We finally have the opportunity to make change. Help Restock the shelves of the Al Saeh Library, Lebanon’s 2nd Largest Library in an effort to spread a message of peace and education through this book drive! We dream of being able to make a difference, and now we finally can! Check out the Facebook page for more information.

If you live anywhere in the United States, Canada or Lebanon, please contact us to set up a drop off location for the books in your area. If you would like to represent your area, let us know by e-mailing alsaehbookdrive@gmail.com 

Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf
A fiction feature inspired by James Dean about a teenage rebel who comes of age into a headscarf and a motorcycle.

James Dean. Little Rock, Arkansas. Hijabi/Muhajiba. Racial inequality. Motorcycle. Terrorism Charges. Americana. Coming of Age. Arab-America.

Sounds intriguing doesn’t it?

ALL IN ONE? Unbelievable? Think again. Marjoun and the Flying Headscarf is about a spunky, free-willed, and rebellious Lebanese-American teenager in Arkansas who searches for identity with her headscarf and a motorcycle, channeling a James Dean intrigue, in the aftermath of her father’s imprisonment on dubious terrorist-related charges.

The Kickstarter campaign for the film I’ve been working on with the brilliant Susan Youssef was launched TODAY! COME. GIVE. LOVE. SHARE. Projects like this need your support to come to life! This is the last bit of funding we need before we can shoot, and we need to shoot by the end of the year, so timing is of the essence!

We have a variety of rewards for those who participate (like goodies from 5ive Pillars, a beautiful scarf by Faissal Al-Malek, and a Habibi Rasak Kharban poster designed by the genius Reza Abedini), and even the smallest donation, even $10, helps us get one step closer to making this film a reality. Even if donating is out of your means, if you could share the page to our fundraiser and help build a community of support for the project, that would be beyond amazing.


I am so proud of where I come from. My mom is Mexican, my dad is Lebanese and I’m American, and I think that’s what being an American is. It’s a melting pot. I feel that this show, this cast and myself are what represent what is an American. There are a lot of Latin fans telling me how they never related to someone on screen. I am just so thankful for all of these girls that write those things to me because they motivate me to be a better person and a better role model for them.


L.A. Hyder | Lebanese American

Self-Portrait at 40, 1987

Ivy & Acey, 1996 

Photographer and LVA (Lesbians in the Visual Arts) founding director L.A. Hyder (b. 1947) uses her self-awareness as an American of Lebanese ancestry to encourage diverse participation.

“I feel all my work is informed by who I am as a lesbian. That no matter what it is, it’s lesbian art…I photograph a lot of doorways and a lot of stairways. I like the feel of possibility and looking through things. I feel it’s not always the content that makes it lesbian. Texture and form to me is very lesbian. My installations have much more direct lesbian content than my photographs, and they have more of a political bent. Installations involve transforming a concept and often mine are about being lesbian or being of Arabic heritage.” - L.A. Hyder statement


So apparently we’re going to see a part of my family I haven’t seen in ages

The “traditional Lebanese” part

Who don’t know I’m a lesbian

Mentally preparing myself for the “what’s your boyfriend like”/“when are you getting married”/“when are you having kids” questions.

Jess Rizkallah Named Winner of Inaugural Etel Adnan Poetry Prize
$1,000 and publication to be awarded annually to a first or second book of poetry, in English, by a writer of Arab heritage.

my book is being published in fall 2017. i can’t even believe it. i’m so excited. 

Oct. 11, 2016    

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jess Rizkallah has been named the winner of the inaugural Etel Adnan Poetry Prize for her collection, the magic my body becomes. Rizkallah is a Lebanese-American writer and illustrator.

This collection explores family history, love, religion, language, and gender expectations within the Arab American experience. Rizkallah addresses the middle ground of being an Arab American, of being too Arab for America and too American for an ancestral country. The poems illustrate the difficulty in separating those aspects of identity that are come by organically from those which are acquired second-hand.

“As I go through Jessica Rizkallah’s poems, I keep saying to myself, ‘No poet this young should be this good’,” said series editor Hayan Charara. “Of course, we’re lucky that she is. Her inventive language, her humor, her tenderness, her insights will astonish us.”

Rizkallah lives in Boston and New York. She’s an alumna of Lesley University, an M.F.A. candidate at New York University, and founding editor at Maps for Teeth magazine/pizza pi press. Her work has appeared in Word Riot, Nailed Magazine, Button Poetry, and HEArt Online.

“Something about her poetry is already ahead of us,” Charara said. “Her voice is that of the next generation.”

Every year the University of Arkansas Press together with the Radius of Arab American Writers accept submissions for the Etel Adnan Poetry Series and award the $1,000 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize to a first or second book of poetry, in English, by a writer of Arab heritage. Since its founding in 1996 the Radius of Arab American Writers has celebrated and fostered the writings and writers that make up the vibrant and diverse Arab American community.

The series editors are Hayan Charara and Fady Joudah, and the prize is named in honor of the world-renowned poet, novelist, essayist, and artist Etel Adnan. The Etel Adnan Poetry Prize is supported by the King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas.

Rizkallah’s collection, the magic my body becomes, will be published in Fall 2017.


I SAY DUST || Darine Hotait

Cinephilia Productions presents I SAY DUST written and directed by Darine Hotait
An Arab American take on identity in a diaspora context
‘I Say Dust’ tells the story of Hal, an Arab-American poet belonging to the Palestinian diaspora in New York City, who meets Moun, a free-spirited chess sales girl. Their brief love affair eventuates in challenging their understanding of what makes home.
Starring Hala Alyan and Mounia Akl

We’re obsessed with this new film by Darine Hotait, a Lebanese American writer/director. We’ll be putting up our own review of the short film up soon along with an interview with Darine. 


Lebanese American University architecture students assemble emergency shelter using plastic crates + ties

“The ‘emergency plastic crates shelter’, designed by third year architecture students at the lebanese american university has been assembled as a 1:1 scale prototype on site at LAU’s byblos campus.

Studio instructor richard douzjian requested for the temporary structures to be developed from common, everyday objects that are easily accessible to people all-over the world, as many refugees are forced to incorporate such materials into creating their own living environments.

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