Women in Literature Festival: the power of storytelling

Women in Literature Festival: the power of storytelling

Photo: “Stories of Exile and Resilience: The Power of Storytelling” panel discussion, illustration by Keemiya Creatives

“The opportunity to tell their stories is very important to honour our parents and our grandparents, but it’s also part of our resistance – when we refuse to cast a blanket of generalisation on our people,” Nimati Emam, founder of Jaleelah, a community for Arab women, explained during a powerful panel discussion called “Stories of Exile and Resilience: The Power of Storytelling”.  

The talk was part of Ananke’s Women in Literature Festival, an online event exploring the transformative impact of storytelling. Its aim is to spark impactful conversations at the intersection of gender equality, literature and creative arts, celebrating the diverse, creative journeys of women around the world.

Joined by Deema Al Alami, best-selling author and curator of “48 Stories of Exile from Palestine”, we discussed the role and impact of storytelling in capturing the journeys of Palestinian people who have experienced exile.

“The purpose of this book is to bring the English-speaking community closer to our truth, to hear our stories from our mouths, not from someone else, not from someone who studied about the Palestinian diaspora or the Palestinian exile, not a historian”, Al Alami said. These are the people just like you and me, and it’s pure luck that they were born in Palestine and you weren’t, and this is what they went through. So the whole idea is to get the English-speaking community to understand and hear our stories.”

Watch the full discussion below. 


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