“This lecture series was established 20 years ago by my
immigrant Egyptian American grandparents, who were proud to
facilitate a space to ask tough questions in the pursuit of
knowledge and mutual understanding. We are delighted to be able
to continue this tradition virtually with Laila Lalami, the
UToledo community, and the broader public this year."
Lalami, who was born in Morocco and came to the United States
for graduate school, is the author of four novels, including
“The Moor’s Account,” which won the American Book Award, the
Arab-American Book Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and
was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction.
Her novel “The Other Americans” was a national bestseller and
a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and the National Book Award in
Fiction. And her essays and criticism have appeared in the Los
Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, Harper’s, the
Guardian and the New York Times.
She also has received fellowships from the British Council,
the Fulbright Program, and the Guggenheim Foundation.
Lalami lives in Los Angeles and teaches creative writing at
the University of California, Riverside.
The free, public lecture has been a continuous event at The
University of Toledo since 2001 and is sponsored by the College
of Arts and Letters and the Mikhail Endowment Fund.
The Mikhail Lecture Series is sponsored through the Mikhail
Endowment Fund, which was originally established through a
donation from the Mikhail family to honor the work and
contributions of Maryse Mikhail and her involvement in
educational, philanthropic and interfaith organizations.
The fund supports an annual lecture dealing with Arab
culture, history, politics, economics and other aspects of life
in the Middle East, including issues of peace and justice.