Students launch literary journal

October 28, 2021
Students at Northwestern Qatar have launched the inaugural issue of their online literary journal, Wisteria.
“Wisteria is a platform for the students, and by the students, to share ideas and creativity together. Its launch is a celebration of our students’  creative voices,” said Professor Sam Meekings, who teaches creative writing at Northwestern Qatar, also noting that “the diversity of the Northwestern Qatar community enriches our students’ creative output and brings them together in the name of creativity and discovery.”
In producing the publication, the students worked with Meekings to highlight creative work under the theme of finding strength and perseverance during difficult times. Featuring poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and art, submitted work reflected on the students’ personal experiences navigating the challenges of the pandemic.
Moom Tahina, the editor-in-chief, pointed out that the “creative work has the ability to bring a community together in conversation and discovery, and Wisteria's first issue signified most of that.” She added that, “as we move ahead with our next issue, we hope to strengthen this connection even more."

At Wisteria’s launch event, students presented their work to the community. Lena Al-homoud narrated her creative piece, Seeking Order, reflecting on how keeping a daily routine helped her find order amidst the disruptions and uncertainty brought by the pandemic lockdowns. “I have learned to have a flexible mindset,” said Al-homoud. “This piece is my way of coping with uncertainty and realizing that everything may seem uncertain at some point, but it does not make planning unworthy.”

Tayyba Imran wrote her creative non-fiction piece Home and the in-between: an International Student’s Struggle with Corona at a time when feelings of foreignness defined her experience studying abroad during the pandemic. Recounting her experience with homesickness captured in the piece, Imran said putting feelings into writing helped her understand that, “while things indefinitely seem grim, there should always be a speck of hope in you.” 

The Wisteria team also includes Elissa Mefleh, art editor; Bisrat Tasew, poetry editor; Lana Al-Qatami and Lena Al-homoud, non-fiction editors; Lujain Assaf, fiction editor; Manan Bhavni, copy editor; Khadija Ahmad, poetry editor; Hongji Feng, fiction editor; Zeest Marrium, social media manager; and Christopher Fwalanga, visual design manager.