Today was the fourth day in the Virtual Women Championship organized by 360 Experiential Solutions under the Auspices of the National Council for Women & in partnership with ExxonMobil. And the day started with a fire-side chat between Malak Wahba and Dr. Reem El Bassiouny. Dr. Reem is a Linguistic professor & a novelist who published several Arabic novels, and some of her books got translated to the English language even.
Reem started writing when she was 12 years old. She loves literature however started working as Linguistic professor here in Egypt. Then she travelled to do her masters in Oxford University, followed by her PHD degree. Linguistic helped her to feel the words more while writing. In 2005 she has published her first novel & since then she has published 5 novels. And 3 of her novels were translated to the English language. Throughout her writing career, she continued to be a Linguistic professor in George Town University till she came back to Egypt in 2015 to continue teaching in the American University in Cairo.
Malak asked Reem to around writers' block & her hit book
Reem thought that hew skill has expired or ended. And when the artistic side was blocked her practical life went on. Then, at one point the passion was re-activated one more time after visiting Sultan Hassan Mosque & felt in love with Mamlouk Sultanate. Given that all arts are connected, this opened her up to more writing. This historical era led to another hit novel, which has changed the stereotypes of Mamlouk Sultanate. Reem wrote this novel in 3 years,, doing a lot of research & creating this love story that mixes everything showing a new perspective to the Mamlouk Sultanate.
The novel tells the historical story smoothly through a love-story between Mohamed & Zeinab. Reem was able to build the characters and their relationships during the 3 years researching all of the possible incidents done during the Mamlouk Sultanate. She wrote about kidnapping children, traveling to Egypt, respecting science & art, and on the contrary they live in war killing other people.
This writers' block taught Reem that her talent is vulnerable & precious so she can't have her talent as the only profession she is making money through.
Malak then asked Reem how to stay 3 years working on something with no recognition to continue working?
The 3 main factors are strong passion, an inner drive, and persistence that helps her in overcoming the challenges faced.