at the lab
Al-Arabi Magazine Archive
Collective Reading Sessions

12-26 February 2023 | Sundays 6:00 PM | Al Ghorfa

As part of our season exploring archives, we continue our program with Hiba Masad and the archive of Al-Arabi magazine. Throughout a workshop that took place last month, twelve participants interested in writing and literature investigated the history of the magazine's issues published in the years 1967 and 1973. As a result of their research, a series of articles have been selected to be further studied in a collective reading. The selected articles are reflections on the meanings of home and belonging, proposing ties between our daily lived experiences and our history. In doing so, special emphasis is placed on the years that forged our understanding of a collective Arab identity, and its politics.

Participants will share the reading materials as part of three reading and discussion sessions that are open to a limited number of attendees.

Session I: City development and how it impacts our feeling of belonging
Facilitated by: Thaer Matar, Dima Masri, Zynab Ishaqat
Sunday 12 February 2023 I 6:00 pm

What makes us belong to a certain place, or to a city in particular? What opportunities does the city offer, and do these opportunities play a role in our feeling of belonging? Does the development of the city affect our feelings about it, and at what cost?

In the first collective reading session from the Al-Arabi magazine archive, the facilitators will share a text about the Aswan during the construction of the High Dam.

Session II: Migration, leaving and belonging
Facilitated by: Jinan Selwadi, Safaa Abu Eid, Duha Abu Yehya, Aisha Abughazi
Sunday 19 February 2023 I 6:00 PM

What is migration, and what is leaving? How do we form a sense of belonging to a place after leaving it forcibly? And how to belong to your country when you leave it in search of a better life?

Session III: Dear Reader; a conversation between the past and the present
Facilitated by: Bashar Al-Idreesi, Zeina Bassam, Muna Mufti
Sunday 26 February 2023 I 6:00 PM

“Dear Reader” is the title of the editorial for each issue of Al-Arabi magazine. During this session, the facilitators will share a few texts from editorial pieces from specific years in the Al-Arabi archive, to discuss and reflect on the meanings of objectivity and freedom in our part of the world.

Hiba Masad studied visual arts at the University of Jordan between 2008 and 2012, specializing in printmaking. Over the past eight years, Masad worked as an activity specialist at the Shoman Foundation, where she ran several workshops and activities. During those years, Masad continued her personal art practices in the form of drawing, printmaking, and text reading. Masad recently obtained her Master’s Degree in Arts in performing public space from FHK in the Netherlands, where her research focused on collective readings, and resulted in launching an initiative to create a community of collective readers in public spaces in Jordan.