Weaving with New Threads: The 6th Annual Arab Women's Conference
Presented by the SF Arab Cultural and Community Center

Saturday, March 16, 2013.
10:30am until 5:30pm.
Cost- Students: $15, General $25 - register online at
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Join the ACCC for our 6th Annual Bay Area Arab Women's Conference--a unique grassroots Arab women's conference produced by and for Arab women! This year, panelists and performers from across the world will present on such topics as how Arab women move beyond colonial, orientalist, and Arab nationalist definitions of Arab womanhood; how to recognize diversity and challenge racism and ethnocentricism across the Arab world and diaspora; and how to lead more holistically healthy lives.

Conference Program
10:30AM-10:45AM - Registration and Check In

10:45AM-11:15 AM - Musical Prelude: The Aswat Women's Ensemble

11:15AM-11:30 AM - Opening Remarks

11:30AM-1:00 PM - Panel: What is Arab Womanhood?: Moving Toward Our Own Definitions* with Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi and "Contemporary War Diaries and Arab Womanhood: On Story-telling, Mothering, Laughter, and Activism" with Dr. Nadine Sinno

1:00PM-1:30 PM - Performance: poet Warsan Shire

1:30PM-2:15 PM - Workshops (ROUND 1)

Workshop 1:Living Holistic Lives: Key Concerns In Arab Women's Health with Jamie Elmasu

Workshop 2: Intergenerational Writing Workshop: Envisioning a World for our Mothers and Daughters

2:15 PM-3:00PM Lunch (provided)

3:00 PM – 3:45 PM - Workshops (Round 2-take the workshop you didn't take before)

Workshop 1: Living Holistic Lives: Key Concerns In Arab Women's Health with Jamie Elmasu

Workshop 2: Intergenerational Writing Workshop: Envisioning a World for our Mothers and Daughters

3:50 PM-5:00PM - Panel: Addressing Racism, Ethnocentricism and Colorism with Maytha Alhassen and Sandra Estefan

5:00PM-5:15 PM - Closing Remarks

5:15PM-5:30PM – Debka Demo and Celebration!


Speakers and Performers:
Aswat Women's Music Ensemble Aswat is the musical voice of Arab America in the Bay Area, sponsored by Zawaya, a non-profit organization that seeks to contribute to the multicultural discourse of the Bay Area with the Arab Arts. True to Zawaya's commitment to pluralism and inclusion, Aswat is a multi-ethnic and multi-racial music ensemble that reaches out to the diverse Bay Area community with folkloric, classical, and contemporary Arab music. For more information, please visit ( or email .

Rabab Abdulhadi is an Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies/Race and Resistance Studies and the Senior Scholar of the Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative at the College of Ethnic Studies, San Francisco State University. Her scholarship, pedagogy and public activism focuses on Palestine, Arab and Muslim communities and their diasporas, race and resistance studies, transnational feminisms, and gender and sexuality studies. She is the co-editor of Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence and Belonging (Syracuse University Press), winner of the 2012 National Arab American Book Award. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in English and Arabic and she is the recipient of several honors and awards, including the New Century Scholarship, Sterling Fellowship, Phi Beta Kappa award, and teaching excellence awards from Yale University and AUC. he has participated in collaborative projects including cofounding the Islamophobia Studies Journal, contributing to the the Masarat Second Annual Conference and the National Conference of Women’s Studies as well as numerous World Social Forum events, including the upcoming 2013 World Social Forum in Tunisia

Maytha Alhassen is a University of Southern California (USC) Provost Ph.D. Fellow in American Studies and Ethnicity, studying historical encounters between African Americans and Arab Americans, critical race studies and oral history narratives. Her work in and outside academia bridges the worlds of social justice, academic research and artistic expression. In addition to her journalistic and academic writing, she has appeared on CNN and Al Jazeera English and contributed an essay to a book on American Muslim women's stories, I Speak For Myself ( Alhassen also co-edited Demanding Dignity, an anthology of essays on the revolutionary movements in the Arab world (White Cloud Press, 2012).

Jamie Elmasu Committed to advancing health and promoting wellness, Jamie researches and designs strategies that focus on improving programs and services in the public health field. Her experiences stem from working in the healthcare safety net and with a variety of community-based nonprofit organizations. Jamie currently works as a health associate for BTW Informing Change, a strategic consulting firm, where she collaborates with nonprofits and foundations to use evaluation as a tool to strengthen the impact of their work. Jamie has applied her program development and evaluation skills in the Arab community, where she initiated a youth-based violence prevention and anti-bullying program at the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services and currently serves on the advisory board for the Racial Equity in Schools program at the Arab Cultural and Community Center. Jamie holds an MPH from the University of California, Berkeley with a focus on Health and Social Behavior and earned a certificate in Multicultural Health.

Sandra Estafan graduated from the Graduate Theological Union in 2012, and is a lecturer at San Francisco State University. She is an Egyptian Canadian Feminist. She grew up in the Coptic Orthodox Church, and its spiritual themes usually find their way into her work. Her creative work spans various media, including mixed media installations, graphic design, and poetry.She has facilitated a variety of workshops in formal and informal spaces.

Nadine Sinno Nadine Sinno is an Assistant Professor of Arabic Literature and Language in the Middle East Institute at Georgia State University. Her research interests include modern Arabic literature and culture, literary translation, contemporary Arab women’s writings, and transnational feminisms. Her work has appeared in The Journal of Arabic Literature, The Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies, Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America, and in the edited volume Feminism and War: Confronting U.S. Imperialism. Her publications also include a translation of Nazik Saba Yared's novel Canceled Memories from Arabic into English (Syracuse University Press, 2009).

Warsan Shire
London-based Somali poet and writer Warsan Shire is causing a stir on the poetry scene. The 2007 International Slam Champion has performed and toured internationally – including recent readings in South Africa, Italy and Germany. Born in Kenya, the captivating young word weaver uses her deeply moving poetry to give voice to the silenced and misunderstood. In the form of poetry, short stories and memoirs, she writes about what she knows: asylum, war, love, loss, and borders. According to ( Warsan Shire demonstrates "how artistic creativity is as much about growing, liberation and recreating history as it is about expression, sharing and story-telling." Her début poetry book, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth (Flipped Eye), was published in 2011. She has featured in ItalianVogue and her poetry has been translated into Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. Shire is currently on the short list for Brunel University's African Poetry Prize.
To volunteer, or for more information, email Weyam Ghadbian or call 415-664-2200 ext. 201


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