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afikra Book Club Profile

afikra Book Club

English, Arts, 1 seasons, 15 episodes, 12 hours 14 minutes
Book Club is an interview series that calls for afikra community members, who are interested in literature and reading, to spend time reading along with the entire community. Books in Arabic and English will be announced on afikra’s reading list and the members will be asked to do the reading at home at their leisure and then join afikra for a conversation with the authors of those books. We hold conversations with an author to discuss their work and the book in particular. Individuals joining the call will be expected to have read the book and prepared questions regarding the context, motivation, and background stories.
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AISHA ABDEL GAWAD | An Arab-American Coming of Age Story in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn | Book Club

Writing Between Two Moons: An Arab-American coming of age story set in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn during the “War on Terror”. Author Aisha Abdel Gawad sheds light on her experience writing the novel while balancing her work as a high-school teacher, capturing Bay Ridge’s unique community in her book, and her creative process. Together, Mikey and Aisha reflect on the post-9/11 War on Terror, age of surveillance, and how this impacted the Arab-American community. Aisha also shares her advice for aspiring novelists and her must-reads for high-school students. Aisha Abdel Gawad is a writer and high-school teacher. She won the 2015 Pushcart Prize for her short-story “Waking Luna”. After college, Aisha worked at the Arab American Association of New York in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Her debut novel, Between Two Moons, is a coming of age story set in Bay Ridge during the post-9/11 War on Terror. Created & hosted by<a href=""
31/07/202353 minutes 19 seconds
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MALAKA GHARIB | Belonging, Divorce & Summer in Egypt | Book Club

In this episode of Book Club, Malika Gharib joins us to share her musings on what it means to be an artist, the symbiotic relationship between journalism and comics, as well as what the 'American Dream' truly means. She reflects on growing up as a first-generation Filipino Egyptian, her changing relationship with her heritage, and how she uses her work as a medium to grapple with questions of identity, family, and lived experience. Malika Ghareeb, is a journalist, cartoonist, and graphic novelist. She's the artist and author of I Was Their American Dream which reflects on growing up first-generation Filipino-Egyptian, and which was the winner of the 2020 Arab American Book Award. By day Malika is the digital editor of the NPR podcast Life Kit. Her reporting work for NPR has been recognized with two Gracie Awards. Before joining NPR, she worked at the Malala Fund. ****** ABOUT THE SERIES ****** afikra Conversations is our flagship program featuring long-form interviews
29/05/20231 hour 1 minute 42 seconds
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TAHIR SHAH | Finding The Caliph's House | Book Club

Tahir Shah talks about his experiences in the Arab region. He talks about The Caliph's House, a book he has written that is inspired by his trips to Morocco in his childhood; from Marrakesh to the Sahara.Tahir Shah is a best-selling author and filmmaker known for his work in both fiction and non-fiction. He has produced over forty works, including books, documentaries, screenplays, and journalism. Tahir's work is characterized by his unique perspective as an "enthusiast and adventurer," which has taken him to some of the world's most exotic and little-known places. His books have been widely translated, and his documentaries have been screened on major channels such as National Geographic TV and The History Channel. Tahir's work is highly regarded for its ability to uncover the hidden and often overlooked aspects of the places and cultures he explores.Created & hosted by Mikey MuhannaEdited by: Ramzi Ram
03/05/202359 minutes 57 seconds
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MAI AL-NAKIB | Kuwait and "An Unlasting Home" | Book Club

Mai Al-Nakib talks about her novel "An Unlasting Home" which traces Kuwait's rise from a pearl-diving backwater to its reign as a thriving cosmopolitan city to the aftermath of the Iraqi invasion.Mai Al-Nakib is a Kuwaiti writer and academic. She was born in Kuwait and spent her early years living in London, Edinburgh, and St. Louis, Missouri. She received her PhD in English literature from Brown University and is currently an Associate Professor of English and comparative literature at Kuwait University. Her academic research focuses on cultural politics in the Middle East, with an emphasis on gender, cosmopolitanism, and postcolonial issues. In 2014, she published a collection of short stories titled "The Hidden Light of Objects," which won the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s 2014 First Book Award, making it the first collection of short stories to do so. In April 2022, she published her debut novel, "An Unlasting Home," which explores the themes of family, loss, an
24/04/20231 hour 46 seconds
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JOUMANA HADDAD | A Century of Stories of Armenian Life & Family | Book Club

