Liane Al Ghusain is a mainstay of Kuwait’s creative community. But what is she known for, exactly? Being quirky? Intelligent? A talented writer and good teacher who appears at events with tarot cards in hand? After trying to break the code of “what does Liane do?” the answer came clear: she does everything, in time, because she loves it.
“I love learning, and I love teaching. I feel like there’s always something new to do. But the trick is, I take my time doing it so that I can do it with confidence – not do it for the sake of doing it.”
Taking a look at Liane’s achievements, this proves to be true. After receiving a BA in English Literature from Stanford University, a master’s degree in the same subject followed, specializing in creative writing, she topped off [her education] with a self-written novella entitled Ectopia as her thesis. “Writing is my love – it’s how I feel accomplished.” She began working as a freelance writer in 2010, and started publishing articles about young Kuwaiti artists, as she felt “it’s so important to document our creative growth as a country.” At some point along the way she noticed that there was a shortage of writing services in Kuwait – from writing websites and corporate profiles to helping businesses understand their own brand and how to communicate their values.
Her accomplishments with writing are consistent with her journey in professional self-discovery, each posing as a milestone in her life. “When I left my first job as the managing director at CAP (Contemporary Art Platform) it was to keep writing.” From being a part of the Stanford Spoken Word Collective, to joining Beirut’s Ashkal Alwan postgraduate art program, writing for magazines, printing a short story, writing performances, and creating Nuqat’s conference briefs; Liane’s return to Kuwait as a researcher for the Venice Architectural Biennial led her to yet another curious quest. “I became obsessed with fertility rituals and Failaka’s ancient Greek lore. Did you know that goats still roam around [the island] because people wouldn’t be allowed to slaughter goats if it wasn’t in the name of [the goddess] Artemis?” I did not, but Liane began to make sense to me during that interesting tangent, depicting a person whose interest in history, culture and mythology would create something revolutionary.
The Scribes, her copywriting business, is proving to be the first of its kind in Kuwait. “Once I decided to work for myself, I began noticing through freelancing a niche in the market for writers to help brands find their real identities and right words to express themselves.” As for her love of tarot, “It’s a scientific process, and you have to be very open to people’s vulnerabilities. I find that it helps me trust myself in being non-judgmental and allowing people to open up, which is essential in my business as a copywriter as well. I end up offering a form of business therapy through The Scribes. Like, what does your business really stand for? What do you have to offer the world?”
The more I talk to Liane and learn more about her qualifications, interests and professions, (CELTA certified ESL teacher, certified tarot reader, yoga instructor, copywriter, published novella author and “level-one psychic and Reiki healer,” she grins) I can’t help but think of a mandala: the Buddhist circular representation of the universe, and how everything connects in a full circle in Liane’s life.
TRUTH OR DARE QUESTIONNAIRE
How would your mother describe you in one word?
How would you describe your mother in one word?
What is the most ridiculous question you’ve ever been asked?
“But, how is it for a woman in the Middle East?” Honestly, my only answer to that is an eye roll.
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Jumped on a plane. Also, not jumped on a plane. Spontaneity is just a mind-set for me.
What is your theme song?
My karaoke song is “Like a Virgin”…does that count?
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Where would you like to live? What is your dream retirement location?
I’m a New Yorker at heart, and I’d like to retire on the Mediterranean, in a cottage with a succulent garden and light-filled studio.
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
Ugh, please let’s not.
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
A horse: Loyal, sensitive, smart, strong and gentle.
What do you miss about your childhood?
Being able to say whatever I wanted! Wearing print on print!
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Liane Al Ghusain. Or something that would bring joy to say. Like Zaza Tralala.
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
My tongue. It can slay, honey.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
My grandmothers! The things they did for their families! My father’s mother was one of the first women in Kuwait to drive and wear pants.
What in the world do you least desire?
I’d rather not entertain that thought!
What do you think is lacking in the world, which if there was more of would make the world a better place?
Good intentions, eye contact, and properly placed punctuation marks.
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
My genuine curiosity in people and their dreams.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”
How could you fill that blank in with anything but love?
Interested in Liane’s services? Contact her via email at [email protected], and follow her on Instagram @thescribes.me and @cardtherapy. You can also find some of her writing at www.lianealghusain.com.