Belgo-Palestinian poet Fatena Al-Ghorra selected to take part in the prestigious International Writing Program of the Iowa University

The U.S. Embassy is pleased to announce that Fatena Al-Ghorra, born in Gaza and living in Belgium since 2010, will take part on the campus of the University of Iowa from August 19 to November 7, 2017 in this prestigious program financed by the U.S. Department of State. It brings together a large panel of international and American authors to examine the current trends of literature, animate courses and workshops, and present the literary works of their country to a larger audience while learning more about American literature.

Since 1967, more than 1,400 writers from 150 different countries have completed this program celebrating its 50th edition this year. For the 2017 program, more than 30 talented writers coming from all over the world will spend 12 weeks together on the University of Iowa campus. It is in large part thanks to this international writing program of its university that Iowa is the only American city to have been recognized as a UNESCO City of Literature.

“The fact that Fatena Al-Ghorra was selected by the University of Iowa for its prestigious international writing program shows that we managed to propose a particularly promising cultural bridge-builder. Fatena fits indeed perfectly in this program that emphasizes diversity and intercultural collaboration,” highlighted an official of the US Embassy, thanking the International House of Literature Passa Porta for its excellent collaboration and for the support offered to Fatena Al-Ghorra.

“We are delighted with Fatena’s participation in the Iowa Writers Program and proud that our expertise as literature house in Brussels played a part to link with this first-rate program,” said Ilke Froyen, the director of the International House of Literature Passa Porta.

Fatena Al-Ghorra

Was born in Gaza City where she studied Arabic literature, worked as a poet and TV and radio journalist. She was forced to flee Gaza when Hamas came to power. This is how she arrived in Belgium. She has published four works of poetry, and two have been translated and a fifth one will soon be published in Arabic and in Dutch. In 2012 she won the El Hizjira prize for Dutch-speaking writers of foreign origin.