Welcome to this episode of the Afikra Book Club with the engaging Joumana Haddad who takes us on a journey through her past and upbringing in Bourj Hammoud to uncover family sorrows and share the stories of those left scathed by the Armenian genocide.Joumana Haddad is an award-winning Lebanese writer, journalist, university professor and human rights advocate. She’s worked for Lebanon’s An Nahar newspaper and taught creative writingand Italian at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. She has a weekly audio blog on Radio Monte Carlo International, and she writes regularly for several international newspapers and magazines. Haddad been selected as one of the world’s 100 most powerful Arab women by Arabian Business magazine. She speaks seven languages, and has published sixteen books so far. Most of her works of fiction, non-fiction, theater and poetry have been translated into numerous languages. Her titles include I Killed Scheherazade, Superman is an Arab, The
22/02/202359 minutes 51 seconds
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AMAL GHANDOUR | Collective Failure to Improve Our Region | Book Club

Amal Ghandour talked about her book 'This Arab Life,' where she explores common cultural and societal issues that most generations in the Arab world face.Amal Ghandour is a Lebanese-Jordanian author and blogger (Thinking Fits), with a career that spans more than three decades in the fields of research, communication, and community development. Her book, About This Man Called Ali (2009), was named the first biography of a modern Arab artist by the renowned Historian Philip Mansel. Ghandour describes her new book, This Arab Life, A Generation’s Journey Into Silence (October 11, 2022), “as a memoir that is not of an individual but of the generation that came of political age in the 1980s in the Levant.” This Arab Life, she adds, “is an intimate rendition of the times that shaped us; the way we internalized our parents’ myriad dejections and disappointments; the pragmatism and silence that defined us; and the dispiriting inheritance we inexorably bequeathed our own children.”
30/01/202359 minutes 31 seconds
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SUAD AMIRY | Mother of Strangers | Book Club

Suad Amiry talked about her book, "Mother of Strangers: A Novel," which is a story of young love set in Jaffa in between 1947 and 1951.Suad Amiry is a Palestinian writer and architect living in the West Bank town of Ramallah. She studied architecture at the American University of Beirut, the University of Michigan, and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Her parents went from Palestine to Amman, Jordan. She was brought up there and went to Lebanon's capital of Beirut to study architecture. Her book, Sharon and My Mother-in-Law, has been translated into 19 languages, the last one in Arabic, was a bestseller in France. The book was awarded in 2004 the prestigious Viareggio Prize in Italy. From 1991 to 1993 Amiry was a member of a Palestinian peace delegation in Washington D.C. She is Director and founder of the Riwaq Centre for Architectural Conservation, the center was founded in 1991; the first of its kind to work on the rehabilitation and protection of architectural herit
01/11/20221 hour 35 seconds
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SAHAR MUSTAFAH | The Beauty of Your Face | Book Club

Sahar Mustafah talked about her book "The Beauty of Your Face." The novel is about a Palestinian American woman wrestles with faith, loss, and identity before coming face-to-face with a school shooter, it navigates a country growing ever more divided.The daughter of immigrants, Sahar Mustafah explores her Palestinian heritage in her writing. She earned her MFA in Fiction from Columbia College where she was a Follett Graduate Scholar. Mustafah is a Willow Books Grand Prize Winner for Code of The West, was named one of the 25 Writers to Watch by The Guild Literary Complex of Chicago, and is a member of Voices Protest and Radius of Arab American Writers. Her debut novel, The Beauty of Your Face, was named a The New York Times Book Review Notable Books of 2020 and a Finalist for the 2021 Palestine Book Award. It was long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Award and chosen for Los Angeles Times “United We Read.” Mustafah writes and teaches outside of Chicago. </p
12/10/202249 minutes 20 seconds
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SABRINA MAHFOUZ | These Bodies of Water | Book Club

In this Book Club, we talked to Sabrina Mahfouz about her book "These Bodies of Water."  The novel is about imperialism, and the history of the Middle Eastern coastlines and waterways that were vital to the British Empire's hold.Sabrina Mahfouz is a British-Egyptian writer, performer and educator. Her first short play, That Boy, was performed at the Soho Theatre in 2010 and won a Westminster Prize for New Playwrights. In 2011, she was Creative in Residence at The Hospital Club. In the same year, she produced her first solo show, Dry Ice, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and won her the Stage Award for Acting Excellence. Subsequent plays, which include Clean (2012) and Chef (2014), have been performed at the Fringe, the Soho Theatre, the Roundhouse and in New York, and have won numerous awards, including a Fringe First and an Off West End Award in 2018 for the children’s show Zeraffa Giraffa. Her 2015 play With A Little Bit of Luck was also adapted as a radio d
21/09/202245 minutes 56 seconds
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RAPHAEL CORMACK | Midnight in Cairo | Book Club

