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Malaka Gharib: I Was Their American Dream

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In Conversation with Shaheen Qureshi

Event is from 6- 10 pm, with book talk beginning at 7 pm.

One part Mari Andrew, one part Marjane Satrapi, I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir is a triumphant tale of self-discovery, a celebration of a family’s rich heritage, and a love letter to American immigrant freedom. Malaka Gharib’s illustrations come alive with teenage antics and earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised.

Malaka’s upbringing will look familiar to anyone who grew up in the pre-internet era, but her particular story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream.

The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigates her childhood chasing her parents’ ideals, learning to code-switch between her family’s Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid.

I Was Their American Dream is at once a journal of growing up and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children.

Malaka Gharib is an artist, journalist, and writer based in Washington, D.C. She is the founder of The Runcible Spoon, a food zine, and the co-founder of the D.C. Art Book Fair. She lives in a row house with her husband Darren and her 9-year-old rice cooker.

Shaheen Qureshi is a poet, editor, and literary agent. Originally from the DC area, she has previously worked with 826DC and has taught writing workshops at Politics & Prose and Duende District. She is currently pursuing her MFA in writing at Bard and lives in Brooklyn. She is the daughter of immigrants from Pakistan and the Philippines. 

600 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

This event is FREE and open to all. Let us know you’re coming on Facebook.

Earlier Event: April 5
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Later Event: May 1
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