Thanks to the ongoing work of Democracy Chronicles’ partners in Alexandria, Egypt led by Mahmoud Mansi of the Forgotten Writers Foundation, we are proud to announce the all star lineup of our judging panel for the already closed Seven Dictators Playwriting Competition. Take a look at their biographies here and feel free to ask any questions you might have below the article.
Keep posted for more announcements here at Democracy Chronicles as the judging period comes to a close. A winner will be announced soon but all of the submitted plays will be published together in one book that will be available here on DC.
I would also like to say thank you once again to all of the artists who submitted their plays to us last year. I have already read the submissions myself, as one of the judges, and I’m very happy to have been part of a project that has produced some really amazing original political artwork. Dictators beware!
Jennie King, recently graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, specializing in Arabic. During her year abroad she joined the British Council in Egypt, working as the Facilitator of Arts for the MENA Region, and also collaborated with Tamasi, an arts collective which includes companies from Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. She has just returned from a 3-month internship at the United Nations, studying Human Development and Conflict Resolution with Occidental College. Herself an avid performer, Jennie acted in 21 productions during her time at Cambridge, including new writing and musicals. She devised sketches for comedy troupe The Cambridge Footlights, and wrote reviews and columns for the student newspaper Varsity.
Nada Adel Sobhi, the Editor in Chief of HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine. She is also a Writer, translator, and a lovable person with much enthusiasm towards reading. Nada is Head of Book Reviews Department in the Forgotten Writers Foundation. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, Cairo University in 2009. In 2006, she joined her department’s poetry and creative writing magazine, “The Muse”, and became its Editor in 2007. She has been working on “The Muse” ever since. Nada has a passion for languages, especially German and Italian. In 2010, she began working as a translator with Arabic and English as her language pairs. Since September 2012, Nada has begun blogging at Nadaness In Motion about her writing, which includes poetry, flash fiction, short stories and numerous book reviews. In 2013, she joined book reviewers on the Author Alliance website.
Sherif El Herraoui is an aspiring Orthopaedic surgeon and freelance writer, having his works featured in numerous magazines and websites. He’s an award winner author at the MAKAN writing competition, 2013 and has self-published his first very short story collection entitled: Assa’ees in e-book format.
Arwa Bisharat is the founder of “Straketch” an online writing magazine that welcomes everyone to share their writing in poetry, fiction and drama. Born and raised in Palestine, Arwa has always been fascinated with reading and writing in English. She graduated from the University of Haifa in 2012 with two majors: English Literature and Theatre. Over the years she has worked as a teacher/tutor and sometimes even as a translator for the three languages: Arabic, Hebrew and English. Beside writing and acting, she also enjoys photography and graphic design. Arwa is also the Editor in Chief of Ink Your Pen section in The Forgotten Writers Foundation and she was one of the award winners of the “Women’s Domination Short Story Competition 2012/2013”.
Rania Refaat Shaheen, is a puppeteer, and the owner and founder of the El Pergola Puppet Theater. She is also a lawyer, and a political activist. Rania is a playwright and director, aiming at discussing social themes and human rights through her art. She was the manager of El Sawy Culture Wheel Center in Cairo from 2006 to 2009.
Susan Mashaal, is a renowned lecturer in the English Department, Faculty of Arts, at the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Apart from the grade of straight distinction in her MA and PhD, and apart from her various grammar, literature and writing teachings since 1981, she is known to be one of the most supportive lecturers among students, and the closest to them. For three years, she was a member of Playwrights and Co, undertaking activities of acting, directing, and prop designing. Dr. Susan is also a freelance translator in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and has been working on several independent translation projects.
Rola Kamel is the owner and publisher of Identity Magazine and website. She founded the magazine in 2005, which is considered one of the very first English magazines in Egypt. All her publications are about women and their needs, starting from fashion, self-development, and relationships to business, politics and feminism. She works with professional writers as and seeks to promote young talents and give them a chance to be noticed. The magazine believes in freedom of speech and a will to survive under any circumstances. Last but not least, Rola Kamel personally believes the human soul is the essence of everything good or bad.
Mahmoud Mansi, is an author who also works as an HR Specialist in the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport since 2009. He attained a BA in Finance in 2008 and an MA in Marketing in 2011. He is the founder and CEO of The Forgotten Writers Foundation since 2011, the Co-founder of The AlexandErian Magazine and the CEO of HR Revolution Middle-East Magazine.
Mahmoud attended several conferences worldwide and won a few awards from the British Council, as well as a couple of literary awards in Spain and the UK. His winning story “The Island” wasn’t ranked among the top 3 winners, yet he was inspired and motivated to write further and to start building the FWF project using his knowledge, talent and experience in business and writing.
Mahmoud is also a creative writing instructor. As for his hobbies, he likes to workout, draw and do some photography. He believes that art is related to everything in our lives and that it is a perfect means of exploring the self and the universe. He is the author of “A Journey from Darkness to Light”. Since 2011, he has been working on creating, managing and judging several writing competitions.