a sense of urgency for collective action. Here’s an overview of some of the latest world news in 2023.
Political Unrest and Diplomatic Strides:
In the political arena, several regions experienced unrest and geopolitical tensions. The ongoing conflict in the Middle East continued to dominate headlines, with efforts towards peace and stability remaining elusive. However, there were also moments of diplomatic breakthroughs as nations engaged in dialogues to ease tensions and work towards lasting solutions.
The global economy faced both challenges and opportunities. Trade disputes between major powers affected markets, while some countries grappled with debt crises. On the other hand, emerging economies showed resilience and promising growth, fueling optimism for a more balanced global economic landscape.
Innovation surged forward in the tech industry, with breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, renewable energy, and space exploration. Quantum computing achieved milestones, promising radical transformations across industries. Renewable energy sources gained traction, with many countries setting ambitious goals to combat climate change.
Climate Crisis and Environmental Resilience:
As the climate crisis intensified, extreme weather events wreaked havoc in various parts of the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, and floods reminded humanity of the urgent need for climate action. In response, governments and communities across the globe doubled down on efforts to reduce carbon emissions, invest in sustainable infrastructure, and protect biodiversity.
Health and Pandemic Management:
Health remained a global priority as countries continued to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. With the emergence of new variants, vaccination efforts and public health measures remained crucial to curbing the spread of the virus. There were also significant advancements in medical research and technology, offering hope for better preparedness in handling future health crises.
Sports and Cultural Milestones:
Amidst the challenges, the world found moments of joy and unity through sports and culture. International sporting events brought together athletes from diverse backgrounds, promoting solidarity and camaraderie. Cultural exchanges and celebrations showcased the richness of human diversity and fostered mutual understanding.
In conclusion, the year 2023 was a dynamic period filled with significant events that shaped the course of history. From political unrest to technological advancements and environmental challenges, the world witnessed the complexities of the global landscape. While obstacles remained, there were also encouraging developments and collaborative efforts towards a more sustainable, peaceful, and prosperous future for all nations. As we move forward, the lessons learned from these events serve as a reminder of the importance of collective action and cooperation to address shared global challenges.