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Winter Gathering 2015: The Power of the Word


Friday 27 — Sunday 29 Nov 2015, 16:00 — 14:00


Sarum College
19 The Cl, Salisbury SP1 2EE


This event has finished, bookings are now closed

Fellows and friends of the Muslim Institute are invited to book their places now for the Seventh Annual Muslim Institute Winter Gathering  This year the theme is 'The Power of the Word' and keynote speaker Jeremy Henzell-Thomas will consider this very concept. Other sessions will explore words that destroy, words that heal, and the word of God. A writer in residence will document the weekend's discussion and we are proposing a copy clinic for budding journalists who wish to have their work critiqued.

As before our base is Sarum College, which offers friendly, comfortable accommodation in single, twin and double rooms, mostly en-suite, and all halal catering. The weekend - inclusive of accommodation, all meals and refreshments from registration at 4-6pm on Friday 27 November through to lunch on Sunday 29 November - is FREE for Fellows.


Non-Fellows will need to arrange and pay for their own accommodation, as well as pay a booking fee of £50.

We reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee of £50 as appropriate.

Accommodation in Sarum College is now fully allocated. Further accommodation is available nearby on a bed and breakfast basis. We can supply a list of local bed and breakfast establishments, however, it will be up to you to make your own bookings and be responsible for your own accommodation costs. All other meals and refreshments are inclusive in the booking fee and will be provided at Sarum College. Fellows using bed and breakfast places will be reimbursed.

Prayer facilities will be available.

For further information and to secure your place please email [email protected]

Muslim Institute 7th Winter Gathering  

27th – 29th November 2015

Sarum College, Salisbury

Theme: The Power of the Word

Short Story Writer in Residence: Tam Hussain

Friday 27 November

4-6pm  Registration

7-8pm  Dinner

8-10pm  Opening Keynote: The Power of the Word

Jeremy Henzell-Thomas will open this year’s Winter Gathering

Chair: Hassan Mahamdallie                              

Saturday, 28 November

9.30-11.00  Whose Words? Writing Islamicate fiction – an outside view.

Novelist and poet Naomi Foyle will talk about how she came to write Islamic-flavoured science fiction and how she seeks to avoid the pitfalls of cultural appropriation and orientalism.

Chair: Halima Gosai Hussain

11.00-11.30  Coffee Break

11.30-1pm    Paid by the Word: Muslims and journalism – breaking out of the ghetto

Arifa Akbar – Literary editor of the Independent – talks on working in journalism today

Chair: Samia Rahman

1.00-2.00      Lunch

2.00-3.30      The Word of God: Interpreting the Qu’ran

Dr Shuruq Naguib (Lancaster University) will examine pre-modern and classical textual traditions as well as Muslim responses to modernity and how contemporary female Muslim scholars read the tradition to develop their authority.

Chair: Shanon Shah

3.30-4.00       Coffee Break 

4.00-5.30      Spreading the Word: Publishing Against the Stream

The legendary publisher Roger Van Zwanenberg, of Zed Press and Pluto Press, talks on the industry and the major challenges it faces today.

Chair: Asim Siddiqui

7.00-8.00       Dinner

8.00-9.30    Saturday Night Entertainment

Sunday, 29 November

9.30-11.00    Celebrating the Word

Founders of the new exciting addition to the book calendar, the Bradford Literature Festival, Syima Aslam and Irna Qureshi will explore the world of Literature Festivals    

Chair: Mohammed Abdul Aziz

11.00-11.15     Coffee Break

11.15-12.30     The Word at War: Talking to ISIS   

Two journalists will discuss their experiences of working across the fraught boundaries between the media, human rights, government agencies and Islamist fighters - as well as the ethical issues and risks involved.

Chair: Ehsan Masood

12.30-1.00      The Word in Action

Our Writer in Residence reveals his work in progress in response to the Winter Gathering.

Muslim Institute’s 2016 Programme and closing remarks.

1.00-2.00         Lunch & Departure

Prayer facilities will be available