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December 21, 2010

Wala' Qaisiah ( BU'10) Participated In An Internship With Bloomsbury Publishing In London

BloomsburyIn July, my Literature teacher Miss Paola Handal contacted me to inform me that the Palestine Festival of Literature received a grant and was accepting applications for a Palestinian graduate for a 2 month internship at the prestigious Bloomsbury Publishing in London in cooperation with the Qatar Foundation. I applied and made the second phase with a phone interview. Two weeks later, I received an email that I have been accepted.
With a lot of anticipation, I arrived to London on October 10, 2010 and will be staying until November. My internship at Bloomsbury includes working in different departments within the publishing company and the Qatar Foundation.
I spent the first two weeks working in the Editorial Department. Fortunately, my arrival at Bloomsbury coincided with a joyful and celebratory atmosphere within its departments as Howard Jacbson's novel The Finkler Question -published by Bloomsbury- won the 2010 Man Booker Prize, which is one of the most prestigious literary prizes awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of the commonwealth nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. Being among the staff at Bloomsbury and witnessing firsthand the mood of elation and festivity was very exciting and thrilling especially for someone like me who has always looked at this publishing house as one of its kind, since it offers home for so many Arabs and particularly Palestinian renowned writers. Whilst interning with the Editorial Department I also had a unique opportunity to read manuscripts by different Arab and British writers who wish to be published by Bloomsbury and one of the manuscripts I came across was a novel by the Palestinian novelist Selma Dabbagh. Being Palestinian myself and having read the novel by the Palestinian novelist was a reason for me to be actively engaged in the discussion held during the editorial meeting which is a vital part of the publication process in every publishing house.

On the third week, I started my interning duties with Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation. BQFP, which was established in October 2008 and headquartered in Doha, mainly focuses on publishing books of excellence and originality in English and Arabic including fiction and non-fiction for adults and children, educational books for schools, academic books for universities and researchers, classics in Arabic literature and reference books. On my second day at BQFP, I had the honor to meet the award-winning Palestinian writer and architect Suad Amiry, who came to London to speak at the Arab British Centre, about her newly published book by BQFP Nothing to Lose but your Life which tells the story of 'illegal' Palestinian workers in Israel. Spending the whole day with the widely acclaimed Palestinian writer whose first book Sharon and my Mother in Law has been translated into 19 languages and was awarded in 2004 the prestigious Viareggio Prize in Italy, was truly one of the most overwhelming and exciting moments for me.

The coming weeks of this internship includes not only attending more readings, shows, recitals, theatre, meeting other authors but learning skills in editing, evaluating manuscripts, revising written material, and preparing the manuscript for the production staff.

Furthermore, living in London has truly been a rewarding experience. London is a great city, with a long list of historical accomplishments in the political, economic, literary, religious, scientific, and architectural fields and I have been truly blessed to have been given the opportunity to see it first hand.

Upon the completion of this internship, I hope to continue in the field of English in Palestine. Interning at Bloomsbury gave me the chance to be involved in a personalized, hands-on experience in a career field that I am interested in, and I got the chance to see how what you learned in university relates to being successful in the workplace. This internship also provided me with the opportunity to utilize my skills, talents and abilities in new and interesting ways.

I will forever be grateful
Wala' Qaisiah


Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-240-241-4381
Fax: +1-240-553-7691
Beltsville, MD USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine