Home Is….? An Open City Fellows Reading
Hannah Bae, Syma Mohammed, Maryam Mir, Astha Rajvanshi, Mohamad Saleh and Nora Salem
Home Is....? An Open City Fellows Reading

Join us for a special reading with the Open City Fellows. We’ll hear from Neighborhood Fellows Hannah Bae, Syma Mohammed, and Astha Rajvanshi, who have been documenting the pulse of metropolitan Asian America as it has being lived on the streets of New York right now; and our Muslim Communities fellows, Maryam Mir, Mohamad Saleh, and Nora Salem, who have been writing on the city’s Muslim American and Arab American communities over the past six months. Don’t miss this chance to hear some best local reporting and narrative nonfiction about communities of color in New York City. Moderated by Open City Editor Noel Pangilinan and former Open City Fellow Humera Afridi.




Hannah Bae was a journalist for 10 years before she decided to quit her full-time job at CNN, and pursue her creative passion of telling stories about Korean American culture and identity. She is currently working on a memoir. She worked for CNN Business, Newsday, the U.S. State Department and some of South Korea’s largest news organizations. She also freelanced for The Associated Press, CNN Travel, Deutsche Presse Agentur and others. Hannah is also an illustrator whose work can be found on Goldthread, Tricycle.org, SupChina and EatDrinkDraw.com, the website she runs with her husband.

Syma Mohammed has written for The National, The Herald, The Guardian, and TIM Media. This year, she worked on a documentary film about the Muslim ban and Muslim American activism in the age of Trump. Syma  holds a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies from New York University, where she was the managing editor of literary arts journal submissions from students on the university’s Prison Education Program. She was also one of the editors for The Literacy Review, an annual journal of writing from adult literacy programs across New York City.

Astha Rajvanshi is an editorial assistant at the New York Times Magazine. Previously, she reported for the Editor-in-Chief and the investigations desk at Reuters. Born in India and raised in Australia, she graduated with a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a Toni Stabile Fellow for Investigative Journalism, and a Global Migration Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Indypendent, Columbia Journalism Review, Forbes, News.com.au, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Kill Your Darlings.

Maryam Mir was born in Germany, raised in Bahrain, of Kashmiri origin and with Canadian and Kenyan history. She studied Marketing and English at the University of Pennsylvania and recently completed an intensive course in Social Documentary Filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts. She curates an Instagram of doodles, @curlswirlgurl, where she experiments with different approaches to giving form to feelings. She will be pursuing her MFA at New York University in the fall.

Mohamad Saleh is a writer and editor of fiction and nonfiction. He is Palestinian, was born in Jordan, and immigrated to South Brooklyn at age eight. He recently graduated from Harvard with a master’s degree in Middle Eastern Studies. He was an editor at The Harvard Journal of Middle Eastern Politics and Policy. As a teaching fellow at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, he taught Intermediate Arabic. He received a BS in Physics from NYU, having also double-majored in Philosophy and Middle Eastern Studies.

Nora Salem is a Mexican and Egyptian American writer, teacher, and textile artist. She holds an MFA from Virginia Tech. Nora spent a year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, working on a Fulbright research project that focused on liberation theology and feminism in Muslim practice. She worked as adult education manager at the Arab American Association of New York, where she taught ESOL to a diverse group of Arab immigrants from countries like Yemen, Palestine, Egypt and more. She is currently an adjunct lecturer at Baruch College and an Open City Fellow.

Humera Afridi was a Senior Fellow for Open City’s Muslim Communities Fellowship. She is a 2017 Gregory Millard NYFA/ NYSC Artist Fellow in Nonfiction Literature. Her writing has appeared in several publications, including Granta, Guernica, The Journal of Postcolonial Studies and The New York Times. She is working on a book about a South Asian World War II heroine.

Noel Pangilinan is the editor of Open City, one of two online publications of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. He teaches Filipino and Philippine history at the College of Mount Saint Vincent and at Rutgers University. Noel also taught Filipino American literature at the City University of New York (CUNY)-Hunter College and writing for the media at Seton Hall University. He earned his Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


This event will be livestreamed on the Asian American Writers’ Facebook page.

* The space is wheelchair accessible. No stairs. Direct elevator from ground floor to 6th floor.
* We strongly encourage all participants of the space/event to be scent-free.
If you all have any other specific questions about accessibility, please email Tiffany Le at tle@aaww.org with any questions on reserving priority seating.


Home Is….? An Open City Fellows Reading

Hannah Bae, Syma Mohammed, Maryam Mir, Astha Rajvanshi, Mohamad Saleh and Nora Salem
Thursday, June 27, 2019
6:30 PM
Asian American Writers’ Workshop
112 W 27th Street Suite 600
New York NY 10001
Event tags:
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