Readers of my memoir Aross the Big Blue Sea know about the courageous Syrian family who after a horrendous journey to Sicily stopped over at our refugee home in the Tuscan countryside. The plight of Syrians at home and in exile is at the base of poet, dissident and journalist Rash Omran's work. Omran, who has been living in exile in Egypt since 2012, will present her recent work this July in southern Tuscany. 

The reading will take place in the garden of beautiful palazzo Bracci in Montepulciano. The literary event is part of Montepulciano's longstanding Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte, the Tuscan wine town's art and music summer festival which is in its 42nd edition. 

Portraits of poet Rasha Omran, writer Kim Echlin and musician Ashti Abdo

DEFY SILENCE - SFIDARE IL SILENZIOPoetry, music and translation between war and exile
Rasha Omran, Kim Echlin and Ashti Abdo in Montepulciano
Monday, July 17, 2017 - 9.15pm
Palazzo Bracci, via delle Case Nuove, Montepulciano. 

Rasha Omran has been invited for the first Writer to Writer residency by the newly set up Palazzo Bracci association. Omran will read her poems in Arabic followed by the English translation by Canadian writer and translator Kim Echlin. The two writers will discuss Omran's work, the meaning of political activism and the influence of Omran's life in exile in Egypt. The event will be musically underlined by Italy based Kurdish Syrian musician Ashti Abdo. 

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