13 January 2024

Nationally acclaimed writers and thinkers from First Nations, Palestinian and Arab backgrounds will unite on Saturday 13th January for two back-to-back panels which critically examine the current crisis in Palestine.


With a focus on literary and arts activism, these urgent and necessary dialogues will explore themes of sovereignty, self-determination, solidarity and bearing witness.


Date: Saturday 13th January

Time: 3-5pm

Location: RS1, 5 Olympic Parade, Bankstown NSW 2200

Tickets available here.

On 6 December 2023, beloved Palestinian poet and scholar, Professor Refaat Alareer, was killed in an airstrike during the Israeli genocide in Gaza. In the aftermath of his murder, Professor Alareer’s final poem, If I Must Die, was shared worldwide and translated into more than fifty languages.

In memory of Professor Alareer’s life and legacy, LIVE TO TELL MY STORY brings together nationally acclaimed writers and thinkers from First Nations, Palestinian and Arab backgrounds.

All ticket sales will be donated to Australian-Palestinian charity, Olive Kids — a respected and ethical organisation that provides ongoing aid to the children of Gaza.

Newtown-based bookstore, Better Read Than Dead, will also be selling the authors’ books at the event, and have generously offered to donate a percentage of their book sales to the fundraiser.

Proudly presented by Utp and Sweatshop Literacy Movement.

Panel 1: For the Record

Facilitator: Dr Jumana Bayeh

Panellists: Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah, Sara M. Saleh and Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad

Panel 2: Bringing Hope

Facilitator: Dr Sarah Ayoub | Panellists: Jazz Money, Dr Lana Tatour, Fahad Ali and Amani Haydar

Panelists Bios:

Dr Mehreen Faruqi is the Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens and Senator for New South Wales. In 2013, she became the first Muslim woman to sit in any Australian Parliament and she officially joined the senate in 2018. Mehreen has been an unflinching voice on social, feminist, environmental and racial justice as well as a staunch advocate for justice for Palestinian people.

Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah is a Future Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University. She is also a Palestine activist, former lawyer and the multi-award-winning author of 11 novels published in over 20 countries. Randa’s most recent non-fiction book, Coming of Age in the War on Terror, was shortlisted for the 2022 Stella Awards, the 2022 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and the 2022 NSW Premier's Literary Awards. Randa’s first picture book, 11 Words for Love (illustrated by Maxine Beneba Clarke) was shortlisted for the 2023 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and listed as a Notable book in the 2023 Children's Book Council Award.

Sara M. Saleh is the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon and lives on Gadigal land. She is the first poet to win both the Australian Book Review’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize (2021) and Overland’s Judith Wright Poetry Prize (2020). Sara is the author of Songs for the Dead and the Living (Affirm Press, 2023) and the poetry collection, The Flirtation of Girls/Ghazal el-Banat (UQP, 2023).

Dr Lana Tatour is a Lecturer at the University of New South Wales. She was the 2019-2020 Ibrahim Abu Lughod Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Palestine Studies at Columbia University. She is currently completing her monograph provisionally titled Ambivalent Resistance: Palestinians in Israel and the Liberal Politics of Settler Colonialism and Human Rights. She is also co-editing a book provisionally titled Race and the Question of Palestine.

Fahad Ali is an academic, writer, and educator in molecular and computational genetics at the University of Sydney. He is a Palestinian community organiser and lives and works on unceded Dharug land.

Jazz Money is a Wiradjuri poet and artist currently based on Gadigal land. Their practice is centred around the written word while producing works that encompass installation, digital, film and print. Jazz’s writing has been widely performed and published nationally and internationally. Their David Unaipon Award-winning debut collection how to make a basket (UQP, 2021) was released to much acclaim.

Dr Sarah Ayoub is a freelance journalist and bestselling author based. Her work has appeared in The GuardianThe AustralianThe Sydney Morning HeraldMarie-ClaireELLESBSSydney Review of Books and more. Sarah attained her PhD with a thesis examining migrant narratives in Australian teen lit and currently lectures in journalism and writing at the University of Sydney and the University of Notre Dame. Sarah is an advocate for education and Australian stories, appearing at schools and festivals where she promotes her YA novels Hate is Such a Strong WordThe Yearbook Committee and The Cult of Romance as well as her picture books, The Love that Grew and How to be a Friend.

Dr Jumana Bayeh is Associate Professor at Macquarie University, and author of The Literature of the Lebanese Diaspora (2015) and the recently co-edited collection Writing the Global Riot. Her current project includes an examination of the nation-state in Arab diaspora writing over the last century.

Amani Haydar is an award-winning writer, visual artist, lawyer and advocate for women’s health and safety based in Western Sydney. Amani’s debut memoir The Mother Wound has been the recipient of multiple accolades, including the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-fiction. Amani is also the recipient of the 2021 UTS Faculty of Law Alumni Award. She was also named Local Woman of the Year for Bankstown at the 2020 NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year Awards in recognition of her advocacy against domestic violence. As a distinguished visual artist, Amani is also a former Archibald Prize finalist.

Dr Michael Mohammed Ahmad is the founding director of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and the author of three award-winning novels: The Tribe (Giramondo, 2014), The Lebs (Hachette, 2018) and The Other Half of You (Hachette, 2021). He is also the editor of several critically acclaimed anthologies, including After Australia (Affirm Press, 2020). Mohammed received his Doctorate of Creative Arts from Western Sydney University in 2017.