MENA Lit Chat with Massoud Hayoun, Author of "When We Were Arabs"

Reading - Literary | December 4 | 6-7:30 p.m. | 340 Stephens Hall

 Massoud Hayoun

 Center for Middle Eastern Studies

Join us at the CMES for a conversation with acclaimed novelist Massoud Hayoun about his new novel, When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History.

There was a time when being an “Arab” didn’t mean you were necessarily Muslim. It was a time when Oscar Hayoun, a Jewish Arab, strode along the Nile in a fashionable suit after Shabbat services on his way to bring tobacco to his dying grandfather, long before Oscar and his father arrived at the port of Haifa to join the Zionist state only to find themselves first hosed down with DDT then left unemployed on the margins of society. In that time, Arabness was a mark of diverse cosmopolitanism, of intellectualism. Today, in the age of the Likud and ISIS, Massoud Hayoun, the Jewish Arab journalist that Oscar raised in Los Angeles, finds his voice by telling his family’s story.

Massoud Hayoun is a journalist based in Los Angeles, most recently freelancing for Al Jazeera English and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown online while writing a weekly column on foreign affairs for Pacific Standard. He previously worked as a reporter for Al Jazeera America, The Atlantic, Agence France-Presse, and the South China Morning Post and has been published widely. He speaks and works in five languages and won a 2015 EPPY Award.

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies is a non-partisan academic research unit. The views of our contributors, guest speakers, and affiliates do not necessarily reflect the views of CMES or of the University of California, Berkeley.

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