Author Malek to Speak on ‘A Country Called Amreeka’

Posted: October 28, 2009 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: October 27, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Alia Malek. Photo by Jonathan Cunningham

Alia Malek. Photo ©Jonathan Becker

On Wednesday, Nov.4, The Middle East Studies Program, Islamic Studies Program and Middle East Etcetera Film Club will present author Alia Malek, who will speak about  her book “A Country Called Amreeka: Arab Roots, American Stories” ( on the Fairfax Campus. The talk will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Enterprise Hall, Room 80, and after, Malek will sign copies of her book.Among the surfeit of narratives about Arabs that have been published in recent years, surprisingly little has been reported on Arabs in America. This book is the story of the last 40-plus years of American history told through the eyes of Arab Americans.

It begins in 1963, before major federal legislative changes transformed the course of American immigration forever. Each chapter describes an event in U.S. history — which may already be familiar to us — and invites us to live that moment in time in the skin of one Arab American. The chapters follow a timeline from 1963 to the present, and the characters live in every corner of this country.

Malek is writer and civil rights lawyer. Born in Baltimore to Syrian immigrant parents, she began her legal career as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. After working in the legal field in the United States, Lebanon and the West Bank, Malek, who has degrees from Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities, earned a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. Her reportage has appeared in Salon, The Columbia Journalism Review and The New York Times.

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