Book Launch: Looking for Palestine by Najla Said

Tue, September 10, 2013 7:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Doors Open at 6:30pm

Free and open to the public

Growing up in New York City as the daughter of a famous Palestinian intellectual father and a sophisticated Lebanese mother, it wasn’t rare for Najla Said to answer the door as a young girl to world-renowned scholars or sit in on heated political discussions over dinner. Yet in spite of her extraordinarily cultured and colorful upbringing, Najla admits to being a young American girl who simply wished to fit in and who often felt conflicted about her cultural background and identity.

LOOKING FOR PALESTINE: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family is the warm and engaging memoir born out of Najla’s hugely popular one-woman show, Palestine, which had a nine-week sold-out run Off Broadway and earned features in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

Having already won the praise of Cornel West, LOOKING FOR PALESTINE is not only an enlightening testament about negotiating Arab identity in America, but also a universal coming-of-age story resonant with children of immigrants and anyone who has experienced ambivalence toward their parents or background.

LOOKING FOR PALESTINE is a candid, funny and deeply moving memoir that chronicles Najla’s journey into adulthood and solidifies her as an important voice for second-generation Arab Americans across the country.

About Najla Said

Najla Said has performed Off-Broadway, regionally and internationally, as well as in film and television.In April 2010, Najla completed a nine-week sold-out Off-Broadway run of her solo show, “Palestine”, which features some of the material in this book. She travels to speak and perform at schools across the country, and lives in New York City.

A frank and entertaining memoir, from the daughter of Edward Said, about struggling with ethnic, racial, and cultural identity

“Najla Said’s Looking for Palestine is a compassionate and candid book on her courageous coming-of-age in contemporary America. Said is a brilliant, talented and sensitive artist with a larger-than-life, loving father.”

—Professor Cornel West

“A deeply penetrating, often hilarious, and occasionally devastating account of growing up Arab American. Of course, Najla Said's scramble for her identity is uniquely hers. How many of us, after all, have had world-famous intellectuals as fathers, experienced the civil war in Lebanon first hand, and been kissed on the cheek by Yasir Arafat (which she hated)? But after finally finding the conviction to be at peace with herself, Najla Said has written more than a memoir. Looking for Palestine is a survivor’s guide for all of us who live with that feeling of being out of place wherever we are.”
Moustafa Bayoumi, author of How Does it Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America

“In this account of her search for identity and heritage, Najla Said has achieved something remarkable.”
Hanan Al-Shaykh, author of The Story of Zahra

“Thoughtful, searching, and open-eyed, Looking for Palestine takes readers on a journey into an Arab-American girl's search for identity. The joy and pain of growing up in the long shadow of a brilliant parent, the struggle for meaning and belonging, and the painful dispossession of the Palestinians are all treated with tender care as Najla Said gives us a haunting and singular life story.”
Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Crescent

Last updated: 2013-09-06 02:27:14

Najla Said
Najla Said

Alwan for the Arts

16 Beaver Street, 4th Floor
(between Broad St. and Broadway)
New York, NY 10004
(646) 732-3261

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