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TMR Conversations: Anna Lekas Miller on “Love Across Borders” with Lina Mounzer
February 15 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pmFree
When Anna Lekas Miller met and fell in love with Salem Rizk in Istanbul, she had no idea that the obstacles they would have to overcome in order to build a life together would include a Muslim Ban and the UK Home Office. The fellow journalists were both in Istanbul covering the fallout from the Syrian war and the ISIS occupation. But when a deportation order for Rizk was issued, the couple was forced to contend with all the heretofore invisible structural inequalities between them, a result of the lopsided choices afforded to them by their respective passports (American; Syrian).
Lekas Miller’s book, Love Across Borders, is at once a recounting of the couple’s efforts to find a place that would allow both of them to settle down long-term without fear of deportation, as well as an overview of the borders and laws that have come to shape love stories such as theirs. On the way, she speaks to a number of other couples—in the US, Europe, and Lebanon—about their struggles (some truly harrowing) to build a life together in a world where your worth as a human being is often assessed in relation to your passport.
For TMR’s February issue, appropriately entitled LSD (for Love, Sex, Desire), Anna Lekas Miller will be in discussion with writer and TMR Senior Editor Lina Mounzer. The discussion, much to Lekas Miller’s chagrin, is scheduled for February 15 – as close to Valentine’s Day as possible without foiling anyone’s plans for the big day.
“Honestly, I hate Valentine’s Day,” she confided, “but because of this book I’m forever associated with it, for better or for worse.”
This led to a brainwave on Mounzer’s behalf, who will be steering the discussion through the book and the process of writing it, but will also put Lekas Miller in the hot seat with a series of fun and racy questions about all things love and romance. Audience members are also invited to ask questions pertaining to both facets of the book, which is at once a serious political manifesto and a series of heart-pounding romantic tales. And given that it’s around Valentine’s Day, if someone is looking for romantic advice, perhaps the discussants might also be persuaded to weigh in…Join us on February 15, 2024 at 5:30pm CET/ 4:30pm UK/ 11:30am EST.
About the speakers
Anna Lekas Miller is a writer and journalist who covers stories of the ways that conflict and migration shape the lives of people around the world. She has reported from Palestine, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq, covering the Israeli occupation, the Syrian civil war and exodus to Europe, and the rise and fall of the Islamic State. Since moving to London, she has turned her attention to the rise of the far right in Europe and the United States, investigating immigration systems, white supremacist ideology, and the ways that people are standing up to them. She is most interested in stories of love and healing in an unpredictable and unstable world. Her journalism and essays have appeared in Vanity Fair, the Intercept, CNN, the New Humanitarian, The Markaz Review and New Lines.
Lina Mounzer is a Lebanese writer and translator. She has been a regular contributor to the New York Times and her work has appeared in the Paris Review, Freeman’s, Washington Post, and The Baffler, as well as in the anthologies Tales of Two Planets (Penguin 2020), and Best American Essays 2022 (Harper Collins 2022). She is a senior editor at The Markaz Review.
This online event is open to all and free to the public; donations are welcome to support The Markaz Review.