Raphael Cormack discussed his new book Midnight in Cairo: The Divas of Egypt's Roaring 20's.Midnight in Cairo tells the thrilling story of Egypt’s interwar nightlife and entertainment industry through the lives of its pioneering women. Introducing an eccentric cast of characters, it brings to life a world of revolutionary ideas and provocative art – one which laid the foundations of Arab popular culture today. It is a story of modern Cairo as we have never heard it before.Created and hosted by Mikey MuhannaEdited by: Ramzi RammanTheme music by: Tarek Yamani Book Club:Book Club is an interview series that calls for afikra community members, who are interested in literature and reading, to spend time reading along with the entire community. Books in Arabic and Engl
22/08/202258 minutes 16 seconds
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NAOMI SHIHAB NYE | The Turtle of Oman & Michigan | Book Club

Naomi Shihab Nye talked about her books ‘The Turtle of Oman’ and ‘The Turtle of Michigan. The books are about Aref as he travels from Muscat, Oman, to Ann Arbor, Michigan.Naomi Shihab Nye was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Her father was a Palestinian refugee and her mother an American of German and Swiss descent, and Nye spent her adolescence in both Jerusalem and San Antonio, Texas. She earned her BA from Trinity University in San Antonio. Nye is the recipient of numerous honors and awards for her work, including the Ivan Sandrof Award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Book Critics Circle, the Lavan Award, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Carity Randall Prize, the Isabella Gardner Poetry Award, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry award, the Robert Creeley Prize, and many Pushcart Prizes. She has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, and she was a Witter Bynner Fellow. From 2010 to 2015 she served as a Chancellor of the
22/08/202257 minutes 42 seconds
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ZEYN JOUKHADAR | The Thirty Names of Night | Book Club

Zeyn Joukhadar talked about his book ‘The Thirty Names of Night: A Novel’.Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of the novels The Map of Salt and Stars, 2018, and The Thirty Names of Night, 2020 and a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI). His work has appeared in KINK: Stories(eds. RO Kwon & Garth Greenwell), Salon, The Paris Review,Shondaland, [PANK], Mizna, and elsewhere. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net. He is also the guest editor of the 2020 Queer + Trans Voices Issue of Mizna and a Periplus Collective mentor.  The Thirty Names of Night won the 2021 Barbara Gittings Stonewall Book Award and the 2021 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Fiction, and was a December 2020 Indie Next Book Pick.Created by Mikey MuhannaHosted by Mikey Muhanna & Lina BarkawiEdited by: Ramzi RammanTheme music by: Tarek Yamani <a hr
22/08/202227 minutes 27 seconds
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KAREEM ABU-ZEID | Confessions & Exhausted on the Cross | Book Club

Kareem James Abu-Zeid talked about his translations of ‘Exhausted on the Cross”by Najwan Darwish and “Confessions” by Rabee Jaber.Kareem James Abu-Zeid is a translator, editor, writer, teacher, and scholar who works across multiple languages. As an acclaimed translator of Arabic literature, he works with prominent English-language publishing houses to introduce the writings of Arab poets and novelists to a broad audience, seeking to promote Arabic literature in the US and around the world. While he enjoys translating all kinds of texts, he is particularly fond of Arabic poetry.Created & hosted by Mikey Muhanna, afikra Edited by: Ramzi RammanTheme music by: Tarek Yamani Book Club:Book Club is an interview series that calls for afikra community members, who are interested
22/08/202228 minutes 6 seconds
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JAMES BARR | A Line in the Sand | Book Club

James Barr talked about his book ‘A Line in the Sand: Britain, France and the Struggle that shaped the Middle East’. A Line in the Sand vividly tells the story of the short but crucial era when Britain and France ruled the Middle East.James is a leading historian of the modern Middle East and author of the widely-acclaimed A Line In The Sand and Lords of the Desert. He is now working on a history of conflict in the Middle East, The Arena. James read modern history at Oxford. He has worked in politics, at the Daily Telegraph, in the City, at the British Embassy in Paris, and has run his own research business. He is a visiting fellow at King's College London. He lives in south London with his wife and their two children.Created & hosted by Mikey Muhanna, afikra Edited by: Ramzi RammanTheme music by: Tarek Yamani <a href="
22/08/202227 minutes 53 seconds
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SAFIA ELHILLO | Home is not a country | Book Club

In this Book Club, we talked to Safia Elhillo about her book "Home is not a country."  The novel is about family, identity, and finding yourself in the most unexpected places.Created & hosted by Mikey Muhanna, afikra Edited by: Ramzi RammanTheme music by: Tarek Yamani Book Club:Book Club is an interview series that calls for afikra community members, who are interested in literature and reading, to spend time reading along with the entire community. Books in Arabic and English will be announced on afikra’s reading list and the members will be asked to do the reading at home at their leisure and then join afikra for a conversation with the authors of those books. Every two weeks, a conversation will be held with an author to discuss their work and the book in particular. Indivi
22/08/202224 minutes 21 seconds