Saturday, April 21, 2007

RAWI Conference May 18-20 Dearborn

Arab American writers organizationto hold national conference in May
DEARBORN , Mich .—The Radius of Arab American Writers, Inc. (RAWI) will turn Dearborn into the mecca for Arab American writers when it holds its second national conference on May 17-20, 2007 at the Arab American National Museum , 13624 Michigan Ave. "RAWI welcomes not only its members but also others who are interestedin engaging in the Arab American literary community said one of theconference's organizer, Khaled Mattawa, assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor ."The conference will provide a venue for 150 or so writers and scholarsto present our writings and ideas to one another and to the Detroit andArab communities," said RAWI's Executive Director, Steven Salaita, whoteaches at Virginia Tech University . "Our gathering will offer anopportunity for colleagues to share strategies for publishing and circulating our work and also for confronting academic, community andpolitical barriers."This year's conference theme, "Writing While Arab: Politics, Hyphens,and Homelands," seeks to address the multiple challenges Arab Americanwriters face in an intensified post-9/11 climate, says Mattawa, who isone of the conference's organizers."When it comes down to aesthetics, we (artists, writers, poets) are all on the same palate. I see Arab American literary and cultural studies reaching its height: a renaissance is here. We should pay attention to what beautiful things our communities are producing," says RAWI secretary, Deborah Najor Alkamano, a professor in the English department at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn .In 21 readings and workshops open to all registered attendees ($35 for RAWI membership and "$85 for the conference, including meals), thewriters will address such topics as:• How is Arab American writing affected by the targeting of Arabs andMuslims as the "national enemy" inside and outside of the U.S. and bythe wars waged in our homelands?• How do we envision a future for our literature between the desire for location within American culture and our transcultural experiences?• How do we promote and teach our literature? • How to promote our unconventional literature within the convensionsof the market place?To register, visit the RAWI Web site at OTHER CONTACTS HERE:Steven Salaita, Executive Director, RAWI,salaita@vt.eduDeborah Alkamano, RAWI secretarydebnajor@rawi.orgTo attend as a member of the news media, contact: MEDIA CONTACT HERE:Conference Coordinator, Rola Nashef,rawicoordinator@gmail.comABOUT RAWI: Founded in 1993, RAWI is a network of 215 Arab American writers,scholars and artists of all genres. Its mission is to urge members topublish their work in mainstream publications, to support sister andbrother writers in the Arab World, to nurture emerging writers, and toguide and bring together Arab American writers. Although devoted to theArab American community, RAWI accepts members of all ethnic andnational backgrounds. Its membership includes Muslims, Christians andJews, and is primarily American, represented by people of many nationalbackgrounds.

# # #


ATTEND WORKSHOPS WITH PUBLISHERS and EDITORS ALL ARE WELCOMEArab American Writers Meet at AANM "Writing While Arab: Politics, Hyphens and Homelands" is the theme for the second national conference of RAWI, Radius of Arab American Writers, to be held May 17-19, 2007 at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn . Featured Writers included Naomi Shihab Nye, Rabih Alamedinne for the opening night. Friday night, May 18th, RAWI and CAAS are co-sponsoring D.H. Melhem, and Fadhil Al-Azzawi (co-sponsored by Center for University of Michigan-Deaborn's Center for Arab American Studies, ARAB AMERICAN WRITERS SERIES).

For registration information, visit . Preregistration is a plus!! To update your RAWI membership and pre-register for the conference, please fill out and send our registration form:

. Registration for non-students who have not paid dues in the period since January, 2007, will be $120; for students it will be $75. Checks payable to RAWI. PO Box 11708, Blacksburg, VA 24062. Email Rola Nashef at if you have any questions or concerns.

Dr. Steven Salaita, RAWI's executive director is the author of Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where It Comes From and What It Means for Politics
Today, the title for the AANM's upcoming Library Book Club meeting on Sat., April 28. See museum website for info about book club meeting.