“Writing the City”

Business Building 904, Beirut campus

The Department of English Language Instruction is organizing a lecture entitled “Writing the City” by Mishka Mojabber Mourani, senior vice president of International College (IC). She will read and discuss excerpts from her writing around the theme of the city.

Mourani is a writer, educator, and trainer born in Alexandria, Egypt, to a Lebanese father and Greek mother. By the age of six she spoke several languages, including French, Greek, Arabic and Italian, but English was the one most used in her multicultural family. Her love of reading and of writing began at an early age.  Her writing deals with the themes of war, memory, identity, exile and gender issues. She is the author of a poetry collection, Lest We Forget: Lebanon 1975-1990. Her short story, “The Fragrant Garden,” appeared in Hikayat:  Short Stories by Lebanese Women [Telegram books, London, 2006], and Lebanon Through Writers’ Eyes [Eland, London, 2009]. Her work also appeared in Habiter Beyrouth? Parcours d’écriture [Assabil, Beirut, 2010], and La Mediterranée au Carrefour Des Mots [Assabil-Kitabat, 2011]. She published Balconies: A Mediterranean Memoir [Dar An-Nahar, Beirut, 2009] and translated to English Faiseur de réalités  [Maker of Realities2011] French poems by Antoine Boulad inspired by Mohamad Rawas’ art. Most recently, she co-authored a poetry collection entitled Alone, Together [Kutub, Beirut, 2012], a project in which Aida Y. Haddad translated Mourani’s poetry from English to Arabic, and vice versa. In the past year, the short story “Fatma’s Fate” appeared in the Winter edition of The Studio Voice, the reflection From its shore I saw Jerusalem was featured in Your Middle Eastthe poem “One is not born a Beiruti” appeared in Sukoon Magazine“Letter to My father” was published in Cedar World Magazine, and “Stone Walls Do Not A Memory Make” was featured in the journal Rowayat.

The city in many of her texts occupies a central place. It is almost a protagonist. Her book Balconies, A Mediterranean Memoir is an exploration of  various phases of her life as seen from the balconies of the cities in which she has lived: Alexandria, Beirut, Athens and Sydney.  The writer negotiates her identities within the context of the spaces she occupies as a woman, as a mother, as a citizen, as an exile, in times of conflict and in times of serenity.

All are welcome to attend.