Congratulations on fall 2020 awards and nominations: Pola OLOIXARAC, one of the two winners of the prestigious 2021 Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer’s Award for her forthcoming Atlas Literario del Amazonas; Courtney Sina Meredith, co-short-listed on the NZSA Heritage Literary Awards list, and Wipas SRITHONG, one among the six finalists for the ASEAN-centric Epigram Books Fiction Prize.
What do you do when a flood closes campus one day before 12 teenage students and 3 chaperones are scheduled to arrive from 6200 miles away? You relocate, of course!
As a consequence of the flood, the inaugural session of Between the Lines debuted not at the University of Iowa, but at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), which generously provided dorm and class space at almost the last minute. Instructors Iman Humaydan and Dunya Mikhail conducted Arabic-language workshops in the mornings, while instructors Daniel Khalastchi and Anjali Sachdeva conducted English-language seminars in the afternoons. Students were able to try their hand at fiction, poetry, nonfiction, translation, and even playwriting.
The participants, who hailed from Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority, and many of whom had never been to the United States before, got to experience much of what Chicago has to offer during the summer, including the Chicago Cultural Center, Millennium Park, Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, John Hancock Center, Navy Pier, and the Magnificent Mile.