A Call to Action, the evolution of the spoken word


Poetry has been a longstanding form of communication in the Middle East—how can it be used as a tool to shape understandings, inform perspectives and bring awareness to underrepresented issues?

The Media Majlis is joined by poets and practitioners Ghada Alatrash, Sabrina Mahfouz and Dima Matta for an evening of poetry and discussion. Join us in exploring how poetry can allow for the universality our experiences to be shared with others, and how poets continue to draw inspiration from the past to project their aspirations into the future.

[Image: photograph by Peter Muller, courtesy of Getty Images]
  • Venue accessibility

    • Simultaneous translation

      Simultaneous translation (Arabic/English) is provided for all programs.

    • Wheelchair accessibility

      The Projection Theatre is fully wheelchair accessible and features multiple wheelchair spaces with unobstructed views of the stage and screen.

    • Sign Language interpretation

      Sign Language interpretation (ASL and ArSL) may be requested for talks, discussions, lectures and tours. Please contact the museum well in advance of the program to discuss this service. You are welcome to bring an interpreter with you—please let us know ahead of time and we will ensure that appropriate seating is reserved. A program ticket does not need to be purchased for an interpreter providing prior notification of their attendance at a specific program is provided to the museum.

    • Wifi

      Free wifi access is available in the building. On your mobile device, with wifi switched on, select Guest-NUQ-Majlis from the available services and accept the terms of service to connect.

  • Program credits

    Dima Matta

    Dima Mikhayel Matta is a university instructor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Balamand, Lebanon, and a writer and actress. She received a Fulbright scholarship and completed her MFA in creative writing at Rutgers University, USA, in 2013. In 2014 she founded Cliffhangers, the first bilingual storytelling platform in Lebanon, and hosts monthly storytelling events along with parallel events including storytelling workshops and performances. Cliffhangers is a non-profit initiative that aims to give a platform for marginalized voices and serves as a safe space for people to share their stories. She is currently working on her first play, titled This is not a memorized script, this is a well-rehearsed story, which will premiere in Beirut in February 2020. 

    Ghada Alatrash

    Ghada Alatrash holds a PhD in Educational Research, Languages and Diversity from the Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary, Canada. Her doctoral research discusses the lived experience of the Syrian Diaspora in Canada. She was the recipient of the 2018 Queen Elizabeth II Doctoral Scholarship for her research in the Canadian province of Alberta. She currently teaches at both the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University in the Departments of Humanities, General Studies, and Women and Gender Studies. She is the author of Stripped to the Bone: Portraits of Syrian Women (2016), and has been profiled by CBC, PBS, BBC, Al Jazeera, and the Gulf News, among others.

    Sabrina Mahfouz

    Sabrina Mahfouz is a British-Egyptian poet, playwright, writer and performer, recently elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in the UK. She is the editor of The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, a 2017 Guardian Book of the Year, a London's Big Read finalist and selected by Emma Watson for her feminist book club, Our Shared Shelf. She is currently editing a new creative anthology, Smashing It: Working Class Artists on Life, Art and Making It Happen (Westbourne Press), and a children's poetry anthology Poems From a Green and Blue Planet for Hachette Books. She has held poetry workshops in numerous spaces ranging from the World Economic Forum, to the National Theatre in London.