Laila Al-Atrash

Over the last two decades, Laila al-Atrash has established her career as a leading novelist and a prominent media figure in the Arab World. She started her media career as a journalist and press reporter, then as producer and presenter of radio programs. In the seventies she entered the broadcasting field as a TV news editor, anchor and program producer.  Her TV programs covered a range of cultural and social themes and were broadcast by a large number of Arab TV channels and stations.

Notable in her TV production was a series of investigative and in-depth programs and interviews with a large host of Arab intellectuals, writers and artists, as well as with other symbols of modern Arab culture in various fields in countries like Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Syria, Mauritania, Lebanon, Yemen, and Tunisia. Those won numerous Golden, Silver and special recognition awards at numerous television award ceremonies across the Middle East.

In the meantime, Laila al-Atrash, who holds a degree in Arabic literature, a degree in Law and a Diploma in French, has maintained her status as a novelist and a storywriter.

Like her TV programs, her published works were well received and widely acclaimed by critics, viewers and readers. They included: “Sunrise from the West” (a novel, 1988); “A Woman of Five Seasons” (a novel, 1990); “A Day Like Any Other” (a collection of short stories, 1991); “Two Nights and the Shadow of a Woman” (a novel, 1997); “The Neighing of Distances” (a novel, 1999); “Illusive Anchors” (a novel, 2005); and "Women at Crossroads" (travel memoirs 2009), "Desires of that Autumn" (a novel, 2010).  

Some of these works have been translated into foreign languages or incorporated as textbooks in the curricula of some Arab universities. Her works have been the subject of Masters and Ph. D theses. Critics have endorsed and heralded her bold and creative role in portraying the distinct context of the experience of Arab women and in articulating the political, social, and religious dimensions of their strife for human rights and self-fulfillment.

Laila al-Atrash is a columnist on public issues at "Al-Dustour" Jordanian daily.  She is a member of the editorial board of the cultural monthly "Amman Magazine", a member of the Higher Council and the Executive Committee of the Jordanian Ministry of Culture’s two leading cross-country projects: "Family Library" and "Reading for All", and a member of the board of Jordan's official "Petra News Agency".    She is also the founder and President of "PEN JORDAN" Center. She stayed as "Resident Writer" for three months at Iowa University, USA, and gave a series of lectures at Leon 11 University, France as well as universities in Jordan.    

Al Atrash's achievements have been celebrated and recognised in a number of special gatherings in Palestine, Morocco Tunisia and Jordan.