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In The Home That Was Our Country, Alia Malek chronicles her return to her family home in Damascus at the Arab Spring's hopeful start in 2011. She left to reclaim her grandmother's apartment, which had been lost to her family since Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970. Its loss was central to her parents' decision to make their lives in America, and a central story during her Baltimore upbringing. In chronicling the people who lived in the Tahaan building, past and present, Alia portrays the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Armenians and Kurds who worked, loved and suffered in close quarters, mirroring the political shifts in their country. Restoring her family's home as the country comes apart, she learns how to speak the coded language of oppression that exists in a dictatorship, while privately confronting her own fears about Syria's future.
Alia Malek is a Syrian-American journalist and civil rights lawyer. She grew up in Baltimore and has degrees from Johns Hopkins and Georgetown. In 2011, Alia moved to Damascus and wrote anonymously for several outlets, including The New York Times, about Syria's disintegration.
TIME & DATE
Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 7:30pm