October 27, 2021

SECWAC Hosts “A Beginner’s Guide to America” with Roya Hakakian This Evening; Attendance Offered In-Person or via Zoom

Roya Hakakian is pictured her with her most recent book, ‘A Beginner’s Guide to America.’ Hakakian is the speaker at SECWAC’s next meeting this Wednesday, Oct. 6.

OLD LYME — The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) hosts Roya Hakakian, author and founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, speaking on, ‘A Beginner’s Guide to America,’ Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 6 p.m. She will discuss the immigrant experience in America and the importance of immigrants to this country.

With people’s comfort and safety in mind, this program and many following will be offered as hybrid events – both in-person and available by Zoom.

This event offers limited in-person attendance at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. Registration is required; in-person attendance is first-come-first-served.

Masks will be required during the in-person event, and there will be no pre-meeting hors d’oeuvres.

If you plan to attend via Zoom, click here to register as a virtual attendee. If you are new to Zoom virtual meetings and would like to learn more about how to join the event, visit zoom.us for more information. Also, feel free to call 860-912-5718 for technical advice prior to the event. It will not be possible to resolve issues during the meeting. A link to the recording will be shared via email following the meeting.

Hakakian’s topic, “A Beginner’s Guide to America,” is based on her book of the same name. Her book will be available from Bank Square Books at the meeting or is sold online (free shipping).

She will speak to the significance of the US’s racial multiplicity, founding ideals, and democratic principles not just for our own country, but for those around the world; how political refugees, and those who lived under tyranny, are essential to renewing America’s founding principles and upholding the values of our democracy; and what it was like, as an immigrant, to live through four years of Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.

Hakakian is the author of two books of poetry in Persian and numerous essays and articles in leading publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR.

She is a founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

She is the recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship for non-fiction for her book, Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.

Her memoir, Journey from the Land of No, about coming of age as a Jewish girl in post-revolutionary Iran received Elle Magazine’s Readers Choice Award. Her latest book is called A Beginner’s Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious.

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