Elly Fishman - "Refugee High" - Nadia Amina Abbas

Monday, June 20, 2022 - 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Elly Fishman

Elly Fishman will discuss Refugee High: Coming of Age in America. She will be joined in conversation by Nadia Amina Abbas.

Presented in partnership with the Hyde Park Refugee Project.

This event will be held in-person at KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation. Masks are required and vaccinations are expected from participants.

Register to attend in-person HERE

Join livestream HERE

About the book: Refugee High is a riveting chronicle of the 2017-8 school year at Sullivan High, a time when anti-immigrant rhetoric was at its height in the White House. Even as we follow teachers and administrators grappling with the everyday challenges facing many urban schools, we witness the complicated circumstances and unique education needs of refugee and immigrant children: Alejandro may be deported just days before he is scheduled to graduate; Shahina narrowly escapes an arranged marriage; and Belenge encounters gang turf wars he doesn't understand. Equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring, Refugee High raises vital questions about the priorities and values of a public school and offers an eye-opening and captivating window into the present-day American immigration and education systems.

About the authorElly Fishman worked as a senior editor and writer at Chicago magazine. Her features have won numerous awards including a City Regional Magazine Award for her article “Welcome to Refugee High,” her first report on the students and faculty at Chicago’s Roger C. Sullivan High School. Refugee High: Coming of Age in America (The New Press) is based on the article, and won the prestigious Studs and Ida Terkel Prize for a first book in the public interest. A Chicago native and graduate of the University of Chicago, Fishman currently lives in Milwaukee with her husband and their dog and teaches in the Journalism Department at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

About the interlocutorNadia Amina Abbas works at an academic research hospital in the adult trauma service, working with highly vulnerable individuals who often experience both medical and emotional trauma and require the highest levels of treatment and long-term care. Born and raised in New York City, Nadia is a citizen of the world - living and serving globally but now putting roots down locally in Chicago. Nadia is fluent in Urdu, Hindi, and Pashto and proficient in Farsi/Persian, Arabic and French. As a child of an engineer for the United Nations, she had the opportunity to live in the Middle East and South Asia. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Chicago and went to medical school in Pakistan at the University of Peshawar, Khyber Medical College- specializing in medicine and surgery. She has committed herself to various charities and work with groups focusing on domestic violence and refugees suffering from prolonged trauma. Nadia also works as a Hyde Park Refugee Project volunteer as an interpreter, among other tasks, with the newly arrived Afghan refugees. She is joined by family members including her 16-year-old son, Behram Shah.

Event Location: 
KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation
1100 East Hyde Park Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60615