Love Collections

When I was a young girl in Montreal in the 80s, I adored glossy magazines. The shelves in pharmacies, supermarkets, and newsstands were where I always lingered when accompanying my mom running errands and shopping for food. There was such a wide selection too, especially in bookstores – where they were divided into categories. I was curious about so many subjects – and I loved how when I walked along the aisle, I could peruse the shelves and see our dinnertime conversations on world politics reflected in striking images; as I kept walking, I’d continue to get captivated by geography, history, ancient civilizations, travel, fashion, cooking, celebrities, comics, and exciting word games. After much indecision, I would choose one or two magazines and go plead with my mom. These magazines were a treasure, and even as I got older, I found difficulty in letting them go to the bin. So instead, I would create collages with them for school projects, cut clips and pepper my room, journals, and school locker with them. Favourite stories would be torn out for safekeeping, then filed in a big binder.

Looking back, I realize that I loved all the writers that these magazines held, the collection of various voices under one title. As I got older, the more I read books, the more I started navigating towards literary magazines, too, which opened the door to a wide variety of talented writers under one roof. It was such a rich experience to read these writers and then move on and search for more of their work. It’s also for this reason that I loved anthologies because I could get to know so many stories and so many writers.

The collective voices are my interest; it’s my area of research, it’s the literary journal I founded, it’s where my curiosity is never quenched. Each writer that moves me either from the past or the present becomes a new addition to the stories swirling in my head, an added member of my literary family, one of the many collective voices that inspire, teach, enable hope and love to coexist- for what more does one need to live. As an Egyptian-Canadian, I’m interested in collections of Egyptian, Arab, Diaspora stories from the SWANA region and all the spaces and imaginations in between. This website is where I want to highlight the words, passages, and magazines/anthologies/books where writers take part in creating art through their words and become part of the collective voices of resistance to all forms of oppression.

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