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Middle Eastern American Authors Series at Montgomery County Public Libraries

For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 28, 2021

In partnership with the Office of Community Partnerships’ Middle Eastern American Advisory Group (MEAGG), Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) will offer a series of programs focusing on various Middle Eastern American authors and illustrators.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with MEAGG and bring these incredibly accomplished authors and artists to MCPL to share their stories,” said MCPL Director Anita Vassallo. “This is a unique opportunity to learn first-hand about their work and creative processes.”

The free virtual author series will take place monthly on the third Tuesday from 7 to 8 p.m. February through July. The events will be moderated by Debbie Trent, MEAGG chair, or Karen Leggett, co-chair of the Maryland Friends of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Egypt). Registration is required for the free programs.

The Feb. 16 program features Lebanese-born Helen Zughaib, an internationally acclaimed artist who will talk about Stories My Father Told Me – in which her paintings accompany her father’s stories of growing up in Syria. Zughaib’s art has been widely exhibited in the U.S. and overseas and gifted to heads of state. She will discuss art and literature as a way to encourage dialogue, understanding and acceptance.

Other monthly authors series include:

  • Hena Khan; March 16
    Hena Khan, award-winning Pakistani-American children’s author, whose works include Amina’s Voice, named a Best Book of 2017 by the Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews and NPR, and its sequel Amina’s Song.
  • Rashin Kheiriyeh; April 20
    Rashin Kheiriyeh, internationally recognized author/illustrator, who has published more than 80 books in the U.S, Europe, and Asia, including her native Iran. 
  • Nadia Hashimi; May 18
    Nadia Hashimi, Montgomery County pediatrician turned novelist, whose parents came to the U.S. from Afghanistan before the Soviet invasion and author of Sparks Like Stars.
  • Susan Muaddi Daraj; June 15
    Susan Muaddi Daraj, author of A Curious Land: Stories from Home, a short story collection which won the 2014 AWP Grace Paley Prize for Short Fiction and a 2016 Arab American Book Award.
  • Pauline Kaldas; July 20
    Pauline Kaldas, Professor of English and Creative Writing at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA and author of Looking Both Ways, a collection of essays and The Penguin Book of Migration Literature.

For more information about the program, contact Clotilde Puértolas at

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Release ID: 21-057
Media Contact: Judy Stiles, 240-463-2442
Categories: Library