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الأحد 30 مايو 2010

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Conference of Arab American Writers, in Ann Arbor, June 3-5, 2010

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ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The Radius of Arab American Writers, (RAWI) will turn Ann Arbor into a hub for Arab American writers when it holds its third national conference on June 3-5, at Palmer Commons conference facility of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 100 Washtenaw Ave.

“RAWI welcomes not only its members but also others who are interested in engaging in the Arab American literary community said one of the conference’s organizers, Ghida Dagher, president of the Arab Student Associations at U. of M., which is co-sponsoring the conference.

The conference will gather 150 or so writers and scholars who will present their writings and research to one another and to the Ann Arbor and Arab communities of southeastern Michigan. This year’s conference theme, “Arab American Art and Culture: Challenges, Reappraisals, and Possibilities.”

“I'm often asked what's happening in Arab America, or what Arab American books teachers can use, or which writers are worth reading, or what forms of diversity exist in this community, or where Arab Americans come from and which spaces they inhabit,” said Evelyn Alsultany and assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan. “For the past few months, my answer has been: attend the RAWI Conference. It will be a tremendous opportunity for those interested in learning more about Arab Americans and our burgeoning literary tradition.”

This year’s conference will feature 18 critical panels by leading Arab American scholars and writers, 6 roundtables and creative writing workshops, and five reading performances. Free to the University of Michigan community, the conference sessions are open to all registered attendees ($35 for RAWI members and $90 for non-members; day passes available for $35).

Along with workshops by noted authors Marilyn Nelson, Elsa Marston, and Andrea Assaf, the conference will also feature numerous presentations such as:

• Gender in Narratives of the Arab World and Arab Diaspora
• Writers and Artists on the Intersections of Art, Politics, and Identity
• Adventures fi Bilad al-Hip (Dabke) Hop: New Trends in Arab American Music Performance
• Arab American Visual Arts: New Developments and Questions of Reception
• The literary memoir as an Arab American Cultural Art Form

Some of the better known authors in attendance are celebrated poets Naomi Shihab Nye, Samuel Hazo, and Fady Joudah, and award winning novelists Hisham Matar, Laila Halaby, and Randa Jarrar.

To register, visit the RAWI Web site at
( For more information contact, (

To attend as a member of the news media, contact: ( or (734) 276 9540.

Founded in 1993, RAWI is a network of Arab American writers, scholars and artists of all genres. Its mission is to urge members to publish their work in mainstream publications, to support sister and brother writers in the Arab World, to nurture emerging writers, and to guide and bring together Arab American writers. Although devoted to the Arab American community, RAWI accepts members of all ethnic and national backgrounds. Its membership includes Muslims, Christians and Jews, and is primarily American, represented by people of many national backgrounds.


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