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Protection & Identity: A conversation with celebrated Syrian-Canadian author and activist Danny Ramadan on World Refugee Day

June 20th 2024 is World Refugee Day. On this day we remember that across the world every minute 20 people leave all their belongings behind to escape persecution. Yet beyond the horror of war and danger, refugees strive to build new lives in the cities and countries that they start to call home. 

Join us to hear all about how experiences and stories of hope, protection, life and identity intertwine, and to refute the oversimplified refugee narrative through the eyes and words of Danny Ramadan, a Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ-refugees advocate.

Join us online on June 20 from 1pm-2:30pm PT / 4-5:30pm ET to meet Danny Ramadan  

Meet Celebrated Syrian-Canadian Author and Activist Danny Ramadan

Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ-refugees advocate. His latest novel, The Foghorn Echoes won the Lambda Award for Gay Fiction, and was nominated for the BC & Yukon Book awards, and the city of Vancouver Book Award. The Clothesline Swing is translated to multiple languages. His award-winning children’s books The Salma Series continues to receive accolades. He is expected to release his memoir Crooked Teeth in 2024. Since his arrival to Canada, Ramadan has raised over $300,000 for LGBTQ+ identifying refugees.  Ramadan graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Adler University.

Read More of Danny’s Work:

Starting with his family’s humble beginnings in Damascus, Ramadan takes readers on an epic, border-crossing journey: to the city’s underground network of queer safe homes; to a clandestine party at a secluded villa in Cairo; through Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East, a reckless hoax that threatens the safety of Syria’s LGBTQ+ community, and a traumatic six-week imprisonment; to beaches and sunsets with friends in Beirut; to an arrival in Vancouver that’s not as smooth as it promised to be; and ultimately to a life of hard-won comfort and love.

What emerges is a powerful refutation of the oversimplified refugee narrative—a book that holds space for joy alongside sorrow, for nuance and complicated ambivalences. Written with fearless intimacy, Crooked Teeth is a singular achievement in which a master storyteller learns that his greatest story is his own.

Crooked Teeth will be published on May 28th 2024 and can be pre-ordered or purchased here

The Clothesline Swing 

The Clothesline Swing is a journey through the troublesome aftermath of the Arab Spring. Ramadan unveils an enthralling tale of courage that weaves through the mountains of Syria, the valleys of Lebanon, the encircling seas of Turkey, the heat of Egypt and finally, the hope of a new home in Canada.

The Foghorn Echoes 

Syria, 2003. A blooming romance leads to a tragic accident when Hussam’s father catches him acting on his feelings for his best friend, Wassim. In an instant, the course of their lives is changed forever. Ten years later, Hussam and Wassim are still struggling to find peace and belonging. Sponsored as a refugee by a controlling older man, Hussam is living an openly gay life in Vancouver, where he attempts to quiet his demons with sex, drugs, and alcohol. Wassim is living on the streets of Damascus, having abandoned a wife and child and a charade he could not keep up. Taking shelter in a deserted villa, he unearths the previous owner’s buried secrets while reckoning with his own. Masterfully crafted and richly detailed, The Foghorn Echoes is a gripping novel about how to carve out home in the midst of war, and how to move forward when the war is within yourself.

Head to Danny’s website to learn more about his work, and click on the button below to join our upcoming event!

This event is being organized in collaboration by:

With support from the Government of Canada

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