Fatima Jaber is a regular visitor to Carousel Writers’ Café. Week by week her writing is taking shape into something very promising. Over coffee, we asked her to let us in on what she’s been writing…
When did you start to write?
I never knew I could write until five years ago. A friend of mine who’s studying Civic Engineering turned to me to help him with an English assignment. He was supposed to write three hundred words on a certain topic and post it online before midnight. I had two hours to do that. I was stuck at the beginning but then words started flowing and I ended up writing six hundred words instead and had to cut it short. Since then I felt the urge to write more. I’ve always had a broad imagination and have always loved writing but never knew I had the ability to transfer that onto a blank sheet. I decided to join a writing group to get feedback on my writing and to discover more about this talent. Meeting with other people who shared the same interest; sitting down in a circle listening to their different pieces of writing and reading my own writing out loud to them; was the most fulfilling feeling I have ever had. It was the best time I ever spent.
Are you writing a novel?
I don’t actually have a book. I have a collection of short stories and short poems but I believe one of my short stories has great potential to be turned into a novel. I may call it Cross the Wall. My tutor in my first writing course, Mr. Larry O’ Loughlin, suggested this when I told him about the mixture of ideas and feelings I have for this certain piece.
Where did the idea come from?
During one of the evenings with the writing group; Mr. O’Loughlin said if you want to write something good, look for a notion that really provokes your emotions and stimulates your brain. So I thought, there are actually two things that really do this for me and both are very contradictory. The first is love. Or to be more specific, impossible love and the possibilities for it to be strong enough to challenge the impossible. The second is war. Hence began my story about this woman, Jenean, who has been living in Dublin with her parents for the last twenty years after emigrating from her home land of Palestine. She escaped the war between the Palestinians and the Israelis. Mainly it is about getting away from the tragic memories of the killing of her twin brother in front of her, at the hands of the Israelis. Later she meets with the man of her dreams, and lives the most romantic love story, until one day she discovers that he is from Israel.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your story?
It took me around ten weeks to write the short story and since then I have gone back to expand it but lots of ideas keep chasing me.
Who or what inspires you to write?
What mainly inspires me is my home country of Palestine. Despite all the conflicts it undergoes, I believe that there will always be space for love.
Will it be published?
I still have it wrapped in the form of a short story but I’m hoping to expand it into a novel during my visits to Carousel Writers Café. Then we’ll see…
We look forward to the finished product, Fatima and feel very privileged that Carousel plays such an important part in your writing, moving it forward… week by week…