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Alia Malek

Alia Malek is a journalist and former civil rights lawyer. She is the author of The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria (Nation Books 2017)and  A Country Called Amreeka: US History Re-Told Through Arab American Lives (Simon & Schuster 2009). She is the editor of Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post 9/11 Injustices (McSweeney's 2011) and EUROPA أوروپا  : An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees (2016). 

Her reportage has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, NewYorker.com, the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jadaliyya, McSweeney’s, Guernica and other publications.

Born in Baltimore to Syrian immigrant parents, she began her legal career as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. After working in the legal field in the U.S., Lebanon, and the West Bank, Malek, who has degrees from Johns Hopkins and Georgetown universities, earned her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.

In April 2011, she moved to Damascus, Syria and wrote anonymously for several outlets from inside the country as it began to disintegrate. Her reporting from Syria earned her the Marie Colvin Award in November 2013.

She returned to the U.S. in May 2013 for the launch of Al Jazeera America, where she was Senior Writer until October 2015. After her departure, she was a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at the Nation Institute and in residence at the MacDowell Colony.

In November 2016, she was honored with the 12th annual Hiett Prize in the Humanities. The New York Foundation for the Arts named her a fellow in Nonfiction Literature in the summer of 2017.

My Authors Sessions

Friday, October 12
 

12:00pm