Sima Qunsol reads her contribution to the new anthology "Arab Women Voice New Realities" at the book's launch in Beirut, Nov. 24, 2017. (The Daily Star / Mohammad Azakir)
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Qunsol, like the dozen other women who contributed to the anthology, is a writer of some description, though not all of the contributors are experienced authors."We wanted women who wrote real stories, stories with a pulse," Nasser told The Daily Star. She had been toying with the idea of an anthology for women writers, hoping to use it as a vehicle to bring different voices to the same stage. Growing up, most of them weren't exposed to Arab female writers.Shahd Alshammari, meanwhile, did not experience that particular barrier but is unable to recall reading books by Arab female writers until she her undergraduate years studying literature.Despite being written in English, their stories reflect the heterogeneous experiences of Arab women in the contemporary world – combatting flattening portrayals of this demographic that might otherwise appear in the media or popular culture.Youmna Bou Hadir, a creative writing instructor and a contributor to the anthology, believes the number of Arab female writers is slowly increasing.
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