Writing, as a means of self-expression, gives power. In knowing the strength and power writing yields, Jahanamiya was created, encouraging Saudi women to raise their voices. Jahanamiya is a quarterly literary magazine that publishes creative writing by Saudi women.
The pieces featured in the magazine can be fiction, non-fiction or poetry; the magazine also features artwork by Saudi artists. Jahanamiya aims to use storytelling to explore Saudi culture through the eyes of Saudi women, to celebrate the diversity of both Saudi women and Saudi culture as well as to create a virtual community for Saudi female writers and readers. Each issue has a central theme that is an element of Saudi culture. Their first issue, which was released in the August 2015, was titled Arabic Coffee. It featured ten pieces in both English and Arabic. Each piece is accompanied by an artwork. Jahanamiya‘s second issue is set to be published around the end of December under the theme “Ismik”, meaning ‘your name’, referring to a female subject, in Arabic. Founder and Editor In Chief, Ahd Niazy told us, “I’m really excited about this theme because I think it will bring out much more personal stories. Saudi society, like many Arab societies, is a very private one. To be able learn from and about one other – and especially to learn from our women – is an absolute privilege.”
When asked about the importance of Jahanamiya, Ms. Ahd Niazy said, “Jahanamiya is important because every Saudi woman is important. Every marginalized woman, silenced woman, angry woman, successful woman, sad woman, elated is important. Listening to women and girls tell us about themselves – about their differences, their goals, and their stories – is vital. It’s vital to our growth as individuals, and to our success as a community.”
Interested in publishing your work on Jahanamiya? They are currently accepting submissions to their second issue, “Ismik“. You can send your submissions and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was originally published on BarakaBits on 25/10/2015.