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Hiwarat: Public Conversations

The Hiwarat (public conversations) program focuses on important and pressing social, cultural, political, economic, and educational issues impacting our communities. It invites conversations and discussions about a diversity of topics and transformations in the Arab region and among Arab American communities and other related diasporic spaces historically and in the present.

A print newsletter clipping that contains a black and white photograph from the 60s with a number of students wearing winter clothes, suits and ties, sweaters standing in three rows posing for a photograph and a written text on the right side describing who they are
  1. Qisassna: Our Stories, Our Struggles, Our Joys: This program aims to record and preserve generations of Arab and Arab American student activism and organizing on US campuses. Starting with the active engagement of Arab and Arab American students at UIC since the 60s onwards, this project will gather artifacts and stories, organize them, and make them accessible to the general public but primarily to future generations of incoming students to the campus.
  2. Hikayat (Storytelling): This series highlights a specific theme/topic/practice/strategy where students and other guests share stories about. The sessions will encourage students to practice the art of storytelling, an important ancestral practice in a region with a rich history of oratory tradition, that creates a space for speaking truth to power, uncovering connections, and building ties. Examples include: Show and Tell cultural highlights.
Center staff, guests, and guest speaker pose for the camera. seven people standing all wearing different colors and two people are crouching in the center. the background is the center's windows.

3. Ahadith (dialogues): These sessions will mostly be organized by ArabAmCC student workers or leaders from student groups or community organizations. They will choose a topic for discussion, organize the session, and moderate the conversation. This series will highlight current or urgent issues that our community is struggling with. It will create a community space for reflection and conversation. It will provide an opportunity for students to develop and strengthen their professional skills including, dialogue and moderation, public speaking, and building collectivity. Examples include: Yalla Nitkalem series.

4. Nadwat (Public Presentation): This series will be educational events with invited guest speaker or speakers sharing specific insights on topics for collective engagement and exchange. The program aims to expand the knowledge and understanding of the campus and wider community of issues of importance to peoples’ lives of/from the Arab region and beyond. It allows for presentation of new research findings and a space to test out ones idea.