Join us for a special fundraising dinner in support of PEN Afghanistan, which is currently operating in exile. The evening will be an intimate gathering of the Afghan and Australian communities, celebrating freedom of expression and continuity of culture. We will feature the powerful voices of Afghan writers and poets here in Sydney.
The evening will open with Afghan music followed by a discussion from 7pm with local author, Zaheda Ghani, whose acclaimed debut novel Pomegranate & Fig (2022) examines tradition, family, war and displacement. Taking us from the streets of Herat in the 1970s, invaded by Soviet forces, to India in the 1980s and then to the suburbs of Sydney, Pomegranate & Fig vividly illuminates the disruption, displacement and tragedy that war unleashes. Zaheda will be in conversation with writer and researcher, Zarlasht Sawari. Copies of her book have been donated by the publisher, Hachette, and will be available for purchase with all proceeds from sales going directly to PEN Afghanistan.
Following a delicious shared meal, we will invite Saber Ansari and other guests to read their work as well as the words of poets who have come before us. We are also hoping to call an Afghan journalist who escaped Kabul last year to resettle in Germany, with financial support from PEN Sydney.
Proceeds from the fundraising dinner will be used to pay for the meal prepared by LaSani as well as subsidise participation of the Afghan community, including a number of young Afghan women who resettled in Sydney last year. The remainder will be sent to PEN Afghanistan to help them with their courageous work. On the night, we will gladly accept further donations on their behalf.
The event has been organised by PEN Sydney with the support of Saba Group and our other Afghan friends.