Haas Mroue: Annual Creative Writing Workshop
The 4th Annual Haas Mroue Creative Writing Workshop was held on Saturday, May 10, from 10 am to 5 pm. Participants were treated to two sessions on creative writing, a lavishly creative lunch, and copies of Haas Mroue’s book, Beirut Seizures.
During the first session, Ms. Abir Ward focused on the creative process of phrasing advertising campaign slogans and tag lines. Participants were shown ads without slogans that work as efficiently as ads with slogans, and then they were asked to assess whether these ads are culturally relevant and can be universally understood. After explaining how advertising slogans and tag lines are written, what constitutes a successful tagline, and what rhetorical tools to utilize in the writing process, participants were asked to write advertising slogans in a number of diverse activities.
In the second session, Mr. Naji Bakhti dealt with the relationship between setting, the city in particular, and character. His workshop explored the extent to which both are intertwined and attempted to float the idea that they are essentially inseparable. It started out with a list of prompts which helped participants come up with their own characters. Those characters were then randomly given to other participants who had to deal with the unfamiliar whilst describing Beirut from above and within. Beirut became everything the characters saw in it. It morphed into the city of the character describing it.
And how did Beirut morph for Haas Mroue?
“These are my war tales.
I wear earrings made of shrapnel.
I am a bullet proof with nuclear tongue.
This is your last concentration camp.” Beirut Seizures