Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997
Christ Church Cathedral414 Sparks St.
8:30pm

Borders and Belonging

with Djamila Ibrahim, Arif Anwar and Sharon Bala
Hosted by Ferrukh Faruqui

Borders and Belonging

with Djamila Ibrahim, Arif Anwar and Sharon Bala
Hosted by Ferrukh Faruqui
28
Saturday
Apr
8:30pm
Christ Church Cathedral
414 Sparks St.
Arif Anwar
Djamila Ibrahim - Photo by Dana Jansens
Sharon Bala - Photo by Nadra Ginting

Join us for a taste of three remarkable novels and a conversation on the many ways we scale the walls that divide us and burn the bridges that could bring us together.

 

Set in East Africa, the Middle East, Canada, and the U.S., the stories in Djamila Ibrahim’s Things Are Good Now examine the weight of the migrant experience on the human psyche. In these pages, women, men, and children who’ve crossed continents in search of a better life find themselves struggling with the chaos of displacement and the religious and cultural clashes they face in their new homes. The collection is about remorse and the power of memory, about the hardships of a post-9/11 reality that labels many as suspicious or dangerous because of their names or skin colour alone, but it’s also about hope and friendship and the intricacies of human relationships.

 

Inspired by the 1970 Bhola Cyclone, in which half a million people perished overnight, Arif Anwar’s The Storm seamlessly interweaves five love stories that, together, chronicle fifty years of Bangladeshi history. The structure of this novel mimics the storm itself – building to a series of climaxes as it explores the ways in which families love, betray, honour, and sacrifice for one another.

 

Inspired by a real incident, The Boat People is a novel about a group of refugees who survive a perilous ocean voyage to reach Canada – only to face the threat of deportation and accusations of terrorism in their new land. Inspired by real events, with vivid scenes that move between the eerie beauty of northern Sri Lanka and combative refugee hearings in Vancouver, where life and death decisions are made, Sharon Bala’s  stunning debut is an unforgettable and necessary story for our times.

 

Books available for purchase at every event: Proceeds support our free children’s literacy programs.

 

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