Finding Humanity in Crisis: Rabih Alemeddine & Omar El Akkad

Rabih Alameddine, Omar El Akkad and Danny Ramadan

Finding Humanity in Crisis: Rabih Alemeddine & Omar El Akkad

Rabih Alameddine, Omar El Akkad and Danny Ramadan

5:30pm

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A big congratulations to Omar El Akkad on winning the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his book What Strange Paradise! To celebrate, check out this interview from #FestofAuthors21 with Omar and Rabih.

Award-winning authors Rabih Alemeddine and Omar El Akkad bring us two of the most heartwrenching accounts of the refugee experience in their critically acclaimed new books. Their stories of Syrian refugees arriving by boat in Greece uncover the real-life horrors faced by displaced people in search of safety. In Alemeddine’s The Wrong End of the Telescope, Lebanese doctor Mina volunteers at a refugee camp where she meets Sumaiya, a Syrian mother secretly diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. El Akkad’s What Strange Paradise, recently shortlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize, uncovers the journey of nine-year-old Amir, who finds unexpected support from a local girl while trying to reconnect with his community in a new land.

Interviewer: Danny Ramadan

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A big congratulations to Omar El Akkad on winning the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his book What Strange Paradise! To celebrate, check out this interview from #FestofAuthors21 with Omar and Rabih.

Award-winning authors Rabih Alemeddine and Omar El Akkad bring us two of the most heartwrenching accounts of the refugee experience in their critically acclaimed new books. Their stories of Syrian refugees arriving by boat in Greece uncover the real-life horrors faced by displaced people in search of safety. In Alemeddine’s The Wrong End of the Telescope, Lebanese doctor Mina volunteers at a refugee camp where she meets Sumaiya, a Syrian mother secretly diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. El Akkad’s What Strange Paradise, recently shortlisted for the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize, uncovers the journey of nine-year-old Amir, who finds unexpected support from a local girl while trying to reconnect with his community in a new land.

Interviewer: Danny Ramadan

English captioning is available for this video. Please click the ‘CC’ button in the video toolbar to turn it on.

Conversation
Reading

Featured Authors

Rabih Alameddine is the author of the novels  The Angel of History, An Unnecessary Woman, The Hakawati, Koolaids and I, the Divine, as well as the story collection, The Perv. In 2019, he won the Dos Passos Prize.  An Unnecessary Woman was a National Book Award and National Book Critics’ Circle Award finalist. He divides his time between San Francisco and Beirut.

Read more about Rabih Alameddine

Omar El Akkad is an author and a journalist. He has reported from Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay and many other locations around the world. His work earned Canada's National Newspaper Award for Investigative Journalism and the Goff Penny Award for young journalists. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, Le Monde, Guernica, GQ, and many other newspapers and magazines. His debut novel, American War, is an international bestseller and has been translated into thirteen languages. It won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, the Oregon Book Award for fiction, and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and has been nominated for more than ten other awards. It was listed as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, NPR, and Esquire, and was selected by the BBC as one of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World.

Read more about Omar El Akkad

Danny Ramadan (he/him) is a Syrian-Canadian author, public speaker, and advocate for LGBTQ+ refugees. His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award, longlisted for Canada Reads, and named a Best Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and currently lives in Vancouver with his husband.

Read more about Danny Ramadan

5:30pm

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

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What Strange Paradise by , The Wrong End of the Telescope by , The Clothesline Swing by ,
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