The Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here is a literary and visual arts project with cultural festivals planned for January-March 2016 at George Mason University and throughout the area. Exhibits, readings, films, and numerous interactive public programs will commemorate the 2007 bombing of Baghdad’s historic bookselling street. In advance of that project, panelists draw on their own experiences to speak about the value of a free exchange of ideas and knowledge. Panelists include Elliott Colla, author of Baghdad Central and director of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University; Sumaiya Hamdani, professor of Middle Eastern Studies at George Mason University; Sarah Browning, director of Split This Rock; Zein El-Amine of Maryland’s Young Scholars Program and assistant director of the Jimenez-Porter Writers’ House at the University of Maryland; and Mousa Al-Nasseri, a merchant from Al-Mutanabbi Street in Baghdad, Iraq. The panel will be moderated by Helen Frederick and Terry P. Scott.
What began as a two-day literary event in 1999, organized by George Mason University and the City of Fairfax, has expanded into a week-long, multiple-venue, regional festival that brings together people of all ages and interests, thanks to growing community interest and generous supporting partners.
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