Downtown Cairo’s Cocoon Cultural Centre online short story workshops are exactly what we need to come out of lockdown with a new skill.
You know when you're in therapy recovering from your newfound fear of the outside world after the disaster that is 2020, one of the activities your psychiatrist would recommend is to channel your frustrations through a creative outlet - such as creative writing. But even that can come with some mental blocks of its own. But as Freud once said, sometimes a pen is just a pen (at least, he probably said something like that). Downtown Cairo’s Cocoon Cultural Centre has pieced together a short story workshop, available for Arabic and English writers, for those among us who want to tap into our literary side.
The workshops last about a month and a half, and are available entirely online. Every week you can expect to sit down at your keyboard for a couple of hours to get down and dirty with a side of existentialism. Teaching the Arabic course will be Mona El Shimy, a five-time novelist and eight-time award winner who has landed on the International Booker List. On the English front we have Fatima El-Kalay, a poet, short story writer and Master’s degree holder with a lot of teaching experience under her belt.
“With those two interesting writers leading the workshops, I think both workshops will be full of enthusiasm and eagerness," Maysoon Mahfoudh, cofounder and workshop coordinator at the centre, told CairoScene."The Arabic class will help participants in analyzing, criticizing, and writing, while the English class will go hand in hand with students for basics in short story writing.”
The Arabic workshop will run from July 6th to August 27th and consists of 36 hours of work each week, while the English one will start on July 5th and end on August 23rd at 24 hours a week, both costing EGP 1800.