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Books and Biryani: A Muslim History of the Americas

with Omar Mouallem
Hosted by Ferrukh Faruqui

Books and Biryani: A Muslim History of the Americas

with Omar Mouallem
Hosted by Ferrukh Faruqui
Omar Mouallem
Although Books and Biryani 2020 was hijacked by the pandemic, this fall the Canadian Council of Muslim Women-Ottawa is back (sadly, the biryani’s up to you). 
Join host Ferrukh Faruqui as she catches up with the kinetic Omar Mouallem, whose creative dynamism fuels multiple genres.  His just released CBC Gem documentary The Last Baron celebrates the sweat-induced success of Arab immigrant families, including his own, who spawned a collection of mostly small-town hamburger joints dotting Alberta. The writer, filmmaker and self-proclaimed ‘fake dean’ of the stupendously successful Pandemic University for writers is having several moments.


Mouallem’s The Ringer feature chronicling the arc of his renamed Levantine ancestor Frank Lackteen, the first Arab American movie star, is a fitting preface to his new book, Praying to the West. This personal travelogue-cum-memoir details how Muslims colonised the Americas. To his surprise, this historical quest becomes an interior journey too. As he crosses the continent from Brazil to the Arctic on the trail of diverse Islamic communities, this Canadian-born son of Lebanese immigrants sort-of finds himself too, telescoping back to his faith-saturated childhood while challenging a global narrative hostile to Islam in a world dominated by the political and cultural fallout of the never-ending war on terror.


Please join us online on Sunday, October 17th at 7pm Eastern for Books and Biryani 2021: The Muslim History of North America.


Books and Biryani began 18 or so years ago – even our long serving president can’t recall the exact year - in a Westboro church basement with guests perusing profound prose between sips of cardamom tea and fragrant spoonfuls of chicken-studded rice. Past guests include Moon of the Crusted Snow author Waubgeshig Rice and Cree playwright-novelist-composer Tomson Highway.


The Canadian Council of Muslim Women is a national non-profit founded in 1982 by a coterie of visionaries to empower Canadian Muslim women seeking equity and social justice. CCMW-Ottawa is run by volunteers who delight in the words that hone our understanding of the colliding forces that shape our shared society.


Books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.


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