January 26th. The Palestine Writing Workshop, in cooperation with the International Youth Exchange Program (Zajel) of the Public Relations Department and the Office of the University President Assistant for Graduate Affairs, organized a training workshop for the University students interested in developing their skills and expanding their experience in creative writing in English.

Mohammad Hanif, a British Pakistani Novelist and the trainer at the workshop, introduced to the students the different techniques of editing their literary work, and the many ways of using real life characters, situations and landscape in their stories. He also trained them on how to use excerpts from novels and how real things can become unreal, how to identify real life scenarios, characters and landscape to be used in fiction.

Students were trained on critical analysis of the literary text as well as give and take feedback from fellow writers; they were also taught how to read and rewrite their own writing. Sarah Musa, a student at the Faculty of Fine Arts and one of the participants in the workshop, described her participation as a unique experience and said she found the training very useful.  

She added “My participation enabled me to learn new techniques in writing my ideas and enhance my writing style. Our trainer has provided us with important notes on how to develop our literary writing skills which opened new horizons and opportunities for us”. 

Such workshops enable students and promising writers to learn new writing styles and acquire new skills that would enhance their work and expand their experience. This will have a substantial and positive impact on the writing capacities of young writers.

Hanif was born in Okara, Pakistan. He pursued a career in journalism and worked for Newsline, India Today, and the Washington Post after leaving the Pakistan Air Force Academy. He has written plays for both stage and screen, including a critically acclaimed BBC drama and the feature film The Long Night. Hanif is a graduate of the University of East Anglia’s creative writing programme. He is currently head of BBC’s Urdu Service.

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