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Updated 12:00 PM February 2, 2004
 

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Arab and Chaldean American writers featured in U-M-D series


Arab and Chaldean American poets, essayists and journalists will discuss their works and meet with members of the community during a series of readings presented by the U-M-Dearborn Center for Arab American Studies this semester.

The series features noted Michigan writers Hasan Newash and Dahlia Petrus on Feb. 17; Khaled Mattawa on March 16; and Lebanese scholar and writer Wafa Hajj on April 13. All three sessions begin at 4 p.m. in Room 1030, CASL Building, 4901 Evergreen Road. The presentations are free and open to the public.

"Being able to bring both the published and non-published works of Arab and Chaldean writers to the public opens up a new world of thought and talent," says Moulouk Berry, assistant professor of modern and classical languages, who organized the series. "Arab and Chaldean Americans are prolific writers who express themselves with passion, humor, pathos and intelligence, and we're proud to be able to introduce their work to our campus community and to the community as a whole."

Born in Jerusalem, Newash is a longtime community activist in the Detroit area, and has been involved in the Peace with Justice Network. He has recited "mobilizing" poetry at many community gatherings, and his poems have been published in several journals and anthologies. Petrus, who was born in Baghdad and is of Chaldean ancestry, is the co-editor and creative director of Cup of Waves, a literary and creative arts journal featuring the works of young Arab-Americans. Her writings have appeared in other journals and magazines.

Mattawa, who was born in Libya, teaches creative writing at the U-M Ann Arbor campus. He has published two books of his own poetry and translated three volumes of poetry by other contemporary Arabic writers, and has received several grants and fellowships to support creative work.

Hajj, a professor of French at the Lebanese University in Beirut, has written a number of scholarly publications, written and directed plays in Lebanon, and published many essays and poems.

The series was made possible by a gift from Ned Fawaz, president of Energy International of Dearborn, who is active in many community activities.

For more information, contact the U-M-Dearborn Center for Arab American Studies at (313) 583-6334, or visit http://www.casl.umd.umich.edu/caas.

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