Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A New Day: Readings by Iranian and Afghan American Writers

Join writers Naheed Elyasi, Sedika Mojadidi, Zohra Saed and Sahar Muradi–along with Aphrodite Désirée Navab and Dena Afrasiabi for readings and conversation.

Presented by the English & Speech Department and FIT Words: The Club for Writers

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

5:00pm - 7:00pm

Fashion Institute of Technology (Cafeteria)

7th Avenue & W 27th St

New York, NY

Naheed Elyasi fled Afghanistan in 1982, three years after the Soviet invasion. Her family walked across the mountains into Pakistan, where they lived for one year before being accepted as refugees to the United States. Naheed grew up in North Carolina, where she studied Communications and Public Relations. After completing her degree at East Carolina University, she moved to Atlanta, where she studied Fashion Design. Her love for fashion brought her to New York in 1999, where she worked as an assistant designer at Maggy London and in the production department at Marc Jacobs. She eventually left fashion to pursue a career in not for profit, and joined School of Hope, an organization that raised funds for schools in Afghanistan. Naheed is currently the Director of Communications at the Council for Economic Education, and a contributing writer for Zeba Magazine.

Sahar Muradi was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. She and her family emigrated to the United States when she was three years old. She grew up in New York and Florida. Sahar received her B.A. in Literature and Creative Writing from Hampshire College, and her M.P.A. in Interntional Development from New York University. Sahar has written extensively about her family experiences, as well as reported on current events in Afghanistan. Her writing has been featured in literary magazines, newspapers, as well as read on public radio. In 2003, Sahar returned to her native Kabul to work for two years. She helped coordinate a donor conference with the Foreign Ministry, as well as managed a small grant program for civil society development. She is currently a Program and Trek Coordinator for the international organization, buildOn. She lives in Brooklyn. She is co-editor of the first Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press, Fall 2010).

Zohra Saed received her MFA at Brooklyn College. Her poetry and essays have been published in numerous anthologies and journals. Most recently in Gallerie International Journal: Afghanistan Ed. Bina Sarkar (India: 2009); The Crab Orchard Review (Summer/Fall 2009); and in Speaking for Herself: Asian Women’s Writings (Penguin India Books: 2009). She has performed as part of the cast of the legendary theater director Ping Chong’s Undesirable Elements in 2000 and in 2007, where the ensemble caste performed at the first National Asian American Theater Festival. She is co-editor of the first Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press, Fall 2010).

Dena Afrasiabi was born in Shiraz, Iran (city of poets, wine and flowers). When she was two, the Iranian government imposed oppressive changes after the 1979 revolution, and her family fled to the U.S. in search of freedom. Finally settling in Chico, California, she grew up listening to her parents and their friends tell colorful stories about their lives back home. She received her B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, and continued to write while working as a music librarian at Yahoo! in Santa Monica, California.

Aphrodite Désirée Navab is an Iranian Greek American artist and writer based in New York City (b. 1971, Iran). She uses visual art and writing to investigate transnational issues in art, education, cultural and women’s studies. The world premiere of her solo show, She Speaks Greek Farsi was in Athens, Greece before it traveled to Soho20 Chelsea. Navab’s creative nonfiction and fiction are published or forthcoming in Let Me Tell You Where I've Been: New Writing by Women of the Iranian Diaspora, POWWOW: Charting the Fault Lines in the American Experience, Short Fiction from Then to Now, and other anthologies. She is currently writing Call Her Rudabeh, a novel about the sexual awakening of an Iranian American woman.

Contact: Amy_Lemmon@fitnyc.edu
Jean_Amato@fitnyc.edu, ZohraSaed@gmail.com

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