Happy new year!
Another year passed and Kalimat kept growing since we started it in 2014. Anfal and I are ecstatic to start our 7th chapter with you and continue the journey ahead.
There’s a story I always tell when I speak about Kalimat and it never gets old, and I cherish it because It reminds me of the reason I live for Kalimat.
In 2010, I was in my second year of university and absolutely hating it. Everything seemed gloomy and it wasn’t the ‘college experience’ I had hoped for. One day, Anfal shared a Facebook event invitation to a book club and reminded me of it on the day I was planning to withdraw my university files. We managed to attend it and it was a life changing experience that made me feel like I belong and that there’s more to life than what I had been through.
In reality, we are not doing Kalimat for others, we are doing it for ourselves. We are doing it for the younger Anfal and Haifa who were starving to be around such amazing ladies and discuss ideas and write. We are doing it for the current Anfal and Haifa whose lives and careers have flourished due to the skills and experiences Kalimat gave us. For the future Anfal and Haifa who with no doubt in their hearts know that this is our passion in life and our finest achievement.
We think of Kalimat as a very personal project, it’s the fruit of our pain and our passion and without it we wouldn’t be the women we are today. I know that if I don’t achieve more in my life that I will be content to know I was part of creating Kalimat.
It’s a rough and beautiful journey, and we can study our intellectual progress with the types of books we chose throughout the years. We have grown tremendously from reading and discussing the books but most importantly from the women we met who impacted our lives. These women became friends, we attended their weddings, baby showers and family funerals, they became mentors and mentees and we are grateful to them. We are also grateful to the kind men who supported us along the way.
This year we had several tough decisions to make to ensure that we are doing what suits us best and fulfills our vision for Kalimat. The major one was to close down both the writing and philosophy clubs as we haven’t been able to give them the time and respect they deserve. We are also keeping the English and Arabic book clubs merged as one.
In parallel, we are planning to expand more on the small gatherings we loved doing, from writing and poetry to open mic nights.
We are always available for those who are interested to start their own communities and exchange knowledge, and we are keen to collaborate on projects that support our vision.
Haifa on behalf of the Kalimat Founders