‘1001 Titles’ initiative hosts authors from Algeria and Libya at Creative Writing Retreat

‘1001 Titles’ initiative hosts authors from Algeria and Libya at Creative Writing Retreat

 Algeria’s Wasini Al Araj and Najwa bin Shatwan from Libya are leading workshops to enrich creative content in the UAE

Sharjah, February 20, 2020:As part of the ongoing Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 celebrations, the 1001 Titles initiative is hosting Algerian author Wasini Al Araj and Libyan novelist Najwa bin Shatwan, to deliver a series of workshops during its Creative Writing Retreat for Emirati and Arab writers based in the UAE.


The retreat, to be held from February 15 – 24 at Al Badayer Retreat, Sharjah, will empower Emirati and Arab writers, to advance and enrich the creative content in the UAE.


Sponsored by Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature and held in collaboration with the Sharjah World Book Capital (SWBC) Office, the Creative Writing Retreat programme will take the participants through the step-by-step process of writing with a focus on the basics of freestyle writing. The programme will also equip them with the essential knowledge and skills to fully understand how to showcase and promote their books and adapt to challenges they may encounter in their career.

Wasini Al Araj will share with the participants his expertise in creative writing, teaching them how to hone their craft through research, experiment and editing. Al Araj is a prominent contemporary novelist and author of The Jasmine Necklace and Butterfly Kingdom, amongst others. His accomplished works have inspired a new generation of writers.

Najwa bin Shatwan will introduce the participants to the techniques of creative writing on the topics of politics and human issues. She will also offer insights and guide participants into the challenges of structuring a book, finding resources and the risks associated with banning of books and censorship. Shatwan is a Libyan academic and novelist who has participated in several cultural events in Libya and abroad. Her debut literary work titled HorsesHair, appeared in 2005.


Commenting on the importance and impact of the project, novelist Al Araj, said: “Through this project, Sharjah affirms that the book is the backbone of its cultural project, and that winning a global cultural title is a culmination of the emirate’s relentless efforts to develop and upgrade the publishing sector of the UAE and beyond. The creative writing retreat testifies not only Sharjah’s support to the knowledge industry, but to young writers in their journey of creative development.”

Najwa bin Shatwan said Sharjah was the birthplace of her literary career, and that she was delighted to return as a mentor to young writers. Asserting that the Creative Writing Retreat was a wonderful platform to foster creativity and nurture Emirati and Arab literary talents, she added that Sharjah has come a long way in promoting Arab culture globally, and is a leading hub of creative industries today.



Themed ‘Nurturing Talent to Enrich Content’, the 1001 Titles is a cultural initiative launched in February 2016. The first phase of the initiative successfully achieved its goal of supporting the publication of 1,001 first-edition Arabic books, which signalled a big step forward in enhancing the UAE’s collective intellectual product. Through subsequent editions, the initiative ultimately seeks to ensure the growth and sustainability of the publishing industry in the UAE and beyond.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s