Six Haigazian University students are taking part in the Write to Remember project, a project for the youth funded by the U.S. Embassy, that aims to use writing as a tool to help process the aftermath of the August 4, 2020 Beirut port blast.
Anita Moutchoyan, instructor of English and Writing Center Director at Haigazian University, along with two former HU faculty members, namely, Serine Jaafar and Hala Daouk, and LAU Senior Instructor of English, Paula Habre, received the grant that enabled the launching of this project.
Ms. Moutchoyan, who has, herself, witnessed the trauma of the Beirut blast, has created, along with her team members, a platform for the affected youth to share their feelings and deal with their trauma collectively. As its name indicates, Write to Remember commemorates this trauma through remembrance in writing, which also includes archiving stories, reflections, photos, and oral histories related to the tragic event and its aftermath.
From August 2021 to date, the project has hosted three workshops. The first workshop was held on August 3rd, led by the Regional English Language Officer at the U.S. Embassy, Eran Williams. The second workshop was offered during the month of September by Haigazian alumna, actress, director, and drama therapist, Zeina Daccache, the Founder of Catharsis: Lebanon’s first organization dedicated to utilizing theatre as a social and psychological therapy tool. The most recent workshop was presented in November by LAU Assistant Professor of Creative and Journalistic Writing, Sleiman El Hajj, who focused on exploring the use of sensory perceptions to navigate through and reimagine/(re)write trauma.
The first of a series of three open mic sessions, planned to take place in venues affected and damaged by the blast, was held on December 11, 2021, at Aaliya’s Books in Gemmayze, Beirut, hosted by spoken word poet, Majd Shidiac, where Write to Remember participants shared their writing with the larger community.
By August 2022, the project will have hosted three more workshops and two more open mic events.
Get to know more about upcoming workshops and open mics, participants, written submissions, oral narratives, and more by browsing on the Write to Remember website:
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