Joy is the keynote of all Disciplines

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Christian Arab Writer's Initiative

Our Second Advanced Writers Workshop in Beirut, Lebanon, Nov. 29-Dec. 4 was a wonderful success this past December!

Arab Writers Focus on Life's Big Questions

by Dr. Miriam Adeney

"Who are you, God? Tell me before my son is old enough to talk. Otherwise I will conclude that you are not there."

Abdul's* story riveted the 12 other Arab Christian writers at the Advanced Writers’ Workshop in Beirut last year. Disillusioned with religion, Abdul had given it up. But when his son was born, he faced a crisis. As he cradled the precious child, he asked, "What will I tell you about the purpose of life? And about the ultimate framework of the universe?"

From a friend’s neighbor, Abdul borrowed a New Testament. He opened Matthew, and read, "Love your enemies." By the end of the book, Jesus became his Lord. Many adventures followed, eventually leading him to our Writers’ Workshop where he crafted gospel thoughts for his country.

Other book manuscripts focused on parenting, child abuse, environmentalism and reflections on books of the Bible. Novels and children's books spiced the mix. All are being written in the Arabic language.

Ophir Publishers was the initiator of this workshop and the Christian Arab Writers’ Initiative, a three-year training program with MAI to equip talented writers in the Middle East. The best manuscripts will be published.

Participants from Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon served up opinions to co-trainer Mark Carpenter and myself before quieting to take up pens and laptops. Teachings about a theology of culture, biblical worldview, and the stories of biblical writers particularly were appreciated.

"Who are you, God?" Abdul’s question echoes across this region. More than 300 million Arabs worldwide deserve compelling answers that make sense. In this workshop, writers sharpened creative responses.

*Name changed for security precautions.

For more information go to our website at:


6th floor, 81 Al-Kulliyah Al-Ilmiya Al-Islamiyah St. t+962 6 5665 768
f+962 6 5639 768
P.O. Box 3062,
Amman 11181, Jordan