112th: Map of Hope and Sorrow
Join us at Book Culture on 112th on Monday, November 7th at 7pm for a reading and conversation in celebration of the release of Map of Hope and Sorrow, by Helen Bendict and Eyad Awwadawnan. Edafe Okporo will join Helen in conversation.
About Map of Hope and Sorrow:
Award-winning author Helen Benedict and Syrian writer and refugee Eyad Awwadawnan team up to present the stories of five refugees from the Middle East and Africa who fled violence or persecution only to become trapped in some of the world’s worst refugee camps in Greece.
Map of Hope and Sorrow offers a rare insight into the lives of refugees. Both authors spent years getting to know the interviewees and winning their trust. The result is five powerful stories of resilience, suffering and hope. For the first time, Hasan, Asmahan, Evans, Mursal and Calvin each tell their story in their own words, retaining control and dignity, while revealing intimate and heartfelt scenes from their lives. They describe their homes and families in Syria, Nigeria, Afghanistan or Cameroon; their arduous journeys of escape; and recount how they ended up trapped in the Europe they believed would give them freedom, only to be abused and reviled.
There are more displaced people now than since World War Two, fleeing a combination of war, civil unrest, religious conflict, dire poverty, local violence and climate change—forces often inextricably intertwined—just at a point when anti-immigrant, authoritarian governments are rising all over the world, threatening democracies and breaking their postwar commitments to protect refugees and uphold human rights. As a result, refugees today are being persecuted, demonized, and denied their legal rights, both within Europe and the USA, the very places that are supposed to protect them, and that, in some cases, caused them to become refugees in the first place. This is the scenario being played out in Greece, the major gateway to Europe that the EU has deliberately turned into a trap.
In order to facilitate this in-person author event, we will be partially closing the second floor starting at 6:45pm. Please review our COVID-19 Safety guidelines and register for the event using the link below.
or register using the following link: https://forms.gle/7S39XczgNHjogszm7
Helen Benedict, who has been writing about refugees for over ten years, is a recipient of the 2021 PEN Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History and the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism. She is the author of seven novels and six books of nonfiction, including the award-winning The Lonely Soldier: The Private War of Women at War Serving in Iraq, and the novel, Wolf Season. Her writing inspired both a class action suit against the Pentagon on behalf of people sexually assaulted in the military and the 2012 Oscar-nominated documentary, The Invisible War. She is a Professor of Journalism at Columbia University, New York.
Eyad Awwadawnan, formerly a law student from Damascus, Syria, is a writer and poet currently living and working in Reykjavik, Iceland. During his four years in Greece, he worked as a cultural mediator, translator and interpreter for various NGOs. He also published a featured article in Slate Magazine detailing his escape from Syria.
Edafe Okporo was born in Warri, Nigeria. He migrated to the United States in 2016 as an asylum seeker and is now a refugee of the United States. Edafe is a global gay rights activist, the founder of Refuge America Inc, and one of the country’s most visible voices on the issue of displacement, leading an organization with a vision to “strengthen as a place of welcome for LGBTQ displaced people.” A graduate of Enugu State University and the school of Business at NYU, he currently lives in New York City. Edafe is among the inaugural winners of the David Prize, which honors individuals with bold visions for creating a better and brighter New York City. He is also a Logo 30 Honoree.