Common Ground

Hala Alyan with Olivia Issa


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Author Hala Alyan joins organizer Olivia Issa for a conversation on her new novel The Arsonists’ City. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Ghinwa Jawhari.

In this talk

Hala Alyan

Hala Alyan, Photo by Elena Mudd
Photo by Elena Mudd
A Palestinian American writer, clinical psychologist, and author of Salt Houses, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award, as well as four award-winning collections of poetry, most recently The Twenty-Ninth Year. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Guernica, and elsewhere. Her second novel, The Arsonists’ City, was published with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in March of this year. She lives in Brooklyn with her Husband.

Olivia Issa

Olivia Issa
The Co-Executive Director of No Lost Generation GWU, a student-led refugee-advocacy group on GWU’s campus, and the Co-Chair of the Student Voices for Refugees Steering Committee. For the past six years, Olivia has been engaged with refugee-advocacy and resettlement work in Chicago and Washington D.C., volunteering and interning with resettlement agencies and refugee aid providers throughout both cities. Additionally, Olivia works to promote pride in Arab heritage by organizing events as Director of Outreach for her school’s Arab Student Association and engaging the Lebanese diaspora community across Washington D.C.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Ghinwa Jawhari reading.

Ghinwa Jawhari

A photograph of Ghinwa Jawhari
A Lebanese American writer based in Brooklyn, NY, Ghinwa Jawhari was born to Druze parents in Cleveland, OH. Her chapbook BINT was selected by Aria Aber for Radix Media’s Own Voices Chapbook Prize. Her essays, fiction, and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Catapult, Narrative, Mizna, The Adroit Journal, and others. Ghinwa is a 2021 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

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