Rana Sweis


Manuscript and Photography Completed!

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Although the journey continues, I'm happy to announce that the manuscript and photography work for Voices of Jordan has been completed. Any updates from now on will be on the publishing process. I am excited to share with you, when I can, the beautiful photos by Salah Malkawi and the different stories featured in the book. One chapter has taken me to Chicago where I write about the life of a Jordanian American.

I have also attended several writing workshops and I would like to thank the Voices of Jordan team -- translators, transcribers, fact checkers, and everyone else who helped me along this journey so far.

The European Endowment for Democracy also featured the promo video for the book at the Global Media Forum in Germany in June.

Stay tuned for more updates soon!


Rana Sweis Articles


Encapsulating an Arab world not Engulfed in Violence

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Voices of Jordan is the story of a nation through the eyes and lives of its own people. In the past few months, I have traveled north and south of Jordan to see, hear and experience the lives of different people who will be featured in the book. I have conducted dozens of interviews, visited people in their homes, in their workplace, and neighborhoods. It continues to be an inspiring journey filled with both, questions and answers. Meanwhile, the photography work and writing is taking up most of our time for this project but I have also been spending many hours reading transcripts and making sure that both, the voices of the characters and their environment are depicted as accurately as possible.

Ordinary citizens are largely absent from the debate in shaping the current and future of the Middle East. The book gives a voice and contributes to freedom of expression as the Jordanian characters and the Syrian refugee bring insight into politics, religion, society and modernization amid an ancient but urbanizing culture. They speak about the deeper problems of the Middle East, once the current spate of civil conflicts is over. There is little literature that has been published about modern Jordan and its people. Most books published include biographies of high-ranking officials, history, tourism, archeology and novels. The project is a source for those who want to understand the country and its people today.

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