English Language Center
The launch of the anthology, Hear Me, took place on December 13, 2017, at the English Language Centre (ELC). The contributors were Level Two students, Group 12. The event was attended by the heads of the Centre, coordinators and ELC teachers. The photographs were taken by Uly Andres, HCT’s official photographer.
Some in Group 12 already wrote in Arabic and continued, but first time, in English. At the launch, many read with élan. Others I had to coax centre-stage. “No, not in front of everybody” was a shell I had to pry open: for now, their words belonged to a reader as well.
My reasons for the anthology projects (I try to bring one out every semester): for students to experience their own joie de vivre writing in this dynamic and global language; to polish their craft, like working on the power of detail or practicing the old writing adage: “Show, don’t Tell.” Another thing the writers grappled with was new vocabulary. A “launch” they might have heard as “lunch;” a “plant” (as in a tomato plant or a factory plant) as “plan”. These humps (which they looked back on with a chuckle) connected them to English in a personal way.
This is why I am in the business of anthologies: to aid Omani writers find their own groove writing and performing in English.
Editor and Core Instructor: Yasmin Ladha
Bionote: Yasmin Ladha is the author of three books and a chapbook. A joint book of poetry with a Delhi-based writer is making its rounds to publishing houses. Yasmin’s current project is non-fiction.