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Arab, Australian, Other: Stories on Race and Identity


Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781760785017
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pub Date: 23/07/2019
  • Category: Biography & True Stories / Collected biographies
    Biography & True Stories / Biography: general
    Biography & True Stories / General
  • Imprint: Picador Australia
  • Pages: 272
  • Price: $32.99

Although there are 22 separate Arab nationalities representing an enormous variety of cultural backgrounds and experiences, the portrayal of Arabs in Australia tends to range from homogenising (at best) to racist pop-culture caricatures.

Edited by award-winning author and academic Randa Abdel-Fattah, and activist and poet Sara Saleh, and featuring contributors Michael Mohammed Ahmad, Ruby Hamad and Paula Abood, among many others, this collection explores the experience of living as a member of the Arab diaspora in Australia and includes stories of family, ethnicity, history, isolation, belonging and identity.


Paula Abood | Nokomi Achkar | Michael Mohammed Ahmad | Rooan Al Kalmashi | Ryan Al-Natour | Rawah Arja | Hana Assafiri | Sarah Ayoub | Omar Bensaidi | Sara El Sayed | Asma Fahmi | Farid Farid | Ruby Hamad | Abdulrahman Hammoud | Lamisse Hamouda | Amani Haydar | Miran Hosny | Lora Inak | Elias Jahshan | Nicola Joseph and Huna Amweero | Zainab Kadhim and Mohammad Awad | Wafa Kazal | Yassir Morsi

Author Information

Randa is a postdoctoral Research Fellow at Macquarie University, researching the impact of the generational war on terror on Muslim and non-Muslim youth born into a post 9/11 world. Randa has written eleven books, is working on the film adaptation of her novel Does My Head Look Big in This? and is keen to use her intervention into popular culture to reshape dominant narratives around race.

Sara Saleh is a poet and activist. A campaigner for refugee rights and racial justice, she has spent the past decade working with Amnesty International and CARE International in Australia and the Middle East. She is currently completing her Juris Doctor, developing her debut novel and is a proud Bankstown Poetry Slam 'Slambassador'.

Randa is a prominent Australian author, academic, human rights advocate, former lawyer and mother of four children. She has been nominated for Sweden's 2019 Astrid Lindgren Award, the world's biggest children's and young adult literature award (she was also nominated in 2018). The award-winning author of eleven novels, published and translated in over 20 countries, Randa writes across a wide range of genres and actively seeks to translate her academic work into creative interventions which reshape dominant narratives around race, human rights, multiculturalism and identity in popular culture. She has been publishing her op eds in Australia's national and international newspapers and journals since 1998. She has had regular appearances on Q&A, The Drum, Lateline and The 7.30 Report, and radio interviews (RN Drive, ABC Books and Arts, The Conversation Hour etc.).

Her debut novel, Does My Head Look Big in This?, has sold more than 100,000 copies in Australia, is published around the world and was performed on the stage in America. With funding from Screen Australia and Create NSW, Randa is currently adapting Does My Head Look Big in This? as an Australian feature film. Randa has been the recipient of many awards including the Victorian Premier's Literary Award (2005 and 2017), the Australian Book Industry Awards, the Kathleen Mitchell Award and the State Library of Victoria Centre for Youth Literature's Gold Inky award. Randa's books have also consistently made it to best fiction lists in the USA and Top 100 New York Public Library Books for Teenagers.

Randa is also a postdoctoral Research Fellow at Macquarie University where she is working on a project - the first of its kind in Australia - comparing the generational impact of the war on terror on Muslim and non-Muslim youth born into a post 9/11 world via in-depth interviews and innovative storytelling workshops in schools and universities.

Randa does not consider herself to be a typical academic, having come to academia from a law career and continuing career as a novelist. She is regularly invited as a guest speaker at writers' festivals and schools around the world. She addresses hundreds of students every year and continues to juggle her human rights advocacy and writing around her academic work as she wants her academic work to be grounded in community.

Randa is also a Stella Schools Ambassador in the Girls Write Up program, promoting awareness around diversity and social justice from an intersectional framework through workshops in Australian schools.

She is currently co-editing an anthology about growing up Arab in Australia due for publication by Picador in 2019.

She can be found at www.randaabdelfattah.com and @RandaAFattah

Sara Saleh is an award-winning Arab-Australian poet, human rights activist and long-time campaigner for refugee rights and racial justice. She has worked for Amnesty International and CARE International in Australia and the Middle East - in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and on the Syrian border.

As part of her roles, Sara has appeared on ABC News 24, The Drum, SBS (Arabic and English) and has written for Fairfax, news.com.au, ABC, Junkee and New Matilda.

A poet and writer, Sara's first poetry collection was released in 2016 and explores themes of displacement, migration, identity and women. Her poems have been published in English and Arabic in SBS Life, Australian Poetry Journal, Bankstown Poetry Collections, The Dirty Thirty, and global anthologies A Blade of Grass, Solid Air and Making Mirrors.

A co-founder of the sister Dubai and Amman Poetry Slams, Sara continues to perform across festivals, nationally and internationally, from New Zealand to New York.

Sara is co-curating the upcoming anthology about growing up Arab in Australia (Picador 2019). As the recipient of the first Affirm Press Mentorship for Sweatshop Writers 2018, Sara is developing her debut fiction novel.

Sara is a proud Bankstown Poetry Slam 'Slambassador'. She also sits on the board of national advocacy organisation GetUp! She is currently completing her Juris Doctor at UNSW.