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  CONTACT: Terry Gallagher
PHONE: (313) 593-5518
DATE: Jan. 21, 2004

Arab and Chaldean American writers featured in series at UM-Dearborn

DEARBORN--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 University of Michigan-Dearborn Center for Arab American Studies this semester. The presentations are free and open to the public.

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 on the UM-Dearborn campus, 4901 Evergreen Rd.

"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," according to Moulouk Berry, assistant professor of modern and classical languages at UM-Dearborn, 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 long-time 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 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, and her writings have appeared in other journals and magazines.

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 a number of essays and poems.

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.

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 UM-Dearborn Center for Arab American Studies at 313-583-6334, or at www.casl.umd.umich.edu/caas/.

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