Samya Cook

I am originally from Lebanon in the Middle East. I graduated with a Maths degree from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and taught the subject at secondary level for three years in Beirut and then to adults in Saudi Arabia for six years. I have lived in England since 1987. For 20 years, I taught Maths to teenagers of different abilities. In 2007-2008, I left school teaching and enrolled in SOAS, University of London, completing an MA in Near and Middle Eastern Studies. In 2010 I started teaching in the Education Department at Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), Chelmsford, and became PGCE Secondary Mathematics Subject Leader. In 2014-2015, I completed an MA in Education. I left work in August 2015, and since then I have been pursuing a Creative Writing Master’s course at ARU, Cambridge, producing and critiquing my own stories.

I grew up immersing myself in Arabic and English novels and short stories, as well as translations from other cultures. Living in England introduced new literary experiences. Reading was, and still is, a restful exercise and a source of knowledge to me. Studying in SOAS enriched my reading of Arabic Literature and currently in ARU, my interaction with Western and translated literature is growing by the day. I am particularly interested in the rhythmic effects that prose fiction can create. My subjects have mostly been related to issues of gender and everyday life. Currently I am exploring ways of expressing these in genres such as Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Publications:

Quitregard, D. and Cook, S., 2010. Arabic Key Words, second edition, Oleander Press, Cambridge.

Cook, S., 2013. ‘International Students and Inclusion’. Networks, 16, pp. 3-8.

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