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LIVE from the NYPL: New Arab Eyes on the World: Breaking Down Barriers of Fear and Prejudice

May 30, 2009

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Five writers, Peter Theroux, Raja Alem, Tom McDonough, Muhammed Al Mur, and Joe Sacco, Arab and American, who have taken innovative approaches to portraying the Arab World to an American audience discuss the challenges they have faced and the successes they have achieved in breaking down the barriers of fear and prejudice through their work. Journalist and writer Sulaiman Al Hattlan will moderate.

Whether through travelogue, memoir, graphic novel, children's literature or translation, these writers have widened the lens and sharpened the focus of American readers' view, setting a new precedent for sensitivity, creativity and insight in literature about the Arab World.

This event is sponsored by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and ArteEast

This event is part of BOOKEXPO AMERICA, Global Market Forum

About Peter Theroux

Peter Theroux translated Abdelrahman Munif’s Cities of Salt and Naguib Mahfouz’s Children of the Alley. He is the author of Syria Behind the Mask and Translating L.A.: Tour of the Rainbow City and the translator of nine Arabic novels, including works by Elias Khoury, Emile Habibi and Hassan Daoud. He has lived and traveled throughout the Middle East. Theroux currently lives in New York.




About Raja Alem

Raja Alem is a Saudi Arabian writer. Her works include ten novels, two plays, biography, short stories, essays, literary journalism, and writing for children. She has received many awards including a creative achievement award from UNESCO in 2005. Some of her novels have been published in English, Spanish and French, notably My Thousand & One Nights: A Novel of Mecca (Raja Alem and Tom McDonough) and Fatma A Novel of Arabia (with Tom McDonough). Alem is currently living in Paris.



About Tom McDonough

Tom McDonough is a writer and filmmaker. He is the author of Virgin with Child and Light Years. He has written for the New York Times Book Review and the Chicago Tribune among others. McDonough has collaborated on two novels with the Saudi Arabian writer Raja Alem: Fatma and My Thousand and One Nights. His cinematography credits include Enormous Changes as well as several PBS documentaries, including segments of Eyes on the Prize. His short film, The National Flower of Brooklyn, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.



About Muhammed Al Mur

Muhammed Al Mur is vice-chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. He is member of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Media Company as well as being the chairman of the Culture & Science Association since its inception in 2001. Mr. Al Mur graduated from Syracuse University and was editor of Khaleej Times as well editor-in-chief of Al Bayan newspapers. He has authored several fiction and non-fiction works as well as having published columns and opinion pieces regularly in daily newspapers. He is a noted art collector with a sizable collection of modern Arabic Calligraphy pieces.

About Joe Sacco

Joe Sacco is an American graphic novelist who has worked extensively in the Middle East, producing the graphic memoir, Palestine, with another forthcoming on Gaza. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon.






About Sulaiman Al Hattlan

Sulaiman Al Hattlan is the chief executive officer of the Arab Strategy Forum. He is a journalist and writer and former editor-in-chief - Forbes Arabia, as well as chairman - Forbes CEO Middle East Forum. Al-Hattlan has also worked with the US-based channel ABC News and has published articles in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Miami Herald, and various newspapers across the GCC and the US. He currently writes weekly columns in several newspapers in the GCC and hosts a current affairs programme on Al Hurra TV.