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“Hakawati” means “storyteller” in Arabic. But it’s not just a person who tells stories. Hakawati is someone who carries out the old West Asian tradition of oral storytelling. They used to be the main source of entertainment and told profound stories that attracted crowds to listen. The greatest ones were known to travel and made a living with their tales.

You can find more information about the valued tradition here: Annahar and Dima Al Sharif.

Alexandra Barbar


Alexandra Barbar, also known as “Haka” is a, primarily, fantasy writer with a special interest in Syrian mythology and history. She has an English Creative Writing BA from Agnes Scott College and MA from Southern New Hampshire University. She was a developmental editor for three years and teacher for seven.

Some of her favorite authors include Kurt Vonnegut, Octavia E. Butler, Sylvia Plath, and Khalil Gibran. Outside of the literary and academic worlds, she enjoys dancing, music, and crafting.

| Aliases: Alexandra, Haka
| Occupation: Business Owner, Writer
| Species: Mermaid
| Base of Operations:  The PC her brother built.
| Specialties: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

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Writing Is Love Made Visible

Getting lost in the city you live in is probably one of the most nerve wrecking experiences I’ve had the pleasure. It’s usually survivable, even if you don’t know the local language.

The map said I was close to my destination but I couldn’t find said location. Who knows how long I would’ve wandered down that street if I hadn’t run into a police officer.

The man laughed and pointed behind me. The building was less than a block away—we could both see it. I suddenly knew exactly where I was. It was the main road that connected the entire downtown. I got out a, “Xièxiè,” and took my flushed self to the mall.

I promise the mall blended into the other buildings, I’m not that blind.

It’s experiences like these that build inspiration for stories. But not just scenes. Coming home after an unexpected adventure when all I wanted was to meet a friend is the best unintentional brainstorm for a writing session. The mind gets in this state that’s ready for the unexpected. It’s a great way to get your story’s momentum going.

This mindset and experience is a love of the process. It’s love made visible.

“Work is love made visible.” – Khalil Gibran

Alexandra Barbar

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