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August 10, 2022

Diya Abdo Publishes "American Refuge"

American Refuge: True Stories of the Refugee Experience, a new book by Lincoln Financial Professor of English and Creative Writing Diya Abdo, will be available from Steerforth Press on Sept. 6. Preorders are available.

American Refuge: True Stories of the Refugee Experience intimately explains what it means to be a refugee in the U.S. It's more relevant than ever, Steerforth Press says, with the influx of refugees increasing daily across the globe and particularly with the Ukraine crisis, which is displacing countless people who are simply trying to get out of harm's way.

"There are so many myths and misconceptions about refugees and the experience of resettlement in the United States," Diya says. "I wanted to write a book that busts those myths through the power of individual stories."
In "American Refuge," Diya shares the stories of seven refugees. Arriving from around the world, they’re welcomed by Every Campus A Refuge (ECAR), an organization Diya founded to leverage existing resources at colleges to provide temporary shelter to refugee families. The stories include one about the book's cover artist who narrowly escaped two assassination attempts in Iraq and now works at a Tyson Foods plant.
Readers also get to know refugees from Burma, Burundi, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, and Uganda. They lived in homes they loved, left against their will, moved to countries without access or rights, and were among the 1 percent of the so-called lucky few to resettle after a long wait. And it is almost certain that they will never return to the homes they never wanted to leave.

"Everybody can contribute to creating a welcoming environment for newcomers; in this book, new Americans teach us the big and small ways we can do that," Diya says.

To learn more about the book and meet Diya, join her at a confirmed, upcoming reading:

Diya is the first daughter and granddaughter of Palestinian refugees born in their country of displacement, Jordan. A graduate of Yarmouk University, she earned master's and doctorate degrees from Drew University. She is a full professor in the English and Creative Writing Department of Guilford College, where she founded the first chapter of ECAR. Diya is the recipient of several national community engagement awards, including the 2021 J.M.K. Innovation Prize for her work with ECAR.

ECAR is a Center for Principled Problem Solving and Excellence in Teaching initiative that calls on every college and university in the world to partner with local refugee-resettlement agencies. The idea is that campuses have everything necessary — housing, food, care, and skills — to temporarily take in refugees and support them as they begin their lives in new homes.

Media contact: Ty Buckner, Guilford College Office of Communications and Marketing, 336.316.2248,