My second book “Janna Ala Al Ard” (Heaven on Earth), is finally out in English after three years of its original release in Arabic by Dar Al Adab in November 2014. Translated By the brilliant Sawad Hussain and published by Signal8Press (same publisher of “The Bride of Amman”).
On Saturday 25th November, we had the launch event of the book at Literaturhaus at Nadi on 25 November, 4PM, in Nadi Al Quoz (Al Serkal Avenue). My close friend Hani Yakan (whom I admire and appreciate a lot) moderated the session, and gave a great introduction for me and for the book. He has planned good questions around the theme of the book which triggered a very thoughtful and interesting discussion (Thank you Hani).
During the event, we talked about the writing process and the jump in genre from my previous feminist novel into a science fiction novel. We discussed the themes presented in the book from the current scientific trend of considering ageing to be a disease, and the promise of new technologies and research to bring defeat ageing and grant us a longer and healthier life span. We discussed the effect of the golden pill (full of nanobots to clean cellular damage and keep our cells healthy and young) on our social systems and how longer lifespans would affect our life styles and moral codes.
It was a really nice and engaging discussion, talking about the future at a time many experts deems to be the cusp of exponential development unprecedented in human history.
Writing the book helped me explore the concept of happiness; what is heaven and what is hell? Releasing a new book and having an audience to discuss it with, is certainly a line from heaven… on earth..
You can order your copy now from Jamalon.com.
Here are some photos from the event:
My 2nd book Heaven on Earth is finally out in English and I am very thankful for the endorsement of these distinguished people, two of whom are leading the global efforts in combating ageing: Aubrey de Grey and Ira S. Pastor.
1. Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation
2. Ira S. Pastor, CEO BioQuark Inc., Rejuvenation Biotechnology Company
3. Lara Matossian, founder and CEO of Sci Fest Dubai
4. Zaid Bawab, Jordanian filmmaker, part-time lecturer, and music curator
5. Batir Wardam, Jordanian writer and social-media activist
6. Fadi G. Haddad, Jordanian film director and writer
A dear brave gay friend of mine came out to his mother two months ago. He wrote this touching letter and asked me to published it on my blog:
The choice: A letter to my mother, and everyone else.
You choose to be gay, and you can “unchoose” it.
Do we choose to cast disappointment on those we love the most?
Do we choose to rob ourselves from the look of love and pride our parents reserve for our siblings who marry their opposite sex?
Do we choose to worry about what the next door neighbours will think and if they’ll report us to the police?
Do we choose to uproot ourselves from everything we know and lived with, every single time a government cracks down on us and we seek refuge somewhere else, amongst foreigners who never saw us battle through our lives since our childhood?
Do we choose to not get married right now because the country we live in doesn’t recognize our union, and one of us has a passport that doesn’t allow us to rest our tired souls on its soil, unless we get married somewhere else, away from everyone that have witnessed our birth and childhood?
Do we choose to worry about, if one of us gets sick and needs rushing to the hospital, what story we’d come up with about the nature of our relationship to the nurse and doctors?
Do we choose to worry about the people who always see us together, grocery shopping, going to the gym, checking in at hotels and ordering a king size bed?
Do we choose to have to delete any of our endearing messages and photographs on our phone should we detained at the airport security offices, in fear that we’d be put in hal and deported?
Do we choose to turn our backs on those we thought love us without any boundaries, because all they us to be is like the rest?
Do we choose to run to every single grave we know, asking their inhabitants if indeed Hell is reserved for us?
We choose to live through it all, because at the end of the day, our love for each other, and for our own selves, is worth it. This is the choice we make. Every single second of every single day.