2020 Arab American Book Awards: A Ceremony of Live Readings

6 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020
Arab American Book Awards: A Ceremony of Live Readings


Join the 2020 Arab American Book Award winners and honorable mentions for a celebratory live reading, featuring Laila Lalami, Stacy D. Fahrenthold, Massoud Hayoun, Zaina Alsous,  Malaka Gharib, Etaf Rum, Marwa Helal and Jasmine Warga from this year’s winners and honorable mentions, and hosted by 2016 Book Award winner Susan Muaddi Darraj!

Fiction Award winner, The Other Americans (Pantheon)

Laila Lalami is the author of four novels, including The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent work, The Other Americans, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her essays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, Harper’s, The Guardian, and The New York Times. Lalami is a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.

The Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award winner, Between the Ottomans and the Entente: The First World War in the Syrian and Lebanese Diaspora, 1908-1925 (Oxford University Press)

Stacy D. Fahrenthold is assistant professor of migration history at the University of California Davis, where she is also affiliated with the Global Migration Center. She is co-editor of the new book series Refugees and Migrants within the Middle East at the American University of Cairo Press. She tweets at @sdfahrenthold.

The Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award winner, When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History (The New Press)

Massoud Hayoun is a journalist based in Los Angeles, most recently freelancing for Al Jazeera English and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown online while writing a weekly column on foreign affairs for Pacific Standard. He previously worked as a reporter for Al Jazeera AmericaThe AtlanticAgence France-Presse, and the South China Morning Post and has been published widely. He speaks and works in five languages and won a 2015 EPPY Award. He lives in Los Angeles. 

The George Ellenbogen Poetry Award winner, A Theory of Birds(University of Arkansas)

Zaina Alsous is an abolitionist and a daughter of the Palestinian diaspora.

Children/Young Adult Award winner, I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir (Clarkson Potter)

Malaka Gharib is an artist, journalist, and writer based in Washington, D.C. She is the founder of The Runcible Spoon, a food zine, and the co-founder of the D.C. Art Book Fair. She lives in a row house with her husband Darren and her 9-year-old rice cooker.

Fiction honorable mention, A Woman is No Man (Harper / HarperCollins)

Etaf Rum was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, by Palestinian immigrants. She lives in North Carolina with her two children. Rum also runs the Instagram account @booksandbeans. A Woman Is No Man is her first novel. 

Poetry honorable mention, Invasive species (Nightboat Books)

Marwa Helal is the author of the chapbook I Am Made To Leave I Am Made To Return and winner of BOMB Magazine’s Biennial Contest. Born in Al Mansurah, Egypt, Helal currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. 

Children/Young Adult honorable mention, Other Words for Home (Balzer + Brey [HarperCollins])

Jasmine Warga’s debut middle grade book, Other Words for Home, is a Newbery Honor Book. She is the author of the novels for teens My Heart and Other Black Holes, which has been translated into over twenty languages, and Here We Are Now. She lives and writes in Cincinnati, Ohio. You can visit Jasmine online at www.jasminewarga.com. 

Susan Muaddi Darraj was named a 2018 Ford Fellow by USA Artists and is author of the short story collection, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, which was winner of the AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and the 2016 Arab American Book Award. She is also author of Farah Rocks, a children’s book series about a smart, brave Palestinian American girl named Farah Hajjar, the first series to feature a Palestinian American main character. Susan is also the mastermind behind the 2019 viral #TweetYourThobe social media campaign to promote Palestinian culture.

Made possible in part by:

Drs. Barbara and Adnan Aswad Endowment Fund
George Ellenbogen Endowment
Evelyn Shakir Endowment Fund


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  • November 11, 2020 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • 6:00 pm