CCC Guest Speaker Series: Alia Malek
When Home is Unattainable, What Replaces it?
In November 2020, CCC welcomed Alia Malek for a presentation and panel discussion with Katherine Randall, Nadine Sinno, and Jake Keyel.
In 2015, Malek traveled from Greece to Germany with a group of Syrians fleeing their country’s disintegration. The refugees had met while marooned on the same raft in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Each of them came from a different part of Syria and from different socio-economic classes. Their sights were set on making it to Sweden and the Netherlands. Some of them would be forced to ask for asylum in Germany. Since then, Malek has been reporting on their lives and displacement across these three countries as part of a 10 year reporting project. Drawing on this work, she will consider what replaces the very idea of home when home itself becomes unattainable and its permanence illusory.
Alia Malek is Director of the International Reporting Program at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY, a journalist, and former civil rights lawyer. She is the author of A Country Called Amreeka: US History Re-Told Through Arab American Lives (Simon & Schuster 2009) and editor of Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post 9/11 Injustices (McSweeney's 2011). With collaborators the Magnum Foundation and Al Liquidoi, Alia edited and co-conceived EUROPA: An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees, released in Europe in 2016. Her narrative nonfiction book, The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria, was released in 2017. Her reportage has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, NewYorker.com, the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jadaliyya, McSweeney’s, Guernica and other publications.
Katherine Randall volunteers as a medical coordinator for the Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, and is also a PhD Candidate in the Rhetoric and Writing program at Virginia Tech.
Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, Dr. Nadine Sinno is currently an Associate Professor of Arabic and Director of the Arabic program at Virginia Tech.
Dr. Jake Keyel is a Post Doctoral Research Associate at the Calhoun Center for Higher Education Innovation.
Sponsored by the Community Change Collaborative and the VT Institute for Policy and Governance, the VT Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies and the Center for Rhetoric in Society.