Reporting from RAWI

So, I’m sitting in the lobby by the RAWI conference. So far, a tremendous experience that’s filled me with a sense of renewal and positivity. The reading last night was amazing, with many of the poets bringing me to tears (and I’m not even PMSing).

It was so cool to be in the same room as Mohja Kahf, Naomi Shihab Nye, Hayan Charara, DH Melhem, Khaled Mattawa, Suheir Hammad, Laurence Joseph; a bunch of Arab Americans with similar backgrounds a mine; and several queer Arab American women who are single moms: all this had an effect on me parallel to a religious experience.

The panel today was fabulous. I finaly got to meet Laila Lalami, who I’ve been corresponding with for ever, and she was just as lovely in person as I thought she would be. I also got to meet with Leila Abu-Saba, who is really soulful and very gorgeous.

It’s been strange, because I just dropped my son off to spend the summer with his dad, and I’m staying at the house I spent my teenage years in America in, so there’s a lot of emotional stuff coming to a head this weekend. I’ll post all about the conference and the inspiration and emotional triggers it’s set off soon.

Hope you are all enjoying the weekend.

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