Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories, TONIGHT

Book Reading/Signing: A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories, by Alia Malek

A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories (Free Press, 2009) By Alia Malek
What does American history look and feel like in the eyes and skin of Arab-Americans?
Wednesday, October 14, 7 P,M
Free and Open to the Public

Arab-Americans are among the United States' most diverse hyphenated communities. Their migration to the US came at different periods and for different reasons, encompassing multiple religious traditions, racial and national identities, and diverse social, economic, and educational experiences. Yet, in a climate of suspicion and political opportunism, they share common experiences of scapegoating, discrimination and just plain injustice, being asked, usually rudely, to choose between being American or Arab. The choice is a false one, of course, yet it often affects the way Arab-Americans live their lives.

In A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories (Free Press), Alia Malek tells the stories of Arab-Americans as they experience life in the United States. Organized around a time-line, each chapter corresponds to one historical event as it occurred in the life of one Arab American, allowing readers to live that moment in history in the skin of an individual Arab American. From the Birmingham, Alabama church bombing in 1963 to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Malek introduces an ensemble cast that represents the diversity within Arab-America itself.

What readers are saying:

“Written with wit, compassion and insight, is at once timeless, in its telling of immigrants in America, and unique, in its exploration of the diversity of the Arab-American community….a stirring story of humor, loss, love and triumph.”
- Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War

Engaging and enlightening, impossible to put down.”
- Helen Thomas, columnist for Hearst Newspapers

About the Author:

Alia Malek is a Syrian-American civil rights attorney who worked for the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Jutice from October 2000 until resigning on the eve of the US invasion of Iraq. She then moved to Beirut where she assisted a Lebanese NGO offering free legal aid for asylum-seeking refugees from Iraq, Somalia, and Sudan. Ms Malek returned to the United States in 2004 to run election protection campaigns in Georgia and Florida for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. In 2006 she graduated with a Masters Degree in Journalism from Columbia University and now works as a freelance writer based in New York. "A Country Called Amreeka" is her first book.

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